Lyon vs. PSG result: Early Lionel Messi goal somehow all Parisians need to reclaim top Ligue 1 spot

PSG moved back in possession of first-place in Ligue 1, but it took an absolute war to get there as they hung on for a 1-0 victory over Lyon, with Lionel Messi’s sixth-minute opener the game’s only goal.

It’s baffling how the game ended just 1-0, with both sides having numerous chances on the opposition goal. Alexandre Lacazette had the best chance for the hosts to equalise, missing a wide-open header in the first half that he should have deposited in the back of the net.

PSG also had a number of opportunities to add to their lead, but Anthony Lopes stood tall to deny Messi a second, while Neymar and Kylian Mbappe were also turned away. Thiago Mendes was also stellar for Lyon, producing a number of goal-denying blocks and tackles throughout the second half.

The final result proves that PSG can battle with the best that Ligue 1 has to offer, and a result of this kind is a boost to Christophe Galtier as he fights not just Europe’s best clubs but also the internal strife and head-butting that has so often brought PSG down in the past. 

There was one downside to the victory, however, as PSG lost midfield maestro Marco Verratti to a second-half injury. It appeared to be his knee he was favouring around the hour mark, and the Parisians will be sweating on his health as they have very little midfield depth.

MORE: How PSG came from behind to beat Maccabi Haifa

The Sporting News will be following the match live and providing score updates, commentary and highlights as they happen.

Lyon vs. PSG final score

  1H 2H Final
Lyon 0 0 0
PSG 1 0 1

6th min — PSG — Lionel Messi

Lyon vs. PSG post-match analysis

PSG show ability to shove adversity aside in gritty battle

On another day, the visitors at Groupama Stadium would have collapsed under the pressure and adversity.

Anthony Lopes was a monster in the Lyon goal, and the combo of Messi, Mbappe, and Neymar were struggling to get by him and the monstrous Thiago Mendes. Add in the Verratti injury, and it was a recipe for a typical PSG collapse.

Instead, PSG held firm, showing a grit and toughness that they’ve not necessarily always displayed the past few years. It’s a good sign that PSG could boast an additional toughness in Champions League play, where they’ve typically crumbled under the slightest sign of adversity in the past.

Verratti injury a major worry for Galtier and PSG

Marco Verratti, at 29, remains one of the five best midfielders in the world. The Italian has proven time and again this young season that he remains in his prime, today delivering 88 of 92 passes successfully plus a completed tackle and a successful dribble in an hour of work.

Unfortunately, he was a gimpy mess by his withdrawal in the 64th minute, holding his knee and unable to continue. With the departure of Leandro Paredes on loan to Juventus in the summer transfer window, that leaves just Vitinha and Fabian Ruiz left as top-class No. 8 midfielders on the PSG roster. Carlos Soler is with the squad on loan from Valencia but expecting him to replace the Italian is a major ask, while Renato Sanches is hurt and Warren Zaire-Emery is just 16 years old.

The loss of Verratti could be a major problem for Galtier as he pushes forward into the heart of the Champions League schedule. It would be a worry for Italy too just weeks before the start of the World Cup, but, you know…

Lyon vs. PSG live updates, highlights, commentary


It’s utterly mind-blowing that this game has ended at 1-0. Lionel Messi’s early opener somehow holds up the entirety of the match, despite both teams peppering the opposition goal.

Interestingly, the expected goals back up the final scoreline somewhat, as it ends 0.99 for Lyon and 1.09 for PSG. The hosts probably should have found the back of the net, but it also felt like Anthony Lopes did well to deny the visitors another. For a game with 27 total shots between the two teams, a final scoreline featuring one lone goal is stunning. Credit PSG for their grit in seeing this one out!

90+1 min: With four minutes of added time coming, Vitinha earns a dangerous set-piece opportunity for PSG as he’s fouled at the top of the box following a fabulously creative pass from Achraf Hakimi. On the delivery…

Chance, PSG! WOW!!! This game!! Messi’s free-kick is a stunner, and it clangs into the corner of the post, or maybe Lopes got a touch on it. Either way, it’s somehow kept out. The ball falls to Sergio Ramos at the goal mouth, and he slams it into the open net with the goalkeeper down, but he’s flagged for offside. HOW is this game still 1-0?!

86nd min: Galtier takes off Neymar for Carlos Soler, who comes on hoping to get the service to kill off the game, and contribute defensively as well.

78th min: Chance, PSG! Lopes denies Messi! Both teams trading blows! Messi goes for a similar effort to his early goal, a low curler inside the left post, but this time the OL goalkeeper is there to make an acrobatic stop.

