Lorient pull off upset against 10-man PSG

After a slight blip in form with losses against Rennes and Lyon, Paris Saint-Germain have rallied to win three straight matches ahead into Sunday’s match against Lorient. With an eight-point lead over Marseille and only 6 matches to go, a win here could help them continue their push for their ninth Ligue 1 title in 11 years.

Meanwhile, Lorient have struggled as of late. After rising all the way to sixth in January, they have plummeted down to 11th – and have not won in their last five matches.

Christoph Galtier’s side chose to switch to a more aggressive 4-2-4 for this match, with Vitinha and Carlos Soler moving from midfielder to winger roles, and Juan Bernat and Achraf Hakimi dropping to defense. Fabián Ruiz was also replaced in the midfield by Marco Verratti. Regis Le Bris’ Lorient side elected to keep their 3-4-2-1, only replacing midfielder Julian Ponceau with Bonke Innocent and winger Igor Carioca with Gédéon Kalulu.

PSG: Donnarumma; Bernat, Marquinhos, Ramos, Hakimi; Verratti, Pereira; Vitinha, Mbappé, Messi, Soler

LOR: Mvogo; Le Goff, Talbi, Meité; Yongwa, Abergel, Innocent, Kalulu; Le Fee, Faivre; Koné

PSG’s first chance of the game came early in the 11th minute. Vitinha found Verratti, who sent a first touch pass to Mbappe at the edge of the box. Mbappe spun to lose Vincent Le Goff, getting a fantastic one-on-one chance which was saved by Yvon Mvogo.

Lorient had a chance minutes later. From the corner, Kalulu found Romain Faivre streaking inside. Faivre fired a beautiful low cross to a wide open Le Fee who easily converted, giving Lorient an early lead.

PSG’s chances of getting an equalizer were hurt when in the 20th minute. After PSG lost the ball, Achraf Hakimi went in late on Darline Yongwa, and while he didn’t manage to get the ball, he did get Yongwa’s ankles with his studs. He was subsequently sent off, and PSG had 70 minutes to find an equaliser with a numerical disadvantage.

That’s exactly what they did though, albeit in a very strange fashion. Verratti found Mbappe alone on the right wing, who ran into the box and got past De Goff and Mvogo with ease. He sent it to the middle for Soler, but it’s deflected back to him. Meanwhile, Lorient have gotten numbers back, and there are three defenders in his way. Mbappe is brought down, and the ball lies in Mvogo’s hands.

Following the play, Mvogo thought whistles had been blown and placed the ball on the ground for a free kick. Mbappe, who had been right next to him, stole the ball and sent it in the back of the net to equalise, infuriating Lorient players and fans. Thankfully for them, karma works swiftly.

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An annoyed Lorient side sought to attack. After a few long range efforts sailed above the bar, Faivre dribbled past a few defenders on the right side of the box before sending it into the centre of the box, where it found its way to Yongwa who slotted it into the back of the net – giving Lorient the lead once again.

PSG began looking for an equaliser, and in the 59th minute they almost found one. Messi sent a corner kick into the box, which met the head of Sergio Ramos, but it sailed just over the crossbar for a goal kick. But the chances kept coming for them. Mbappe found the ball after a Messi free kick was cleared out of the box, and he sent it into the center for Danilo Pereira, who headed it right into Mvogo’s face.

Lorient wanted more as well. After a cleared corner kick, substitute Ayman Kari found Le Fee at the top of the box. Le Fee sent it at the top right corner, barely missing as it sailed past the right post.

Lorient extended their lead ten minutes later, as Kari sent the ball to the far post for substitute forward Ahmadou Bamba Dieng, who fired it into the back of the net. However, Dieng was ruled offside, meaning that PSG still had a chance to get an equaliser.

At this point, all of PSG’s outfield players were pushing forward, which proved to be a costly mistake. After a Verratti pass was cleared, Dieng won the ball back in midfield and ran at goal, with no PSG players near him. Dieng took a shot, which was saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma, but he finds the rebound and heads it in, giving Lorient a 3-1 lead that would be the final scoreline.

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The final whistle blew minutes later, and in true Parisians style, the home supporters kindly booed their own team to encourage them to improve and learn from their mistakes. Despite a loss, PSG are still in a strong position to hold on to their title. Lorient, on the other hand, have moved up into the top half with a win here, and while it’s unlikely, they’re now only 8 points behind sixth place Rennes – and a spot in Europe next season.