PSG turn it round to see off Lyon
Paris Saint-Germain came from a goal down to beat Olympique Lyonnais 2-1 at the Parc des Princes on Sunday and move back to within three points of Ligue 1 leaders AS Monaco.
Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 Olympique Lyonnais
If this match was truly the test of PSG's title mettle and their fragile recovery from their ordeal in Barcelona, then Unai Emery's men initially looked like they would fail it badly.
It took just six minutes for Lyon to go in front. Mathieu Valbuena's corner was helped on by Rafael at the near post, and Alexandre Lacazette was sharper than Maxwell at the back post to head home. It was the OL forward's 23rd goal of the season, leaving him four shy of the division's leading scorer, PSG's Edinson Cavani.
Maxwell may have felt he could have done better with the opening goal, but PSG were indebted to their usually reliant Brazilian full-back for not falling two behind. The former Barcelona man was on hand to clear the danger when Kevin Trapp had been unable to get to Mouctar Diakhaby's header from another Valbuena corner (9').
With the storm ridden out, however, PSG began to take charge, and they got themselves back into the game on 34 minutes.
Javier Pastore was at the heart of the move, exchanging passes with Angel Di Maria before moving into the box — the Argentina international's cross found an unmarked Adrien Rabiot, who gleefully punished the visiting defence's lapse of concentration.
Pastore then teed up compatriot Di Maria for a shot that Anthony Lopes did well to push out (37') before Lacazette went down under the challenge of Trapp — nervous Parisian eyes turned towards referee Clément Turpin, and were relieved to see him wave play on (39').
Lyon had no such reprieve when PSG took the lead barely 60 seconds later. Pastore and Maxwell teamed up before the former swept over a pinpoint cross for Julian Draxler. The January arrival from VfL Wolfsburg did the rest, crashing a shot beyond a helpless Lopes (40') for his third league goal in PSG colours.
Little seen before the break, Cavani sent a lob just wide after the interval (61') before Di Maria, picked out by Maxwell, curled an effort narrowly beyond the far post with Lopes seemingly beaten (75').
Cavani slid the perfect pass into the run of Blaise Matuidi only for the France international, called up for his country's games this month along with Rabiot, to drag his shot across goal (83') before Lucas fired over a cross that — if it had been in front of Cavani — might have led to the third goal the reigning Ligue 1 champions deserved for their second-half dominance.
THE PLAYER: Javier Pastore
The Argentine's injury problems look to be behind him, happily, as he was at his inspirational, brilliant best.
THE STAT: 19
PSG are now unbeaten in 19 home games in Ligue 1 - this was their 14th win in that run.