Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr. combined to devastating effect as Paris Saint-Germain beat Olympique Lyonnais 1-0 at the Groupama Stadium to re-open their two-point lead at the top of the table.
Olympique Lyonnais 0-1 Paris Saint-Germain
PSG were at full strength but for the suspended Presnel Kimpembe, and they surged into the lead inside the first few minutes when Messi and Neymar played a one-two on the edge of the box reminiscent of their Barcelona days, before the Argentine steered home his fourth goal of the Ligue 1 Uber Eats season (6'). PSG had a nearly identical chance minutes later, but this time Messi's shot was deflected before new man Fabian Ruiz put the rebound over (10'). Neymar was involved again in Paris's next chance, dummying an Achraf Hakimi cutback for Kylian Mbappé, but the Frenchman's strike was straight at Anthony Lopes (14'). Lyon had a good spell midway through the half and Alexandre Lacazette should have made it 1-1 when he was found by fellow OL veteran Corentin Tolisso, but he headed wide with the goal at his mercy (21'). Karl Toko Ekambi then forced a save from Gigi Donnarumma (22') before blazing another effort just wide (30').
Paris take the points
PSG started the second half as frenetically as they had the first, and Messi saw an attempt headed off the line by Castello Lukeba after he had lifted the ball over Lopes (47'). Lyon tried to reply and Lacazette found himself crowded out in the PSG box soon after (53'). But PSG remained the dominant force and Neymar thought he had made it 2-0 when he prodded a low Nuno Mendes cross towards goal, but Lopes did brilliantly to recover his position and make the save (72'). Messi and Neymar combined again late in the game, this time the Argentine slipping the Brazilian through for a chance, but Thiago Mendes made a last-ditch block (79'). Lopes kept a top corner-bound Messi free-kick out before Sergio Ramos's poke home on the rebound was ruled out for offside (90'+2) and it ended 1-0.
THE PLAYER: Lionel Messi
Messi has been a delight to watch throughout his career, and he continued to roll back the years here with a superlative performance. Playing in one of the two the No.10 positions with Neymar for company and Mbappé up ahead, Messi has been more concerned with creating chances than scoring them this season, but he took his goal with his custom aplomb and was only a goal-line clearance away from a brace. Out of contract at the end of the campaign, PSG would do well to get him to extend.
THE STAT: 100
This was Neymar's 100th match in Ligue 1 Uber Eats. He's never looked better. With yet another goal contribution today, he wrought havoc in the final third. All told, the Brazilian has contributed eight goals and seven assists from just eight Ligue 1 Uber Eats games this term - his best ever start to a French top-flight campaign.