Cavani's late goal snatches victory for PSG over Lyon

PSG managed to come away from Parc OL with all three points after snatching a marginally deserved 2-1 win away at Lyon through Edinson Cavani's late header.


Cavani's prolific form continues. After a night of many missed chances at the Emirates Stadium in midweek, the Uruguay international was clinical in Lyon and took his two best chances.

Thomas Meunier enhanced his claims for a regular starting role by coming on as a substitute and providing the assist for Cavani's late headed winner. With the Africa Cup of Nations coming up at the start of 2017, the Belgium international should get a run of starts.

After a 2-2 draw away at Arsenal put Unai Emery and his players in the driver's seat to claim top spot in UEFA Champions League Group A, PSG needed three points-- however it came - and in Lyon they got just that. Just one point separates the French capital outfit, OGC Nice and AS Monaco at the top.


Although he has generally been solid for PSG so far this season, Alphonse Areola was jittery between the sticks at Parc OL and almost cost his side an extra goal in the second half. Kevin Trapp might have a shot at winning back his starting role after all.

Handed a first start since back in early September, Hatem Ben Arfa appeared determined to prove a point in Lyon. Although it did not go as well as the Frenchman probably hoped it would, it was not an abject failure either and Emery should rotate more to give him regular chances.

In many ways, it was a lucky win for PSG. The French champions dominated the first half and should have been further ahead than their one-goal advantage but Lyon battered them in the second and Cavani's late headed winner came against the run of play.

Manager rating out of 10

6 -- Emery's decision to introduce Meunier in Ben Arfa's place was an inspired one, even if it did not look it at the time. Had he not done so, the Spaniard's good first half would have been undone by a poor second.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Alphonse Areola, 4 -- It was not the Frenchman's most convincing performance and he made a number of mistakes that had to be dealt with by his teammates.

DF Serge Aurier, 7 -- The Ivory Coast international was a regular menace for the Lyon defence and he contributed significantly at the back too. Although he was booked late on, it was his best display in some time.

DF Marquinhos, 6 -- It was another no nonsense showing from the Brazil international alongside Thiago Silva.

DF Thiago Silva (C), 6 -- The captain was largely calm and collected throughout the match, even when faced with a Lyon onslaught. Silva's only fault was a booking minutes from the end.

DF Maxwell, 5 -- The veteran Brazilian was more involved in the first half, when PSG were pushing for a second goal, than when their backs were against the wall in the second. Maxwell should arguably have done better up against Rafael for Mathieu Valbuena's equaliser.

MF Thiago Motta, 7 -- The ageing Italy international won PSG's first half penalty, which was converted by Cavani, and soldiered on after the knock picked up from Rafael's clumsy tackle. Motta was a steady presence in the midfield throughout the 90 minutes and was booked in the second half.

MF Marco Verratti, 7 -- The Italian is picking up form after some recent criticism. Verratti saved Areola's skin at one point but also got booked at the death and is now one yellow card away from being PSG's all-time most cautioned player.

RW Lucas Moura, 5 -- Aside from missing an excellent first half chance by trying to be too fancy and a few pieces of neat skill, the Brazilian was quiet for his 84 minutes on the pitch.

No. 10 Hatem Ben Arfa, 5 -- Brought back into the starting XI after finally winning Emery over, the France international would have hoped for more and only had a booking to show for it when he came off after 64 minutes.

LW Blaise Matuidi, 5 -- Put out wide on the left again after an effective outing away at Arsenal, the France international did not have the same impact and picked up a first half yellow card.

FW Edinson Cavani, 8 -- Clinical. The Uruguayan scored a first half penalty and a second half header to claim all three points for PSG and to become the fourth highest goal scorer in the capital club's history.


RW Thomas Meunier, 7 -- Introduced with 26 minutes to go in place of Ben Arfa, the Belgian provided Cavani with the cross to score the winning goal.

MF Grzegorz Krychowiak, NR -- Sent on late to replace Lucas, the Poland international could and should have put the match beyond Lyon with a great one-on-one chance that was blocked by Anthony Lopes.

FW Jean-Kevin Augustin, NR -- The PSG youth academy barely got on the pitch after replacing Cavani.