Moments later, Mendes has to make yet another sliding stop, his third of the match, to stop a Neymar shot. It’s still 1-0, but how, we’ll never know!

77th min: Chance, Lyon! Somehow, the game isn’t level! Donnarumma goes down low to stop a cross, but he can’t handle it. The ball pops up for Toko Ekambi, whose header is denied by Marquinhos leaping into the air for the block. The ball bobbles around in the penalty area, and is eventually cleared. A nervy moment for the hosts! It’s stunning that Messi’s early goal is the only strike of this match.

75th min: Lyon makes a double change, with Tete removed in favor of Rayan Cherki, while Jeff Reine-Adelaide comes on to take the place of Maxence Caqueret. Tete in particular was poor, not involved in any of Lyon’s ventures forward.

72nd min: Chance, PSG! How has Neymar not scored?!?!? The goal is GAPING and somehow he puts his first-time shot in range of Lopes who makes a stunning save, leaping from his spot at the near post. Neymar’s chance came on a cutback from Nuno, who continues to cook down the left. That should have been the game-killer, can Lyon take advantage of the mistake?

69th min: A couple of stunning last-ditch tackles from Thiago Mendes are the only thing standing in the way of a second PSG goal, the most recent of which dispossesses Nuno Mendes on the edge of the penalty area. Then Lopes has to punch away a cross from that flank moments later. It feels that the visitors are beginning to gain the advantage, and a second could be coming…

61st min: Marco Verratti appears to be struggling with an injury. He was swarmed at the top of the Lyon box a few minutes prior, and replays showed he came out of the tussle holding the back of his leg. Instead of collapsing to the ground, he’s gutting it out for a few minutes, and now he goes down once the ball goes out of play.

Galtier used his midfield substitute already, just minutes earlier, so it’s Nordi Mukiele who will come on. We’ll have to see how the formation is situated, but likely Mukiele will go into defense while Danilo pushes forward into midfield. The loss of Verratti is a brutal blow in midfield, especially after the departure of Leandro Paredes.

57th min: The game has gone back and forth early in the second half, but neither side has unlocked the opposition defense since the Messi chance. PSG will make a chance, with Fabian Ruiz replaced by Vitinha. It’s a like-for-like change, with Galtier hoping to inject energy and fresh legs into the visiting midfield.

47th min: Chance, PSG! Just after the restart, PSG are into the attack down the left, and it’s cleared off the line! Messi sends the goalkeeper to ground with a fake shot, then looks to chip into the net, but there is 19-year-old Castello Lukeba to head the ball away right on the goal line! What a start to the half!

And what a move by Messi to send the goalkeeper and a defender to the ground with his fake. He’s only foiled by the young defender on the goal line.

46th min: Back under way for the second half. Hosts make a change, with former Bayern Munich midfielder Corentin Tolisso withdrawn in favor for Johann Lepenant. It’s a surprising move, as Tolisso was solid in the first half, helping Lyon present a stiff test to the PSG midfield as the half drew on. Maybe an injury?


The visitors got off to a perfect start, with Lionel Messi delivering a sixth-minute opener, but it was a war after that.

Lyon had a great spell of attacking possession around the half-hour mark, and were unlucky to come away empty-handed. Lacazette was bright up front, but missed his best opportunity. We’re in store for an intriguing second-half in a game where the next goal will be pivotal.

39th min: Marco Verratti earns his customary yellow card after he scythes down Malo Gusto. It’s a clear yellow, but the Italian is furious that a foul wasn’t called on a tackle of Neymar moments earlier. Verratti’s hack appeared to be a bit of retaliation.

32nd min: Chance, PSG! Oh how lucky Lopes is that Mbappe’s shot hasn’t trickled in! The Frenchman got a very tight-angle shot — from nearly the same spot as Messi earlier in the half — and he looks to nutmeg the goalkeeper. Lopes barely keeps the effort out, making a kick save off his left heel that just barely trickles past the near post over the end line, inches from deflecting into the back of the net.

The chance comes after a stunning bit of skill from Mbappe to keep possession, which has the crowd up in applause.

Watch in the USA:

30th min: Chance, Lyon! The home side is starting to pepper the PSG shot, growing into the match quickly. Lacazette puts both Verratti and Ramos in a spin cycle. Donnarumma forced to make a low save again. PSG will need to clean things up to maintain their lead.

27th min: An outlandish pass from Messi unlocks the Lyon defense again, but Lacazette comes back to make a vital challenge and end the PSG chance at the critical moment.

