Ligue 1: Neymar Leads PSG Past Lens

Coach Mauricio Pochettino made six changes to his team from the first leg which PSG lost 2-1 against Pep Guardiola’s side, with Kylian Mbappe watching from the stands because of a slight calf injury.

However Pochettino said he was confident Mbappe would be fit for the game in Manchester on Tuesday.

“I am always optimistic and I still am,” Pochettino told Canal+.

“We think he will be there but we will make a decision before the game.”

Angel Di Maria was also rested but Neymar started and pounced when Argentine defender Facundo Medina gave the ball away under pressure to run through and score PSG’s opener in the 33rd minute, his seventh league goal of the campaign.

Marquinhos then headed in a Neymar corner to make it 2-0 just before the hour mark, with Ignatius Ganago getting a goal back for Lens shortly after.

Lens, who saw a 13-game unbeaten run ended, remain fifth, just ahead of Marseille in the fight for France’s last European qualifying berth.

They gave the reigning champions a run for their money and the tension got to PSG sporting director Leonardo, who was caught on camera angrily remonstrating with the officials in the tunnel at the end of the game — his mask under his chin — apparently over what he felt was some rough treatment for Neymar.

“We deserved the victory even if it wasn’t a brilliant performance,” admitted Pochettino, before turning his thoughts to City.

“Every game is different, and so is every competition. We needed the three points today to stay in contention to win the league, and on Tuesday we will need to score two goals to win against City.” (Reuters)

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