Argentine substitute Mauro Icardi scored a goal in stoppage time as Paris Saint-Germain came from behind to win a difficult 2-1 victory at its guest Olympique Lyon in the French first division football, on Sunday.
The appearance of the Argentine star, Lionel Messi, at the Parc des Princes, ended with a slight disagreement with the coach, Mauricio Pochettino, who took him out of the field 16 minutes before the end of the match.
Kylian Mbappe crossed from the left and Icardi ran from his marker and jumped to header into the far corner in the third minute of stoppage time.
Neymar had equalized the hosts with a controversial penalty after Lucas Paqueta gave the away team the lead.
Paris Saint-Germain maintained its perfect start, reaching 18 points, five points ahead of Olympique de Marseille, who jumped to second place from five matches after winning 2-0 at Stade Rennes.
“We played a good match, and we were able to impose ourselves in the second half. The team deserved to win, even in the last minute,” Saint-Germain coach Maurizio Pochettino said after the victory.
“The team showed a balance between attack and defense with more innovation, and we needed a boost of fate to score in the first half, but we created a lot of chances.”
Saint-Germain managed to get rid of the Lyon complex, as it is the team that has won the most in the “Ligue 1” since it became its ownership of the Qataris in the 2011-2012 season, winning five times, compared to three draws and 12 defeats (before the match this evening).
In the absence of top scorer Moussa Dembele, the new Dutch coach of Lyon, Peter Boss, decided to give his confidence to Algerian striker Islam Slimani, to play alongside Cameroonian Karl Toko Ekambi, who was injured, leaving his place to Houssem Aouar (65), and Swiss Xherdan Shaqiri and Pakita.
On the other hand, Pochettino decided to involve the charming quartet in the attack with Argentines Angel Di Maria, Lionel Messi, Neymar and Frenchman Kylian Mbappe. The newcomer also participated in the Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma for the second time in the local league after the match Clermont-Ferrand.
Messi, coming from Barcelona, of Spain, appeared in the 32nd minute of the first half, after a wonderful game with Neymar’s heel inside the area, followed by the “flea” coming from behind with a shot that was blocked by Portuguese goalkeeper Anthony Lopes.
And the fans of the “Parc des Princes” stadium believed that Messi opened his account in the club’s shirt after a free kick from 25 meters with his left foot hit the corner of the post (36).
Lyon surprised its host at the beginning of the second half, by opening the scoring after a perfect pass from Ekambi to the solo Pacita inside the area, so he followed it with his left into the net (54), scoring his third goal this season.
Saint-Germain quickly equalized from a penalty kick after Neymar had blocked Lyon captain Jason Denayer, who himself deceived goalkeeper Lopes (66), opening his tally of goals in the league.
Pochettino surprised everyone in Messi’s first appearance in his team’s stadium, after he decided to take him out and replace him with Moroccan international Ashraf Hakimi (76), to return after 4 minutes and replace Di Maria with his compatriot Icardi, who was at the good expectations of the fans and his coach by scoring the deadly goal with a header after a spiral cross pass Brilliant from Mbappe, rise to her and bid her farewell opposite goalkeeper Lopez (90+3).
Messi was angry with his compatriot Pochettino’s decision and refused to shake hands with him after he left, expressing his displeasure with his decision.
Pochettino commented on the incident, saying, “Sometimes the players can be satisfied with the change, and sometimes not,” adding, “Everyone knows we have great players, a group of 35 players. It’s my decision, we can’t play with more than 11.”
He continued, “I think of the best for every game and for every player, as every coach does. We are there to make decisions, sometimes that can be accepted, sometimes not.”
And he added, regarding Messi’s anger and not shaking hands with him, “I asked him about his condition, and he said he was fine.”