Prior to Ghanaian midfielder Salis Abdul Samed’s dismissal in the 19th minute for a risky challenge on Achraf Hakimi, Lens, who started the day in second place in the league standings and six points behind league leaders PSG, appeared to be the superior club. As a result, everything was different, and by halftime, the hosts were out of reach with to three goals in a 10-minute span from Kylian Mbappe, Vitinha, and Messi, with Przemyslaw Frankowski rescuing Lens with a penalty kick.
Mbappe scored first, then Vitinha’s long-range goal gave PSG a two-goal advantage in the 37th minute. Both goals were excellent, but Messi’s goal to make it 3-0 was just spectacular. The Argentine forward found a gap outside the penalty area, fed Mbappe, and then received the France forward’s backheel pass before putting the ball past goalkeeper Brice Samba and into the far corner.
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With seven games remaining and a result that puts the defending champions nine points in front, it is only a matter of time before PSG wins their 11th league championship in France, a record.
It occurs at the conclusion of a week that was dominated by accusations of racism made against Christophe Galtier, the head coach of the club owned by Qatar, who had already been under fire ever since they were eliminated from the Champions League last month.
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When accused of making racist and Islamophobic remarks towards Nice players while in charge there last season, Galtier claimed on Friday that he was “deeply shocked” by the claims. The accusations first came to light in an email purportedly sent by former Nice sporting director Julien Fournier, according to reports in many French media outlets.The message could not be verified by AFP. PSG has backed Galtier, who has received threats ever since the claims first, but it appears that both the coach and the club will continue to be dogged by the scandal in the coming days.
Mbappe hits goal
Lens was looking to capitalize on the struggles of the league leaders and prolong a four-match winning streak that had the fans of the northern club daydreaming about their first league championship since 1998. When the clubs previously faced off, on January 1, in Lens, they won 3-1, and they got off to the stronger start of the two teams at Parc des Princes, where PSG had dropped their previous two games.
However, despite their aggressive start, they were seriously hampered when Abdul Samed was sent off for catching Hakimi with his studs above the ankle. After Vitinha’s ball, Mbappe turned and fired in off the post for his 20th league goal of the year and first for his club in more than a month, tearing them apart. After that, Vitinha scored his first goal while wearing a PSG jersey, and then Messi took the lead.
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As he nears what may be the end of his time in France, the Argentine’s 20th club goal of the season was also perhaps his best in the past two seasons while wearing a PSG jersey.It’s commendable that Lens recovered in the second half and scored when Frankowski converted from the penalty spot following a handball by Fabian Ruiz.
Lens’s Lois Openda, a Belgian international, continued to be a threat up front, but they were left with too much to accomplish and will now concentrate on trying to hang onto a spot in the top three and Champions League qualification for the following season.With a win over Troyes on Sunday, Marseille can pass Lens into second place and cut PSG’s lead to eight points. If Monaco defeats Lorient on Sunday, they will only be two points behind Lens in fourth place. Monaco will then travel to Lens the following weekend.