22nd min: Chance, Lyon! How has Lacazette missed that?? The Frenchman got by Nuno at the far post to meet a cross, and his header had plenty of room to sneak past Donnarumma, but instead he pokes it wide of the post. It’s a gut-wrenching miss as Lyon won’t figure to get many chances like that.

Moments later, Donnarumma is required to make a tight-angle save off a Toko Ekambi shot at the other end of his net, with Lyon maybe starting to build in confidence moving forward. Should have come away with an equalizer.

20th min: Lyon in the attack after a PSG turnover, but Dembele rushes a volley and rifles it well over the goal. Lyon look disjointed save for a few good tackles in midfield. They’re struggling with the onslaught of PSG possession.

14th min: PSG are beginning to dominate the match in larger spurts, and Kyilan Mbappe feeds Messi for a chance at the near post, but it’s at a very tight angle along the end line, and Lopes makes the point-blank save.

8th min: Lyon’s first venture into the PSG penalty area sees Tete chasing a through ball, but Danilo is on hand to clear before the Brazilian can reach it. Moments later, both Hakimi and Verratti are fouled in midfield.

6th min: GOAL! PSG! Just as we say the match had started slow — and it had — PSG go in front with the game’s very first attack. It’s a brilliant one-two between Messi and Neymar at the top of the penalty area, and it’s Lionel Messi to finish it off with a low curler the ball past Lopes, the first shot of the match. Kylian Mbappe contributed too, involved in the attack off the ball, pulling defenders his way.

Lyon behind at home after just barely getting their legs under them in the match.

Watch in the USA:

4th min: Neymar is fouled in midfield. Both teams have possessed the ball so far, but neither has threatened the opposition attacking third. A very slow start to the match.

1st min: We’re under way in Lyon! PSG with their toughest Ligue 1 test thus far, with the three-headed attacking monster in spectacular form. On the other side, Alexandre Lacazette is also in great form, back in his home country.

Pre-Match: Olympique Lyonnais vs. PSG (kickoff at 8:45pm local CEST)

25 mins to kick: All three of the PSG attacking monster are in great form, but it’s Neymar who has started this season head & shoulders above the rest. The Brazilian has already collected eight goals and six assists in league play alone through the first seven matches, plus another three goals and one assist in Cup competition.

45 mins to kick: PSG have lost just once to Lyon in their last eight meetings across all competitions, a 1-0 defeat at Parc des Princes in December of 2020 that saw Kylian Mbappe come off the bench to play 25 minutes. Otherwise, PSG have collected six wins and two draws, with one of those draws ending in a trophy as PSG won the 2020 Coupe de France final on penalties after a 0-0 full-time result.

51 mins to kick: The lineups are in after a bit of a delay to normal proceedings. The PSG lineup is nearly as expected, with Danilo replacing the injured Kimpembe in defense, just as he did midweek in the Champions League. The one surprise is Fabian Ruiz in midfield, replacing Vitinha.

For Lyon, it’s a very attacking lineup as Peter Bosz goes with Dembele, Lacazette, Toko Ekambi, and Tete all in the lineup, suggesting a 4-4-2 with a pair of deep-lying playmakers running the show. It’s risky, as they could get overwhelmed in midfield.

84 mins to kick: PSG midfielder Vitinha has the immense privilege of playing with Lionel Messi at the club level and Cristiano Ronaldo at the international level. He was asked who he thinks is better, and he smartly avoided the topic, instead praising the two for their individual abilities.

“They have more in common than differences,” he told Portuguese outlet O Jogo on Saturday. “They have their own styles, a huge number of similarities. The desire to always strive for more, regardless of what they have already achieved, is one of them.

“If I had even a fraction of what they have, that would be amazing! The desire to keep scoring, to make assists, to play well, to help the team … That’s what defines them as the best in history, and it’s an honour for me to play at the same time with them.”

120 minutes to kickoff: PSG took some flak after they published a video of their trip to Parc Olympique Lyonnais on Twitter — by plane. The trip is a two-hour train ride, prompting some to criticise the club for their contribution to the global climate crisis. The French minister of transport was one of the individuals to speak out.

This is not the first time PSG have been in the news for their travel habits. Just two weeks prior, manager Christophe Galtier joked that he was going to look into traveling by “sailboat” when prompted to answer for the club’s luxurious travel routine. PSG, who are owned by Qatari royalty and are sponsored by Qatar Airways, make generous use of that sponsorship.

