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Ligue 1 2022-23: Lionel Messi's Paris Saint-Germain Lose to Lyon; Monaco Rallies To Beat Strasbourg

French league leaders Paris Saint-Germain gave its rivals in the title race a glimmer of hope after losing 1-0 to Lyon on Sunday for a second straight home defeat.

PSG’s 5th loss of the league campaign leaves them just 6 points ahead of 2nd place Lens.
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French league leaders Paris Saint-Germain gave its rivals in the title race a glimmer of hope after losing 1-0 to Lyon on Sunday for a second straight home defeat. (More Football News)

PSG’s fifth loss of the league campaign leaves its six points ahead of second-place Lens and Marseille with nine rounds of matches remaining.

“It’s not just the mentality that needs to change,” PSG defender Danilo said after the game. “There are a lot of things we need to change.”

PSG lost its previous home game 2-0 against Rennes and Danilo urged his teammates to respond quickly, or risk finishing the season empty-handed.

“We didn’t respect the game plan and we didn’t give our all. And when you don’t give everything you have, even at home, it’s difficult to win matches,” Danilo said. “We need to get out of this (situation) because our opponents are only six points back. We need to wake up because the title is not at all guaranteed.”

After star striker Kylian Mbappé fluffed an early chance for the hosts, Lyon missed the opportunity to score in the 39th when striker Alexandre Lacazette took a penalty after being fouled by goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma going for a loose ball.

Lacazette has 150 goals for Lyon and sent Donnarumma the wrong way, but held his head in his hands when his spot-kick hit the left post.

Lyon went on to punish PSG’s slack defending with a slick move in the 56th minute as 18-year-old right back Saël Kumbedi volleyed a pass across the area and the 20-year-old forward Bradley Barcola slid the ball past Donnarumma. Lyon then had chances to make it 2-0, forcing Donnarumma into sharp saves from Barcola and Moussa Dembélé.

PSG seems to be under increasing pressure from its fans after losing eight games out of 19 overall in 2023. Next up is a difficult trip south to face Nice next weekend.

A few hours before the Lyon game, Mbappé met with and addressed a group of PSG fans called K-Soce team, which was celebrating its 15th anniversary. The K-Soce team was reportedly involved in some fan clashes in previous years, notably during a nighttime street brawl before a Champions League game against Dinamo Zagreb in 2012. Holding up a megaphone, Mbappe assured them of the players’ commitment to the team.

PSG was eliminated from the round of 16 of the Champions League for the second straight season and knocked out of the French Cup by bitter rival Marseille.

Mbappé couldn’t do his talking on the field this time, and he remains locked with Lille striker Jonathan David on 19 goals atop the league’s scoring charts.

The start of the game was pushed back by 10 minutes after Lyon’s bus was delayed arriving at Parc des Princes stadium, where Lyon coach Laurent Blanc took charge of PSG from 2013-16 and left on Sunday night with a precious win.

MONACO WINS

Monaco’s teenage talent made the difference as it rallied to beat Strasbourg 4-3 to move three points behind third-place Marseille in the chase for a Champions League spot.

Finishing third means entry into the qualifying rounds while second place guarantees automatic qualification for the Champions League. Second-place Lens leads Marseille on goal difference.

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Fourth-place Monaco trailed 2-1 at the break after central defender Guillermo Maripan’s own-goal. But the Principality side hit back strongly with second-half goals from 18-year-old midfielders Eliesse Ben Seghir and Edan Diop, before France midfielder Youssouf Fofana made it 4-2 in the 66th.

Fofana was sent off in the 78th for a second yellow card and striker Habib Diallo grabbed Strasbourg’s third goal deep into stoppage time.

LILLE VICTORY

Canada striker Jonathan David did not add to his league tally but Lille still won 3-1 against Lorient to move above Rennes and into fifth place in the chase for a Europa League place.

Kosovo winger Edon Zhegrova netted for Lille in the 89th and again in stoppage time after coming on as a late substitute for United States forward Tim Weah, who successfully returned from injury.

Winger Remy Cabella had put Lille ahead in the 13th after being set up by English midfielder Angel Gomes, who started his career with Manchester United and assisted on Zhegrova’s first goal after striker Ibrahima Koné equalized for Lorient in the 78th.

OTHER MATCHES

Seventh-place Reims won 3-0 at Nantes with French forward Alexis Flips scoring twice as club top scorer Folarin Balogun failed to add to his 17 league goals.

Eighth-place Nice extended its unbeaten run to 14 matches overall but was held 1-1 at last-place Angers, despite taking a fourth-minute lead through striker Terem Moffi.

Striker Grejohn Kyei scored two penalties — including the winner deep into injury time — as Clermont beat 19th-place Ajaccio 2-1.

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Brest beat Toulouse 3-1.

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