PSG Dispatch Lille Comfortably; Focus on Real Madrid

Paris Saint-Germain hosted Lille OSC in their first match since the international break and defeated Les Dogues by a score of 2-0 thanks to goals from Mauro Icardi and Angel Di Maria in the first half.

The match started off slowly for the reigning French champions. Lille went with a five-defender look and no natural striker within the team but they didn’t play as conservative as their lineup would suggest. In fact, they nearly scored in the third minute when Gabriel fired a low and hard to the bottom right corner of Keylor Navas’ goal but the Costa Rican’s reflexes were fast enough to push the shot wide and keep Lille scoreless.

From there, PSG regained their footing on the game and proceeded to control possession but not necessarily keep Lille from creating scoring opportunities. The match ended up with PSG having 59 percent of the possession but Lille actually had more shots on target (eight to PSG’s four).

Icardi’s goal in the 17th minute came from a play between Angel Di Maria and Idrissa Gueye. The Di Maria’s one-touch pass to Gueye gave him enough time to put a cross into the box and like so many times this season, Icardi was there to pounce on the ball for the easy tap-in.

The goal was Icardi’s 10th in 11 appearances, which is mind-boggling considering he joined the club at the end of the transfer window and has barely had time to settle in with his new teammates.

The goal calmed things down a bit and PSG looked really sharp in the attack going forward. Les Parisiens would double their lead in the 31st minute when Di Maria capped off a nice move that began with Neymar Jr., who made his first appearance for PSG since injuring his hamstring on October 13.

Neymar dribbled with intent towards Lille’s goal before a sliding challenge took him down and the ball was then picked up by Julian Draxler. The German took a couple of touches before passing out wide to Di Maria who finished with precision in front of the goal.

The second half didn’t produce any goals despite multiple opportunities. Draxler should have scored one and Edinson Cavani, who came on for Icardi in the 78th minute, had an easy scoring opportunity that he blew as well.

The final 45 minutes were mostly about PSG’s backline and Gueye, who continues to be vital in providing protection from his defensive midfield role. The former Everton FC man has played in nine Ligue 1 matches and PSG has won eight of them and conceded only three goals.

The win extends PSG’s lead at the top of Ligue 1 to 11 points over Olympique de Marseille. Up next for Thomas Tuchel’s squad is a date with Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in a UEFA Champions League clash that could see PSG clinch first place in Group A. That should be fun. Make sure to check the site often for more updates and follow us on Twitter @PSGTalk.

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Tags Angel Di Maria Champions League Edinson Cavani Idrissa Gueye Julian Draxler Ligue 1 Lille OSC Neymar Real Madrid
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