Eventually, the PSG tweet was deleted after receiving significant criticism.

Lyon vs. PSG lineups & team news

Defender Jerome Boateng will miss out due to what Peter Bosz called a muscle issue, while goalkeeper Julian Pollersbeck is a long-term absence after undergoing knee surgery. Midfielder Houssem Aouar, who missed time to start the season with an ankle injury, did not make the cut for the matchday squad.

Lyon starting lineup (4-4-2, right to left): Lopes (GK) — Gusto, Mendes, Lukeba, Tagliafico — Tete, Tolisso, Lepenant, Toko Ekambi — Dembele, Lacazette.

Lyon subs (9): Riou, Da Silva, Diomande, Henrique, Lepenant, Reine-Adelaide, Faivre, Barcola, Cherki.

Although back pain kept second-string goalkeeper Keylor Navas out of the midweek Champions League match at Maccabi Haifa, he’s recovered to be part of the group. But Renato Sanches (right groin) and Presnel Kimpembe (left thigh injury) will not be available.

PSG starting lineup (3-4-3, right to left): Donnarumma (GK) — Ramos, Marquinhos, Danilo — Hakimi, Verratti, Fabian Ruiz, Nuno — Messi, Mbappe, Neymar.

PSG subs (9): Navas (GK), Bernat, Mukiele, Bitshiabu, Vitinha, Zaire-Emery, Sarabia, Soler, Ekitike.

MORE: PSG’s latest triumph in Ligue 1 action

How to watch Lyon vs. PSG

The match from Ligue 1 Matchweek 8 will take place at Lyon’s home field Groupama Stadium at 20:45 local time. Here’s how fans can watch it around the world:

  Date Time TV Channel Streaming
Australia Mon, Sept. 19 04:45 AET  beIN Sports 3 beIN Sports Connect
Canada Sun, Sept. 18 14:45 ET  beIN Sports fuboTV Canada, beIN Connect
Hong Kong Mon, Sept. 19 02:45 HKT  beIN Sports 2 Now Player, M Plus Live,
beIN Sports Connect
India Mon, Sept. 19 00:15 IST  — Voot Select
Malaysia Mon, Sept. 19 02:45 MYT  — beIN Sports Connect
New Zealand Mon, Sept. 19 06:45 NZST  —
Singapore Mon, Sept. 19 02:45 SST  —
UK Sun, Sept. 18 19:45 BST  BT Sport 2 BT Sport site/app
USA Sun, Sept. 18 14:45 ET  beIN Sports fuboTV, beIN Sports Connect

UK: BT Sport will televise the Lyon-PSG showdown and stream it on the network’s platforms.

USA: All Ligue 1 matches are carried by beIN Sports and televised matches are streamed on fuboTV

Canada: beIN Sports carries Ligue 1 and the channel streams on fuboTV Canada

Australia: Fans in Australia can watch Ligue 1 on beIN Sports (TV) and beIN Sports Connect (streaming).

MORE: Champions League standings and schedule for PSG

Lyon vs. PSG betting odds, lines, picks & prediction

The temptation in this match would be to lean toward a potential upset result given how strong Lyon have been at home in league play, on top of the fact that the two teams tied 1-1 the last time they met at the Groupama Stadium. But that was a different Lyon team that had Lucas Paqueta (now with West Ham) and Bruno Guimaraes (with Newcastle). Plus, Messi and Neymar didn’t feature for PSG in that one.

The odds project another PSG victory in a high-scoring match. No reason to be a contrarian here. This PSG team has a different feel about them, and they have seemingly been able to score at will. Galtier’s men have been in other sticky situations in their first 10 matches — they were 1-0 down at Israeli champions Maccabi Haifa in midweek in the Champions League and still won 3-1 — and outside of the 1-1 draw with AS Monaco (they outshot Monaco 18-4), they generally manage to pull through thanks to their attacking trio.

  • Pick: PSG win and both teams to score (+140 on Caesars)
  • Prediction: Lyon 1, PSG 3
(Sports Interaction)
Lyon win +410 5.74 4/1
Draw +380 5.75 18/5
PSG Win -185 1.39 11/20
Over/Under 3.5 Goals -125 / -105 1.77 / 2.02 8/11, 1/12
Both Teams to Score (Y/N) -230 / +185 1.37 / 2.65 4/11, 2/1
Lyon +1.5
-170 1.62
PSG -1.5
+130 2.26

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Lyon vs. PSG result: Early Lionel Messi goal somehow all Parisians need to reclaim top Ligue 1 spot

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