Mbappé is Closed by Lance! PSG Winners, Losers and Votes, How the Leaders Lose Without Neymar and Messi

Kylian Mbappé remained silent as second-placed Lens beat PSG 3-1 to extend the lead of Ligue 1 holders at the table to four points.

Heading into the goal from the penalty area from 18 yards, surrounded by three defenders, Kylian Mbappé tried to play spectacularly.

He turned to the left, turning one way before trying to turn the other. But throughout his rotation, he simply lost the ball, a flurry of opponent defenders scrambled to win him back. The PSG striker stormed off in desperation, while Lens returned the ball.

It was one of many aggravating moments for Mbappé, who was stopped by an insistent rival. With Lionel Messi still out of the squad and Neymar suspended, PSG needed a star striker. But the Ligue 1 leaders never got into the game, while Lens was devastating at half-time, picking up a 3-1 victory to cut Les Parisiens’ lead in the table to four points.

Lens opened the scoring just five minutes later when Przemysław Frankowski struck from close range. But soon after, PSG fought back with Hugo Ekitike picking up a loose ball before completing a strike from a tight angle. Star player Lois Openda made it 2-1 for the home side 20 minutes later, beating two defenders and dunking the ball under Donnarumma to complete a soft counter-attack.

Lens continued to build their second-half lead and found a third shortly after the break. Massadio Haidara blocked Fabian before a PSG free kick and then filed away for Openda, who set the ball in Alexis Claude’s path for an easy finish. PSG manager Christophe Galtier fought back with a string of substitutions but saw his replacements offer him no support due to a thin bench. And Mbappe never got into the game, leaving PSG with no options when they suffered a crushing away defeat.


Lois Open from:

Ironically, the famed forward was not wearing a PSG shirt on Sunday night. Open terrifies the host rearguard, running from behind and exploiting the space left between Ramos and Mukiele. He only touched the ball 24 times, but he made one pass and scored a wonderful goal, his eighth of the season.

There were no real secrets about how Open would work, but PSG never had an answer. Their back four moved forward but played too wide so the Open had room throughout the evening. Sure, it was a little strange to see PSG lose with such a predictable formula, but there was a real beauty in the simplicity of Openda’s game.

Hugo Ekitike

Ekitike rejected Newcastle’s interest in signing for Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, causing many surprises. Why would a young player sit on the bench behind one of the top three highest-rated players in the sport? On Sunday night, he revealed what he may have learned since he joined the club.

Ekitike entered the scoresheet with a rather controversial finish and entered the penalty area regularly. He still doesn’t have a clear understanding with Mbappé, but by now he has established himself as a clear substitute in the event of the unavailability of one or more members of the trio. Most likely, there will be several more goals ahead.

League 1 title race:

There should have been no such thing as a Ligue 1 title race ahead of the season. PSG are too good. All others are too average. And it may not be. This is far from PSG’s best team, missing at least three key players.

But it was also a chance for Lens to revive the situation, with the second-placed team able to reduce PSG’s lead to four points. And they did just that. PSG will probably be too good (it’s very hard to imagine them losing another match). But if Lance keeps winning, things can get interesting.


Sergio Ramos:

Ramos’ performance can be summed up in one tackle. The center-back, on the wrong side of Luis Openda, dived in front of the striker in a desperate attempt to cut the pass into the field. But when Ramos slipped, his foot sank into the turf and the ball went over three feet. And Ramos could only watch the Open score.

He lived through a hot evening tormented by one of the league’s best hitters. After a six-week break, there was hope that the 36-year-old could get back in shape. However, he has struggled since the World Championship break and no longer has the extra pace to make up for his poor position. Ramos may still be a quality center in his day, but he continues to perform like that and could be in line next to Cristiano Ronaldo in Saudi Arabia.

Fabian Ruiz:

It’s hard to say exactly what Fabian Ruiz will bring to the PSG midfield. Making his second start in a row, the Spaniard struggled to gain a foothold in the game. With Neymar suspended and Messi still out of the squad, Fabian needed to add some attacking drive to the team. But he was largely ineffective and failed to connect consistently with PSG’s attacking duo: he completed only two passes in the final third. He also offered little defense and often left Nordi Mukiele alone against two Lance players on PSG’s right flank.

Kylian Mbappe:

What a disappointing evening for the French. PSG made no secret of their plan for Sunday night’s game, as it was clear from the beginning that they would try to rely on Mbappe. Accordingly, the goal was decided and effectively put the fielder out of the game. There were some fleeting cool moments: hitting from tight corners and spinning in tight spaces. But there was no clear chance, and after the final whistle, he looked upset. It’s safe to say that Mbappe lacks attacking opponents.

While you were sleeping: PSG lose 3-1 to Lance, Aston Villa doubled Tottenham and Chelsea lose points to Nottingham.

Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr are expected to return to training with the French champions earlier this week.

