Without Neymar or Mbappé, Messi guides Paris

Paris, long muzzled, has not solved all its problems and all its inaccuracies, but this success signed Messi will do good for Christophe Galtier's team: PSG consolidates its first place in L1 (54 pts) before the classic against Marseille on Wednesday in the Coupe de France, but above all ten days before the European clash against Bayern Munich.

In the absence of Mbappé (thigh), absent until the end of February, and without Neymar (adductor discomfort) or Marco Verratti (suspended), Paris struggled to tame Toulouse, which led to the Parc des Princes after a nice free kick from Branco van den Boomen (20th).

Parisian defender Achraf Hakimi strikes and equalizes against Toulouse, February 4, 2023 at the Parc des Princes © FRANCK FIFE / AFP

But a clear left strike from Achraf Hakimi (38th) brought Paris up to par, before Messi, offset by Hakimi, gave PSG the advantage of his "special", this shot close to the post from the entrance. from the surface (58th).

The seven-time Ballon d'Or also found twice the amounts.

"Lionel Messi has taken the leadership of this team," said Galtier after the match.

"He was a very important locomotive."

The only downside, the Parisians again suffered an injury, that of Portuguese midfielder Renato Sanches, and they only owed their salvation to several saves from goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma...

Toulouse midfielder Branco van den Boomen opens the scoring with a free kick against PSG on February 4, 2023 at the Parc des Princes © Alain JOCARD / AFP

At least they ensured the essential, the victory, before a tough series of matches: Marseille in the Cup, Monaco in L1, Bayern in C1, then Lille and again OM in L1.

Lille ends Rennes' invincibility at home

After ten consecutive victories at home in L1, Stade Rennes ended up falling at home: Bruno Genesio's team saw their series come to an end after a thrilling match against Lille (3-1), another contender for European places.

At Roazhon Park, Losc thought they were taking the tide after an early goal from Amine Gouiri scored 27 seconds into the game.

Lille's Edon Zhegrova (d) equalizes in Rennes, February 4, 2023 © JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER / AFP

But Lille reacted: Edon Zhegrova ended up equalizing after a delicious heel from Angel Gomes (59th), before being a decisive passer for Rémy Cabella (85th) then André Gomes, who closed the score with class (90th + 3 ).

This defeat does not suit Rennes (5th, 40 pts) which stagnates behind Monaco (4th, 41 pts), opposed to Clermont on Sunday at midday, and misses the opportunity to return to Marseille (2nd, 46 pts). ) and Lens (3rd, 45 pts), competing respectively against Nice and Brest on Sunday evening.

Lille (6th, 38 pts), for its part, is nibbling away behind the Bretons.

Lyon's youth breathe new life into OL

Capable of the best as well as the worst this season, Lyon regained some momentum by winning at Troyes thanks in particular to Bradley Barcola (20) and Rayan Cherki (19).

Three days after their sad draw against Brest (0-0), Laurent Blanc's team scored before the break by Barcola, for their very first goal in L1 (43rd).

Then Cherki drove the point home after a solitary breakthrough (59th).

The Lyonnais Rayan Cherki (g) in the fight with the Trojan Lucien Agoume, February 4, 2023 at the Aube stadium © JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP

The reduction in the score of Rony Lopes (62nd) nevertheless brought doubt to the minds of Lyon, before the issue, a clear strike from Alexandre Lacazette in the skylight (90th + 3).

"The young people are there to help the team", savored Lacazette at the microphone of Amazon Prime Video.

"We have to chain matches, victories, and then we can say that we are treated. But we are too irregular at the moment."

This success allows OL (8th, 32 pts) to temporarily return to the first part of the classification, while Troyes (16th, 19 pts) remains in difficulty.

© 2023 AFP