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Lionel Messi scores early winner in tight contest

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Lionel Messi scored the only goal of the game in the first five minutes as Paris Saint-Germain saw off Lyon to return to the Ligue 1 summit.

Marseille’s draw with Rennes earlier on Sunday had briefly sent them top of the table, putting the pressure on Christophe Galtier’s PSG to beat a Lyon side who had started the season well but have fallen off the pace in recent weeks.

Messi’s goal was the first real action of the game. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner exchanged passes with Neymar, before stroking the ball into the bottom corner with his left foot.

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PSG had chances to extend their lead twice through Kylian Mbappe, but Lyon were hardly out of it and soon Gianluigi Donnarumma was called into action at the other end to deny both Toko Ekambi and Alexandre Lacazette a few minutes apart.

The visitors did regain the ascendancy and went very close to adding a second goal when Castello Lukeba cleared one off the goal-line from Messi after dummying goalkeeper Anthony Lopes.

Both sides had more chances and the ball did end up in the net again before the end of the match, with Sergio Ramos nodding in the rebounded from a Messi free-kick that Lopes tipped onto the post. But a flag was raised and it was ruled out for offside.

PSG have now won four Ligue 1 games on the bounce since rescuing a 1-1 draw against Monaco last month and haven’t conceded in any of them. Their lead at the top of the table is two points over Marseille, with a home game against Nice to come after the international break.

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Football

Didier Deschamps asks PSG manager to rest Kylian Mbappe ahead of World Cup

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France manager Didier Deschamps has pleaded with Paris Saint-Germain’s Christophe Galtier to rest Kylian Mbappe with one eye on November’s FIFA World Cup.

The club football season will come to a halt throughout November and December for the World Cup to take place in Qatar, but managers are concerned about the availability of players due to an unrelenting fixture schedule.

Mbappe has already bagged 10 goals from nine games this season and has missed just one league fixture so far, while also featuring for France in each of their final two Nations League group stage games.

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Speaking to French outlet Telefoot, Deschamps aired his concerns regarding the 23-year-old: “I know he [Galtier] still wants to play Kylian. But from time to time, to be able to breathe a little bit, to have a few good minutes less, it won’t fail him – quite the contrary.”

With PSG flying so far this season and Mbappe proving key to that bright start under new manager Galtier, it’s hard to envisage a world where he is rested and rotated.

The Frenchman played the full 90 minutes in both of PSG’s two Champions League group stage fixtures so far and the pressure is on himself and PSG to deliver in Europe, having failed to win the Champions League since their rise to footballing prominence over the last decade.



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Jorghino insists Italy’s rebuild has ‘already begun’ following win over England

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Jorginho has spoken positively about the Italian national team’s future following their victory over England, using a new formation.

Italy saw off England in a 1-0 victory in matchday five of the 2022/23 Nations League group stages and did so using a 3-5-2 system, earning a deserved win after a difficult period following their Euro 2020 triumph.

Victory over the Three Lions gives Italy an outside chance of still making the Nations League finals in 2023 as they face group leaders Hungary in the final matchday, with a win enough to see them move into top spot.

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Speaking to media ahead of the vital clash, Jorginho was very confident about his national team’s new approach: “After everything that happened, it was a struggle, but the game against England really fired us up and gave us more motivation. I try to learn from past mistakes and disappointment, which is also what the coach is passing on to the players he calls up.

“I felt something different in that game and I think the reconstruction process has already begun. Now we’ve got to continue along this path,” and added, discussing the tactical tweaks: “It’s good to have an alternative that we can change to during the game or during a tournament.

“Some of our players have 4-3-3 at club level, others with three defenders, so I think this system is certainly doable. It’s interesting for the present and the future, I got along well with it.”

The Chelsea midfielder explained that victory over England has been crucial for the squad heading into the final matchday: “We have this opportunity to win the group and it’s up to us to take it.

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“Hungary have proved themselves to be tough opponents and they’ll have passionate support from the crowd tomorrow.”



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Pierre-Emerick discusses Thomas Tuchel sacking & opens up on early career struggles

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Forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has admitted it was ‘sad’ to see Thomas Tuchel sacked by Chelsea.

Aubameyang left Barcelona after only signing in January of this year to return to the Premier League with Chelsea, having left Arsenal at the beginning of the year following disciplinary issues.

The move saw him reunite with Tuchel, who he thrived under while the pair worked together at Borussia Dortmund.

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However, Tuchel was sacked in September, just weeks after the transfer window had shut and the 33-year-old had sealed his transfer to Stamford Bridge.

Speaking to Chelsea’s official YouTube channel, Aubameyang opened up: “It’s obviously sad when someone leaves the club and obviously, I only saw him for a few days. But this is football and when you play football you have to adapt quickly and in some moments in the season, this can happen.

“I think he [Tuchel] was a bit frustrated and sad. Obviously, I will try to talk to him as soon as possible,” he added, before giving his verdict on Tuchel’s replacement Graham Potter:

“I think he [Potter] is a really positive person and a great character. We will try to learn with him and to win as soon as possible. I think his ideas are very clear so I think it’s going to be easy. It takes time to adapt to each other but I think it’s going to be ok.”

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Aubameyang also touched on the earlier years of his career during the interview and confessed how he had been through a lot of ‘bad moments’ unrelated to injuries: “I was okay but at the beginning of my career everyone was talking about me as a sprinter only.

“This hurts sometimes because you know where you’ve come from, you know you went through a lot of stuff and you always try your best and some people, even from your club say you’re not good at playing football.”

He praised current Paris Saint-Germain manager Christophe Galtier for lighting a fire beneath him during their time together at St-Etienne, stating: “When I arrived in Saint-Etienne, I was happy because Christophe Galtier gave me confidence and it changed everything in my career. This is where I started scoring goals.”



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