Starting without Neymar and Messi in their first Ligue 1 match of the new calendar year, Paris Saint-Germain recorded their first loss, an aggregate loss to Lens, when they lost 3-1 at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis.

Przemysław Frankowski opened the score for Lens in the fifth minute of the game. But he was quickly destroyed by Hugo Ekitike, who took the lead with Kylian Mbappe for PSG in a 4-3-2-1 formation. The game was tied until the 28th minute when Lois Openda again gave the home team the lead before Alexis Claude Maurice eventually closed the game two minutes into the second half.

After the loss, the Lens closed the lead on the major league team by four points in 17 games. It was the first defeat of the season for the Ligue 1 champions, who also drew two games.

Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr are expected to return to training with the French champions earlier this week.

Tottenham Hotspur doubled off Aston Villa

Facing Aston Villa for only the second time in his managerial career, Antonio Conte was defeated as the visitors scored two goals to beat the north London club on New Year’s Day in the English Premier League.

Goals from Emi Buendia and Douglas Luiz in the 50th and 73rd minutes were more than enough for Villa, who are now 12th in the table with 21 points after 17 games. On the other hand, Spurs (30) missed the opportunity to eclipse Manchester United (32) for a place in the top four.

They will play Crystal Palace away in the league on Thursday 5 January, while Villa take on Wolverhampton Wolves at the same time.

Chelsea lost points against Nottingham

Despite Chelsea taking the lead in the 16th minute thanks to a goal from Raheem Sterling, Chelsea dropped relegation points to Nottingham Forest.

The hosts parried a goal from Serge Aurier in the 63rd minute to keep Chelsea (25) close to Liverpool (28) in sixth place in the table.

Neither Messi nor Neymar: PSG suffered their first defeat of the season

PSG’s last defeat was over nine months ago, when they lost 3-0 to Monaco in Ligue 1, though this still left them 12 points clear in the table.

Paris Saint-Germain, without World Cup winners Lionel Messi and Neymar, have lost for the first time in competition since last March 20, when they were defeated 3-1 in Lens on Sunday.

“Lens deserved the win,” said PSG coach Christophe Galtier.

Lois Openda scored one goal and made another while Lance, who has lost just once in Ligue 1 this season, closed the gap to PSG to four points after 17 rounds.

“We’re happy to be four points behind,” said Lance’s coach Frank Hayes. “This victory shows that we can beat anyone in this league.”

PSG’s last defeat was over nine months ago, when they lost 3-0 to Monaco in Ligue 1, though this still left them 12 points clear in the table.

At Lens on Sunday, PSG was left without Messi and suspended Brazil’s Neymar, but Qatar’s Golden Boot winner Kylian Mbappe received an enthusiastic welcome from Lance’s fans in the warm-up.

Galtier said he hopes French fans give Messi the same welcome.

“He will join us on January 3, in 48 hours,” said Galtier. “We hope Leo is well received. He won the most beautiful trophy, being very good. We know he is an outstanding and motivated player, so we hope he is well received.”

“Kilian worked,” Galtier said. “He showed a very good attitude.”

“Leo and Ney weren’t there, but that’s no excuse.”

Five minutes later, Lance took the lead when PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma blocked Massadio Haidara’s shot, which was scored by Przemysław Frankowski.

Hugo Ekitike responded three minutes later with a great strike as Bryce Samba dived in, caught a cross and sent the ball through Lance’s hold.

Lance took control after 28 minutes. Seko Fofana took possession on the edge of his penalty area, overcame a couple of problems, and then completed the transfer between PSG center-backs at Open. The Belgians escape and hit Donnarumma.

Lance pressed from the beginning of the second half and in the 48th minute took possession of the ball deep in the PSG half.

The ball reached Openda in the box, his heel left the defenders unprepared and allowed Alexis Claude Maurice to make a touch and score from close range.

“Holiday Week”

The French league usually goes on holiday, but with games to catch up after the World Cup, they played one round just after Christmas and another on Sundays and Mondays.

They called the games “Celebration Week” in English, in reference to the English tradition of Boxing Day games, but are viewed with suspicion or hostility by many fans.

Among the protest posters unfurled by fans in the nearly empty stands in Nantes, where the hosts beat Auxerre 1-0, was one complaining that the league and broadcasters were “killing” them.

In Munich, Aleksander Golovin scored the only goal from outside the penalty area, and the hosts did just enough to beat Brest 1-0 and cement their position in fourth place.

Fits of anger remains anchored after suffering a ninth consecutive loss, losing 2-1 away to Lorient, who ended their six-match unbeaten streak.

Sofiane Boufal and Azzedine Sinai, who had just returned from vacation and were promised lucrative transfers, were honored before the game but did not show up. “I was happy to see Sofiane and Azzedine,” said Angers coach Abdel Buhazama. “At the moment they are there. Otherwise, I leave it to the club managers. I care about what happens on the pitch.”

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