Paris bring down the Lillois!
In beating LOSC in a high-quality encounter against a direct competitor, Paris Saint-Germain extended their lead at the top of Ligue 1 (2-1). A look back on the encounter!
Some mouth-watering encounters on the cards to warm up this rainy and icy winter: our Parisians don't have time to dwell during this busy period where they must juggle three competitions. After securing their ticket for the quarter-finals of the Coupe de France against a formidable Brest side, and just before plunging into the European clashes against Real Sociedad, Luis Enrique's team faced a tough Ligue 1 opponent. For this match nestled in the heart of an exciting yet perilous run of fixtures, the Spanish coach had indeed concocted a significantly revamped line-up from one end of the pitch to the other. From Keylor Navas in goal to Gonçalo Ramos leading the attack, all led by captain Danilo Pereira.
It's become a habit in recent weeks: our Red and Blue had to draw upon all their physical and mental resources to overcome a tough opponent. Because Lille have indeed been one of the most effective and attacking teams in the league since the start of the second part of the season, as evidenced by their run of 15 matches without defeat. And during this fast-paced start to the encounter, Paulo Fonseca's squad didn't waste any time showing it, as Yacizi caught the Parc des Princes off guard by opening the scoring (0-1, 6').
Trailing on their own turf, Paris bounced back immediately, as less than 4 minutes later, Ousmane Dembélé pressured Alexsandro to deliver another perfect pass to Gonçalo Ramos, who was able to get his shot off and equalise (10', 1-1). No small feat against a team that had kept three consecutive clean sheets in the league...
With the scores level, both teams could push forward again! And our Rouge et Bleu were well aware of it: regardless of the situation, there was no question of easing off! Better still, they decided to step up their game to take advantage of this goal to deliver the final blow. And who else but Dembélé, who leads the league's top assists table, to pose a threat to the visitors' defence? Because it was he, once again, who found Fabian Ruiz, whose cross-shot was then turned into the back of Lucas Chevalier's net by Alexsandro (2-1, 17'). A goal that helped confirm that the momentum was well and truly in favour of the hosts!
It was going to take nouse and courage to maintain this precious lead. And it must be said that despite the significant turnover orchestrated by Luis Enrique, we saw the Parisians manage the lead with a lot of focus, pressing effectively which proved very constraining for the Lille players, while Keylor Navas was constantly there to thwart any attempts on goal. With their attacking power, our Parisians also continued to threaten, inspired notably by Ousmane Dembélé's devastating dribbles, the delightful runs from substitute Bradley Barcola and the flashes of brilliance from Kolo Muani. It was indeed the latter two who increased the home side's lead, with the first setting up the second to send the Parc des Princes into a frenzy with the third goal (3-1, 80').
Delivering yet another solid performance, Les Parisiens secured a crucial victory for their domestic ambitions. A result that allows them to boost their confidence, extending their run to 16 matches unbeaten across all competitions! Because after Ligue 1 and the Coupe de France, it's the prestigious UEFA Champions League that resumes on Wednesday, at the Parc des Princes, with a highly anticipated first leg against Real Sociedad. We can't wait for it!