Hexagoal Ligue 1 Trophy

Week 23 review: OL show PSG's feet of clay

Publish on 04/02/2019 at 00:00 - S. WILLIS


Lyon sent shockwaves through French football on Sunday as they became the first side to beat Thomas Tuchel's PSG in the league this season. The result leaves the capital club 'just' ten points clear of LOSC, who beat Nice 4-0.

The result also helped Lyon to firm in the race for a Champions League finish, leaving them a full six points clear of arch-rivals Saint-Etienne just a fortnight after going into their Week 21 2-1 Rhône derby win a point behind Les Verts.

Who dares wins

OL opted for an aggressive approach to PSG's visit - a risky move considering the 5-0 mauling they copped at the Parc des Princes back in October - and although Angel Di Maria put the Neymar-less visitors in front, Lyon hit back through Moussa Dembélé and Nabil Fekir, who struck from the spot, for the shock win.

"It gets very emotional after a match like that. I saw tonight that my team have really made progress. We decided to push high up the pitch and go after them. You open yourself up playing in this way, but you also give yourself a chance to win it, as was the case tonight. We managed to get back in to the match and beat PSG," said Genesio, whose side will be full of confidence heading into their UEFA Champions League last 16 clash with Barcelona later this month. "We knew we were capable of beating them."

Tuchel: 'We weren't clinical enough'

Meanwhile for Tuchel, who had new midfield signing Leandro Paredes debut off the bench in the 79th minute, it was all about missed chances rather than the end of their unbeaten run or the impending UEFA Champions League trip to face Manchester United on 12 February.

"I expected a difficult game as Lyon have a lot of quality and are through to the Last 16 of the Champions League. The first half was really tough. We gave the ball away a lot and made bad decisions, especially in key moments," said the PSG boss, who managed to be upbeat despite tasting defeat in Ligue 1 Conforama for the very first time. "After half-time, we controlled the game well. I'm happy with the second half. We had chances, but weren't clinical enough."

Les Dogues on point

LOSC made sure they would capitalise on any slip from PSG by taking care of business 4-0 against Nice - who ended the match with nine men after Pierre Lees-Melou saw red late in the piece - in the weekend's opening fixture. Nicolas Pépé starred once again for Christophe Galtier's side, bagging their second goal and laying the third on for Jonathan Bamba.

"It was a great match. We started at a very high pace. The players all seem happy to be here, happy playing together," said the LOSC boss before underlining the need for continued vigilance for the side whose 100 per cent start to 2019 has them firming for a Champions League finish despite battling the drop just last season. "We can trip ourselves up, if we relax and are less demanding of ourselves. We might also suffer injuries or any number of clubs coming in for our players."

Balotelli, OM fall in Reims

With newly signed Italy superstar Mario Balotelli making his first start after scoring off the bench in his debut against LOSC in Week 22, Olympique de Marseille were hoping for a welcome win in Reims. However, they ended up falling to their 12th defeat in 18 in all competitions as South Korean forward Hyunjun Suk clinched a 2-1 win for the Champagne club, who go seventh on the bac of consecutive wins.

Mehdi Zeffane struck late for Rennes to beat struggling Amiens 1-0 and hand Hatem Ben Arfa a win in his 200th Ligue 1 Conforama appearance while, with Saint-Etienne's clash at home to in-form Strasbourg postponed due to heavy snowfalls, Montpellier stole a march on the pair with a 1-1 draw in Nîmes that came courtesy of Andy Delort's cancelling out Loïck Landre's early strike.

Jardim makes winning return

Monaco marked Leonardo Jardim's return to the dugout with a first home win of the season, Cesc Fabregas bagging the winner for a 2-1 victory over Toulouse that broke a 12-match winless run at home and took the principality club out of the drop zone (they sit in 18th, in line for a play-off berth) for the first time since early December.

Meanwhile Angers bagged a much-needed 1-0 win over relegation rivals Dijon, Stéphane Bahoken striking to clinch just a second league win in ten matches to take the side 13th, seven points clear of Dijon (who have played a match less) in 16th.

Delayed gratification

SM Caen will have a chance to distance themselves from 18th-placed Monaco when they play their rescheduled Week 23 clash with Nantes on Wednesday, 13 February, while Bordeaux and Guingamp will close out the disjointed round a week later on Wednesday, 20 February.