Mauro Icardi came off the bench to score the winner in the dying stages as Paris Saint-Germain continued their 100 per cent record in Ligue 1 with a 2-1 triumph over Lyon.
PSG's deadly trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe had a point to prove after an insipid showing in the 1-1 draw at Club Bruges on Wednesday - but despite a promising opening 45 minutes, it looked like their frustrations would continue.
However, there were glimpses of Messi's magic, with the 34-year-old released through on goal following a give-and-go with Neymar only to be repelled by Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes. Moments later, only the crossbar would deny him a memorable first goal from a splendid free-kick 30 yards out.
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And nine minutes after the restart, Mauricio Pochettino's team were stunned. Karl Toko Ekambi was allowed too much space on the left flank, and he duly made them pay, bending a cross into the feet of Lucas Paqueta, who finished with aplomb.
But their lead lasted just 12 minutes as Neymar levelled from the penalty spot after winning the foul from 18-year-old Malo Gusto.
Messi, who was much more subdued after the restart, did not look happy when he was replaced in the 76th-minute as Pochettino freshened up his attack.
His bravery paid dividends as three minutes into stoppage-time Icardi, who came on for Angel Di Maria, popped up with the winner, heading home from Mbappe's sublime cross to send the home supporters wild.
The result keeps PSG perfect with six wins from six, five points clear of their closest rivals Marseille, who beat Stade Rennais 2-0 courtesy of strikes from Amine Harit and Bamba Dieng.

TALKING POINT - Icardi steals Messi's thunder

This was supposed to be Lionel Messi's big night - but the headlines belong to the super-sub that is Mauro Icardi.
In truth, few would have envisaged the Argentine's home debut ending in disappointment with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining, with the 34-year-old evidently unhappy to see his number go up. Ultimately, however, it proved the right call from brave Pochettino as PSG's fresh attack finally wore down a young but tiring Lyon defence.
On reflection, Messi will look back on a productive night in which he was able to get 76 more minutes in the bank, whilst showing that the relationship with Neymar and Mbappe is clearly developing.

Leo Messi of Paris Saint-Germain looks on during the Ligue 1 Uber Eats match between Paris Saint Germain and Lyon at Parc des Princes on September 19, 2021 in Paris, France.

Image credit: Getty Images

MAN OF THE MATCH - Ander Herrera (PSG)

The 32-year-old is arguably in the form of his career. Fresh from scoring three goals in the 4-0 win over Clermont and the 1-1 draw with Club Bruges, Herrera was instrumental in the middle of the park tonight even if he didn't get on the scoresheet. Linking play with accurate passing, pressing intensely and generally excelling in his role, he was PSG's best player.

PLAYER RATINGS

PSG: Donnarumma 5, Kimpembe 6, Marquinhos 6, Kehrer 4, Mendes 5, Herrera 8*, Gueye 6, Neymar 8, Di Maria 7, Messi 7, Mbappe 7.. subs: Hakimi 5, Wijnaldum N/A, Icardi N/A.
Lyon: Lopes 7, Emerson 6, Denayer 6, Gusto 5, Boateng 6, Paqueta 8, Caqueret 7, Shaqiri 6, Bruno Guimaraes 6, Toko Ekambi 8, Slimani 5.. subs: Diomande 5, Keita N/A, Cherki 5.

KEY MOMENTS

33' - Messi should score! The Argentine drops deep into midfield and sprays it wide to Neymar, who moves in-field. Anticipating the run of the advancing Messi, he backheels the ball to his team mate to create a clear opening, but the 34-year-old is repelled by Lopes!
37' - Messi hits the crossbar! The Argentine is on free-kick duties tonight it seems... And oh, that is so close! He gets it up and over the wall, it looks destined for the top corner - Lopes is beaten... but it just doesn't dip enough as it strikes the woodwork!
54' - GOAL! Paris Saint-Germain 0-1 Lyon (Lucas Paqueta): Ekambi controls a diagonal ball, standing off, Kehrer allows him all the time in the world and the Lyon wideman bends a delightful cross into the feet of Paqueta, who makes no mistake with his finish. PSG are stunned!
66' - GOAL! Paris Saint-German 1-1 Lyon (Neymar, pen): The Brazilian steps up to take the penalty he won, and after waiting for the goalkeeper to commit, he rolls it into the opposite corner.
90'+3 - GOAL! Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 Lyon (Mauro Icardi): Icardi, the super-sub, wins it right at the death for PSG! Mbappe gets one-on-one with his marker on the flank and he picks out Icardi with a sublime cross. He does the rest, cushioning his header into the bottom corner to break Lyon hearts.

KEY STAT

  • Kylian Mbappe has been involved in 150 goals in Ligue 1 since his first appearance in December 2015 (111 goals, 39 assists), at least 35 more than any other player over the period.
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