Messi and Neymar-less PSG endure first defeat of season as Lens win 3-1


File photograph of Kylian Mbappe. AP:

Glass. Paris Saint-Germain, with out World Cup winners Lionel Messi and Neymar, misplaced a match for the primary time since March 20 final 12 months after they went down 3-1 at Lens on Sunday.

“Lance deserved his win,” PSG coach Christophe Galtier mentioned.

Lois Openda scored as soon as and arrange one other as Lens, who’ve misplaced simply as soon as in Ligue 1 this season, closed the hole on leaders PSG to 4 factors after 17 matches.

“We’re completely satisfied to be 4 factors behind,” mentioned Lance coach Frank Hayes. “This victory proves that we are able to beat anybody on this championship.”

PSG’s final defeat got here greater than 9 months in the past after they went down 3-0 at Monaco in Ligue 1, though that left them 12 factors clear on the prime of the desk.

PSG had been with out Messi and suspended Brazilian Neymar at Lens on Sunday, however Golden Boot winner Kylian Mbappe in Qatar obtained a standing ovation from the Lens followers as he warmed up.

Galtier mentioned he hoped French followers would give Messi an identical reception.

“He will be a part of us on January third, in 48 hours,” Galtier mentioned. “I hope Leo shall be effectively obtained. He gained probably the most stunning cup by being superb. We all know he is a terrific and decisive participant, so hopefully he’ll clearly be effectively obtained.”

“Kylian labored,” Galtier mentioned. “He confirmed an excellent angle.”

“Leo and ‘Ney’ weren’t there, however that is no excuse.”

Lens took the lead after 5 minutes when PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma blocked Masadio Haidara’s effort previous Przemislav Frankovski, who scored.

Hugo Ekitike responded three minutes later, swinging laborious as Brice Samba dived to gather a cross and push the ball via the fingers of the Lens keeper.

“vacation weekend”

The French league often takes a break through the vacation season, however after the World Cup, it performed one spherical simply after Christmas and one other on Sunday and Monday.

They’ve referred to as the video games “Celebration Week” in English as a nod to the English custom of Boxing Day video games, however many followers are suspicious or hostile.

Among the many protest banners, followers lined the near-empty stand in Nantes, the place the hosts beat Auxerre 1-0, complained that the league and broadcasters had been “killing” them.

In Monaco, Alexander Golovin scored the one objective from outdoors the penalty space because the hosts did sufficient to beat Brest 1-0 and transfer into fourth place.

Angers stay mired in a ninth successive defeat, falling 2-1 at Lorient to snap their very own six-game winless streak.

Hosts Morocco’s World Cup stars Sofiane Boufal and Azedine Ounahi, who’ve simply returned from vacation and are rumored to have promised profitable transfers, had been honored earlier than the match however didn’t characteristic.

“I used to be completely satisfied to see Sofia and Azedine,” Angers coach Abdel Bouhazama mentioned. “They’re right here for the time being. I depart the remaining to the membership administrators. I care what occurs on the pitch.”

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