Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Lyon vs. PSG score: Thilo Kehrer earns point for Lionel Messi-less Paris Saint-Germain

Olympique Lyonnais and Paris Saint-Germain shared the points in Ligue 1 on Sunday with a 1-1 draw at Groupama Stadium which saw Lucas Paqueta put the hosts in front only for Thilo Kehrer to save the visitors a point towards the end of the game.

Without the recovering Lionel Messi who has returned to France after testing positive for COVID-19 during the winter break and the injured Neymar, Mauricio Pochettino opted for Kylian Mbappe, Mauro Icardi and Georginio Wijnaldum in attack and it was not pretty viewing.

Mbappe, the France international, as to be expected, was by far the most dangerous of the trio and hit the woodwork once in each half but was selfish at inopportune moments and had to leave it to unheralded teammates to salvage a draw.

Paqueta, as he did in Paris, put Lyon ahead after Bruno Gumaraes’ mastery conjured up an opening for his fellow Brazil international to finish in clinical fashion inside of the opening 10 minutes, and only Marquinhos’ resolute defensive display ensured that there was no further joy for Les Gones.

PSG toiled for large parts of the encounter, and it was only when Pochettino went with a triple change for the final 20 minutes which saw Edouard Michut and Xavi Simons joining Kehrer in entering the fray with the former teeing up the latter for a scuffed finish.

“We picked up a point here,” Kehrer said post-match. “Obviously, we wanted to win, and I think that we can and must do better. We need to analyze what we did here, think carefully and move forward while doing better in our next games.”

Otherwise, this was pretty much what has become the standard under the Argentine’s watch with the Ligue 1 leaders serving up largely unpalatable play which will go unpunished because the result was bearable given that PSG are still a provisional 11 points clear at the Ligue 1 summit.

“It was my first game of the year and the same for most of the other players,” Marquinhos, PSG’s captain, said after the final whistle. “We tried to do our best against an incredible opponent. They defended well overall and made it difficult for us to create spaces and move forward. We had some chances but did not take them. Fighting back from an early goal down is not easy, though.”

Next up for PSG is a run of three consecutive home matches with Stade Brestois 29 and Stade de Reims in Ligue 1 before OGC Nice visit in the Coupe de France before the end of this month.

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