Neymar’s first convincing match this season, the activity of Lyonnais Paqueta, but also the opportunities missed by Messi: find the Tops and Flops of the editorial staff after this meeting between PSG and Lyon (2-1).
Neymar has found his legs
For a month, many observers had noted his extra pounds, his lost influence. His first performances at PSG this season could even be worrying given how lacking in gasoline. But facing Lyon, it’s as if he had found everything: his carelessness, his flair, his confusing dribbling. The Brazilian slowly gained strength in this match where he gradually took the measure of young Malo Gusto. Author of several sharp passes for his partners, he took his responsibilities after the Lyon goal by causing the ball to the foot and obtaining several faults, including the one leading to the penalty which he transformed. After Messi’s exit, he was the real detonator of his team.
Paqueta-Guimaraes, a duo that carried OL
If Paris won, Lyon did more than compete with their evening opponent. A conquering, daring OL who could count on a sparkling Paqueta-Guimaraes duo in the middle. Paqueta is one of the most consistent Lyonnais in 2021 and he showed it again at the Parc thanks to his large volume of play which allowed him to rake a lot of balls. Metronome of his team, he opened the scoring with a shot from the left. His friend Bruno Guimaraes was also present to assist him and his exit, for cramps, coincided with the downturn in Lyon.
OL’s plan was almost perfect
Faced with the “fantastic” four aligned by PSG (Messi, Neymar, Mbappé, Di Maria), Lyon responded with a real collective. Rather enterprising, Peter Bosz’s men were never content to defend and came out well on fast and dangerous blocks. Beyond the performance of the middle, it should be noted the activity of the two wingers Toko Ekambi and Shaqiri which has long made Parisians doubt. But the Lyonnais undoubtedly ended up dulling at the end of the match.
Nuno Mendes’ promises
The Portuguese side made a promising first start with PSG. On his left side, he displayed a great ease with the ball at the foot and got on well with Neymar. Also solid to defend, he seems a more than credible option in this position of left side.
Messi gave a lot but also spoiled
The Argentinian was eagerly awaited for his first at the Parc des Princes with PSG. And the least we can say is that he was on his feet. Spinning around, we saw him in the axis, to the right, to attack and also, sometimes, to defend. Author of great acceleration, he created several differences in the first period. But if he is part of this category, it is because he experienced an unusual waste at the finish with two big chances: a failed duel against Lopes and a free kick on the block. In the second period, he disappeared a bit and was only noticed by a side shot (74e). He didn’t seem really happy to give up his seat a quarter of an hour from the end.
Boateng, a difficult start
Undoubtedly short of pace, the German defender of OL encountered difficulties in the face of the pace set by the Parisians. On the fast offensives in the first half, he seemed to be passed and was well supported by Denayer. Still not in top form, he had to give up his place before the end.
Paris has not solved everything
Despite this short success, PSG have yet to show the face of a real team. We have sometimes found this team cut in two, which lacked cohesion, especially in the Lyon situations. Offensively, the Parisians also still need adjustments to be fine-tuned, with a quartet that seemed to be looking for one another. A lot of work ahead for Mauricio Pochettino.