PLAYER RATINGS | PSG 4-1 Lyon: Hosts close in on title as Gonçalo Ramos hits double

PSG’s return to league action after a two-week European break saw Luis Enrique’s men host the league’s form team this spring – no side had amassed more than Lyon in the second half of the campaign, heading into tonight’s game. The spirit that has driven Les Gones’ turnaround under Pierre Sage – from rock bottom of the league to the race for Europe – was best exemplified in their frantic win over second-placed Brest last week. Les Parisiens, (not so) fresh off a comeback of their own in Catalonia, would have likely hoped for a softer landing back onto Ligue 1 territory than their future Coupe de France rivals.

But there was no sign of any post-Champions League hangover for the hosts, who were already two goals up six minutes into the game. Bradley Barcola, who scored the winner for Lyon in this very fixture last season, was involved in both. The first, by setting up Marco Asensio, whose shot was  deflected in by Matić, and then by heading on the Spaniard’s corner for Beraldo to finish from point-blank range.

The ensuing lull in PSG’s attacking onslaught would come to an end on the half-hour mark, as an ostensibly static Lyon defence watched Achraf Hakimi’s cross float over and into the box for Gonçalo Ramos to power home a header. Ernest Nuamah would pull one back for the hosts, beating Donnarumma at his near post and nearly repeating the feat minutes later. It wasn’t long, though, before Luis Enrique’s men restored their three-goal cushion, as Ramos sled in to convert from Asensio’s through ball, after a counter-attack launched by Zaïre-Emery.

The second half saw Lyon seemingly trade in their slim chances of a comeback for some defensive solidity. Sage’s decision to move Maitland-Niles into midfield admittedly strengthened the team, but opportunities to pull another goal back were achingly few and far between. PSG and their substitutes eventually settled into a comfortable passing rhythm, which stifled Lyon as the match lumbered to its conclusion.

Tonight’s defeat will be of relatively little consequence on Lyon’s renewed aspirations of a spot in Europe, with Rennes only a point ahead in seventh place, and Marseille failing to overtake Les Gones this weekend.

For PSG, meanwhile, a first domestic double since 2020 is coming into view. Kylian Mbappé’s non-appearance will likely take up more than a few column inches, but Luis Enrique’s decision to only use the forward sparingly, and reduce the team’s dependency on his goals, has demonstrably been the correct one so far. In any case, neither the team’s top scorer nor Ousmane Dembélé were needed tonight – PSG’s (even) younger forwards are continuing their takeover.

PSG player ratings

Gianluigi Donnarumma, 6

Achraf Hakimi, 6

Marquinhos, 6

Danilo Pereira, 5

Lucas Beraldo, 6

Vitinha, 5

Warren Zaïre-Emery,  5

Marco Asensio, 6

Randal Kolo Muani, 3 – The only major disappointment of the evening for the hosts – unlike his two attacking partners, the Frenchman failed to seize his chance to impress, and had little bearing on PSG’s attacks. Lost the ball too often and won too few duels to have any sort of impact on the game.

Gonçalo Ramos, 7 – Two well-taken goals at the end of the first half took the Portuguese international’s Ligue 1 tally for this season into double figures. Combined well with his teammates, and strengthened his case to become the focal point of PSG’s attack post-Mbappé.

Bradley Barcola, 7 – The winger scored the winning goal for Lyon when the two teams met in Paris this time last year, and was once again decisive. Had a direct role in both early goals, and was a constant threat as he drifted from wing to wing and took on the Lyon defence. A somewhat quieter second half, but nonetheless another impressive display, having already stolen the show in Barcelona last week.

Lyon player ratings

Anthony Lopes, 4

Ainsley Maitland-Niles, 5 – Spent the first-half in his usual right-back role and was constantly beaten by Barcola – the former Arsenal man looked more comfortable once his managed moved him into midfield during the second half, with Clinton Mata taking his place in defence.

Duje Ćaleta-Car, 4

Jake O’Brien, 6 – Despite the four goals conceded, the Irishman impressed with some individual pieces of defending brilliance – notably a first-half recovery to deny Randal Kolo Muani.

Henrique Silva, 4

Maxence Caqueret, 4

Nemanja Matić, 3 – The veteran’s own goal after three minutes set the tone for a performance which saw him perennially off the pace, as he struggled to deal with PSG’s quick transitions. 

Ernest Nuamah, 6

Rayan Cherki, 4

Saïd Benrahma, 4

Alexandre Lacazette, 4

GFFN | Raphaël Jucobin –  from the Parc des Princes

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