Lucas Paqueta, Lyon, goal celebration
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Lyon's Boateng: 'Paqueta is fantastic'

Publish on 17/10/2021 at 11:05 - I. HOLYMAN

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Lucas Paqueta is "a fantastic player" said FIFA World Cup and UEFA Champions League winner Jérôme Boateng after seeing his Lyon teammate produce another moment of magic in their side's 2-0 defeat of Monaco on Saturday.

Paqueta played for Brazil in their latest FIFA World Cup qualifier during the night of Thursday to Friday French time, and though he started the game at the Groupama Stadium on the bench, emerged onto the pitch with 24 minutes left.

 

Karl Toko Ekambi opened the scoring from the penalty spot shortly afterwards, but it was a brilliant piece of play from Paqueta that helped seal the points in the final minute.

 

After receiving a short corner wide on the Lyon left, Paqueta looked as if he would simply play the ball back to a teammate only to flick an impudent 'no-look' pass with the outside of his left boot into the run of Emerson, whose cross was turned in by Jason Denayer.

 

"Paqueta is a fantastic player. He played on Friday for Brazil and today he was huge for us," said Boateng, who ended a trophy-rich spell at Bayern Munich to join Lyon this summer.

 

"He's not only a great player in France, but also at global level. He's a first-teamer with Brazil, he contributes a huge amount to our team. It's really great for the fans to be able to see a player like him."

 

Toko Ekambi added: "Paqueta is one of the best players in the league and he shows it every weekend. He's a soldier. He came back very late from Brazil, and he was still exemplary."

 

"I took a big risk," acknowledged Lyon coach Peter Bosz. "Normally, it wasn't possible for him to play. He played 42 hours earlier, for an hour with Brazil, before getting on the plane. I wasn't going to bring him on. He wanted to start the game.

 

"When we went for a walk [on Saturday] afternoon, we told him to stay in his room and sleep. I took a big risk, but it paid off."

 

>> MATCH REPORT: Lyon go fifth with Monaco win