PSG 4-3 Lille: Player ratings as late Mbappe & Messi goals end embarrassing run
Paris Saint-Germain were only minutes away from suffering a fourth consecutive defeat in all competitions against Lille on Sunday, until late goals from Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi spared the blushes for the reigning champions after initially throwing away a 2-0 first half lead.
Mbappe and Neymar had put PSG two ahead early on, but three deserved Lille goals from Bafode Diakite, Jonathan David, Jonathan Bamba had the 2021 champions on the cusp of a famous win. But Mbappe equalised towards the end, before a Messi free-kick won it in stoppage time.
Aside from an early opportunity from Lionel Messi that was well saved by Lucas Chevalier, Lille actually had the better of the first half chances despite conceding twice early.
From the very first minute, Gianluigi Donnarumma had to be alert, saving with his legs with less than 60 seconds on the clock from a deflected Timothy Weah strike. That wasn’t the only time the Italian goalkeeper was in action in the opening exchanges, soon tipping over from David after a weak head from Presnel Kimpembe and then a near post save to deny David again.
The first two of those saves came at 0-0, highlighting PSG’s fragility at the back.
The hosts had individual brilliance to thank for being ahead after only nine minutes as Mbappe managed to squirm through on the left, nutmegging Tiago Djalo and firing past Chevalier.
There was a mix of skill and fortune about PSG’s second not long after, with Messi’s genius dummy run making the space on the right side of the box. Chevalier successfully closed down Vitinha, only for the ball to pop up fortuitously to Neymar for an easy finish.
Lille refused to back down and it was 2-1 midway through the half when right-back Diakite got to Andre Gomes’ in-swinging cross from the left and headed beyond Donnarumma. The visitors even wanted a penalty when where was a coming together between Nuno Mendes and David, with a VAR check eventually agreeing with referee Willy Delajod that Mendes got the ball first.
A flurry of further Lille chances just prior to half-time could have got them level, with Remy Cabella’s disappointing drive into the side-netting the pick of them.
While PSG were struggling to even get their superstar front three involved, Lille made just as bright a start to the second half as they had finished the first and brought it back to 2-2 from the penalty spot just prior to the hour mark. To say it was deserved would be an understatement given the flow of the game, although it was a soft decision after Marco Verratti slightly tugged at the shirt of Djalo.
Despite PSG protests, especially from coach Christophe Galtier, David stayed cool to convert.
The third Lille goal was also coming. Marco Verratti was crowded out in midfield and then one long pass into Bamba’s path on the right eliminated the entire defence. The winger then fired past Donnarumma high at the near post.
PSG looked like they had run out of steam when only tame near post effort from Juan Bernat and Mbappe tested Chevalier. But Galtier’s side somehow raised the intensity in the closing stages, with Bernat heavily involved on the left for the 87th minute equaliser, playing it into Mbappe’s path in the middle. The finish was clinical for a player who had been too much on the fringes.
Speaking of the fringes. That was where Messi had been since the early stages, having little to no impact on the game. But as he so often does, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner popped up when it mattered most, sending a last ditch free-kick in off the post to win it for PSG.
PSG player ratings (4-3-1-2)
GK: Gianluigi Donnarumma - 6/10 - A number of saves in the first half initially kept Lille at bay and then initially preserved his team's lead. Stood little chance with the goals that flew past him.
RB: Timothee Pembele - 5/10 - Stood in for the unavailable Achraf Hakimi but it was a tough afternoon for the youngster.
CB: Sergio Ramos - 5/10 - Not a high bar set by his centre-back partner to look more impressive.
CB: Presnel Kimpembe (c) - 4/10 - Not convincing at all, as shown by a poor back header that didn'r reach Donnaruma in the early stages.
LB: Nuno Mendes - 6/10 - His afternoon lasted just 31 minutes because of injury, but his last act was a vital toe to prevent a potential Lille equaliser.
CM: Vitinha - 5/10 - Had a decent start to the game before fading and being overrun.
CM: Marco Verratti - 4/10 - Lost the ball in a bad area as Lille scored their third. Also didn't have enough link up with the attackers in front of him.
CM: Fabian Ruiz - 5/10 - Didn't exactly do a lot for how much of the ball he had.
AM: Neymar - 7/10 - Had an influential 51 minutes on the pitch before an ankle injury ended his afternoon prematurely. Registered an assiste before scoring one of his own, but still didn't actually see that much of the ball because of how well Lille played.
ST: Lionel Messi - 7/10 - Made the second goal possible without even touching the ball. Had an earlier chance saved by Chevalier but was often on the periphery of the game and yet still popped up in stoppage time to win it.
ST: Kylian Mbappe - 7/10 - Scored the first goal all himself with some magical skill. Looked dangerous with the ball but didn't see enough of it until PSG upped the intensity later on. Composed when it mattered to equalise at 3-3.
SUB: Juan Bernat (31' for Mendes) - 7/10
SUB: Hugo Ekitike (51' for Neymar) - 6/10
SUB: Danilo Pereira (75' for Ruiz) - 6/10
SUB: Warren Zaire-Emery (75' for Vitinha) - 6/10
SUB: Carlos Soler (75' for Pembele) - 5/10
Christophe Galtier - 5/10 - Pressure is mounting. His team lacked belief and energy and were arguably second best even at 2-0 ahead. Made a triple change when Lille scored their third.
Lille player ratings (4-2-3-1)
GK: Chevalier (7); RB: Diakite (7), CB: Fonte (n/a), CB: Djalo (6), LB: Weah (7); CM: Andre (), CM: Andre Gomes (7); RM: Bamba (8), AM: Angel Gomes (6), LM: Cabella (7); ST: David (8)
Subs: Yoro (6), Gudmundsson (6), Baleba (n/a), Virginius (n/a)
Manager: Paulo Fonseca (8)