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Thursday, December 1, 2022

Lionel Messi scores early winner in tight contest

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Lionel Messi scored the only goal of the game in the first five minutes as Paris Saint-Germain saw off Lyon to return to the Ligue 1 summit.

Marseille’s draw with Rennes earlier on Sunday had briefly sent them top of the table, putting the pressure on Christophe Galtier’s PSG to beat a Lyon side who had started the season well but have fallen off the pace in recent weeks.

Messi’s goal was the first real action of the game. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner exchanged passes with Neymar, before stroking the ball into the bottom corner with his left foot.

PSG had chances to extend their lead twice through Kylian Mbappe, but Lyon were hardly out of it and soon Gianluigi Donnarumma was called into action at the other end to deny both Toko Ekambi and Alexandre Lacazette a few minutes apart.

The visitors did regain the ascendancy and went very close to adding a second goal when Castello Lukeba cleared one off the goal-line from Messi after dummying goalkeeper Anthony Lopes.

Both sides had more chances and the ball did end up in the net again before the end of the match, with Sergio Ramos nodding in the rebounded from a Messi free-kick that Lopes tipped onto the post. But a flag was raised and it was ruled out for offside.

PSG have now won four Ligue 1 games on the bounce since rescuing a 1-1 draw against Monaco last month and haven’t conceded in any of them. Their lead at the top of the table is two points over Marseille, with a home game against Nice to come after the international break.

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