Paris Saint-Germain are now 17 points clear at the top of Ligue 1 following a resounding 5-1 victory over last season’s title rivals Olympique Lyonnais. Goals from Serge Aurier, Edinson Cavani, Lucas Moura and a Zlatan Ibrahimovic brace put Hubert Fournier’s men to the sword, despite Kevin Trapp gifting them a lifeline in the first-half.
It was not as if Les Parisiens were playing to their maximum capabilities. Lyon, who were without Alexandre Lacazette, were playing a high line defensively that we were just taking advantage of. There were many examples of us playing standard balls over the top and finding space which the men in white failed to combat.
The opener came thanks to defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa putting it on a plate for Zlatan in the 11th minute. The Frenchman tried to divert the ball away with his head but ended up putting it into the path of the big man and he subsequently did the rest.
It was 2-0 six minutes later. Angel di Maria – who was man of the match – was having a ball. The Argentine’s passing in that first-half was exceptional and it was cutting Lyon to pieces at times. His delivery from a freekick was placed delightfully on the head of Aurier to nod past Anthony Lopes.
We were cruising at this point but Lyon’s first shot on goal resulted in a calamity from Trapp. Jordan Ferri’s shot from distance should have been a routine save for the German but he ended up palming it over his head and into the net. This did not sit well with the Paris faithful who for the remainder of the game gave ironic cheers every time he caught or kicked the ball.
That spurred the visitors on. You could sense there was renewed belief but we coped with the situation by getting to the break with the lead intact. We were so comfortable for the first quarter and the error from Trapp was an unwelcome one.
After the interval we continued to control the game. Les Gones very rarely threatened most of the game and the absentees certainly hindered them. Lacazette being ruled out was a blow.
Cavani ensured all three points with a clever finish thanks to yet another assist from Di Maria. Ibra made it 4-1 from the spot before Lucas made it five in stoppage time after coming on a substitute. That man Di Maria again with the assist, his third on the night.
Little Marco Verratti made his long awaited return in the 70th minute, coming on in place of Adrien Rabiot. The Frenchman though was greeted by jeers from the fans, presumably for his comments last week about seeking a move on loan in January.
All in all, a fantastic result for the football club. Blanc was delighted with what he saw, bar a minor blip in the first-half. As quoted by the club’s official site he said; “We played very well. The only negative was our last 20 minutes of the first half, when we played more individually than as a team. Fortunately the players rectified things in the second half. Well done to them!”