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HomeLigue 1Late redemption for Kolo Muani: PSG ready for the Champions League even...

Late redemption for Kolo Muani: PSG ready for the Champions League even without Mbappé

Paris Saint-Germain passed their dress rehearsal for the Champions League match against Real Sociedad: In their 3-1 win over Lille, the home side also benefited from a very bitter day’s work from defender Alexsandro

PSG are marching towards the French championship with their eighth win from the last nine competitive games. The 3-1 win over Lille, in which superstar Mbappé was rested for the full distance and was allowed to watch from the bench, was only really a problem at the start.

Lucas Beraldo, who only arrived from Brazil in the winter, lost a direct duel with Tiago Santos on his side after just six minutes, and Fabian laid the ball at the feet of Yazici in the center – the Turkish international thanked him with the surprising 1:0. The home side’s quick response came from a Lille professional who had a day to forget: Alexsandro went into a dribble in his own penalty area and lost it, Dembelé laid it off to Goncalo Ramos, who only had to slide it in to equalize (10′).

Shortly afterwards, Fabian crossed rather half-heartedly into the center from a half-right position, where the same Alexsandro struck the ball with his left foot – the ball bounced off his right heel into the far corner (17′). PSG had completely turned the game around within seven minutes without shining too brightly. Seconds before the break, Asensio had a great chance to make it 3:1, but the Spaniard failed to beat keeper Chevalier (45.+3).

Asensio fails again – Barcola turns up the heat

After the break, Asensio should have made it 3:1, but failed again with a far too hasty finish against Lille’s keeper (51′). Luis Enrique then provided the right impetus and brought on an invigorating factor in the shape of Barcola. The 21-year-old Frenchman turned on the heat and set up Kolo Muani in the 73rd minute, but the hapless attacker shot past Chevalier on the run.

A short time later, however, Barcola himself provided redemption for the former Frankfurt man: the youngster dribbled his way to the baseline on the left, from where he served Kolo Muani the ball on a silver platter – and this time the 25-year-old World Cup runner-up made the most of his chance (80′). Shortly afterwards, Barcola almost scored himself, but Chevalier was on the alert in the near corner (85′).

Ex-Leipzig man Mukiele made a save deep into stoppage time to prevent the visitors from adding to their tally and PSG held on for a deserved 3-1 home win, which takes their tally to 50 points after 21 games. The French championship seems to be out of reach for the capital club

The first leg of the Champions League round of 16 awaits on Wednesday against Real Sociedad, who have not won any of their last four league games. There will be no way around Mbappé in the starting eleven.

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