Fekir free kick sparks Lyon’s win vs. Paris Saint-Germain

Jan. 22 (UPI) — Lyon midfielder Nabil Fekir scored the first goal in a 2-1 victory against Paris Saint Germain at Groupamam Stadium in Lyon, France.

And it was a beauty.

The Lyon captain was fouled early on in the match by PSG’s Adrien Rabiot. He lined up for a free kick from about 30 yards out on the right side of the box. Fekir ran up to the ball and hit it with the inside of his left boot.

The shot bent into the near post on the right side of the goal, beating a diving Alphonse Areola for the first score of the Ligue 1 match.

“On my goal, my first instinct was to send a cross. Then I saw the keeper off his line and I changed my mind,” Fekir said after the match.

PSG evened the score in the third minute of first-half stoppage time when Layvin Kurzawa perfected his left-footed volley.

Dani Alves danced down the right side of the pitch, dribbling into the box all the way to the end line, before firing a cross toward Kurzawa.

The frenchman struck the offering past Lyon keeper Anthony Lopes, who didn’t even move to attempt a save.

Lyon’s second score came after the break, but it was also of the world-class variety.

Fekir dribbled into PSG territory, before laying off a pass to his left, leading Memphis Depay toward the net during stoppage time.

Depay took a few touches with his right foot, before blasting a shot into the near post for the decisive score.

“This is why we do this job, for these kinds of moments,” Lyon manager Bruno Genesio told OLTV after the match. “A draw would’ve been a fair result as well, but we played to win with a lot of heart and talent. The tying goal was very frustrating. We played a very good first half. The team was able to get back on track after the sending off.”

“The bench made the difference. This has been the case for many games. This shows that the group gets along well together and we all share the same goals. I’m very happy for Memphis and the rest of the team. We are progressing, we are gaining momentum in our game. We are moving up in the standings as well. It’s important. It will be close until the end. You have to be consistent. We have some really tough games coming up.” 

PSG manager Unai Emery called the result of the match “unfair.”

“The two teams gave everything for 90 minutes. Certain events were complicated for us, but we managed to come through them with character,” Emery said, according to the team website.

“We had chances and possession. A draw would have been a fair result. We started the second half like we ended the first, by dominating. We didn’t give them chances, but the red card meant we lost control of the game a bit. The team worked well. We allowed them to shoot at the end of the game. Lyon have good players, who enabled them to score the second goal. It’s a bit of an unfair result, but that’s football.”

PSG forward Kylian Mbappe was injured during the match and will return to Paris to receive further medical examination.

PSG faces Guingamp at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday in the round of 32 of the French Cup. Lyon faces Monaco at 3:05 p.m. Wednesday in French Cup action.

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