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Paris Saint-Germain 0-0 Lyon (6-5 on penalties): 5 talking points as PSG seal a domestic quadruple | Coupe de la Ligue 2019-20

PSG are 2020 Coupe de la Ligue champions
PSG are 2020 Coupe de la Ligue champions
Elvis Ume O
ANALYST
Modified 01 Aug 2020, 08:04 IST
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Paris Saint-Germain needed a penalty shootout to see off Olympique Lyonnais in the final of the Coupe de la Ligue on Friday, with Keylor Navas saving the crucial spot-kick from Bertrand Traore after a gruelling 120 minutes at the Stade de France.

With French football having been on a hiatus since mid-March, this was Lyon's first competitive match in over four months while their opponents were more in-tune following their 1-0 victory in the final of the Coupe de France just last week.

Despite the presence of stellar names in the PSG camp, Lyon were unfazed and gave as good as they got for over two hours of football. There were even large spells in the game when they put the Parisians on the backfoot.

After a slow start to the match, the first chance of the night fell to Lyon when Houssam Aouar found Bruno Guimaraes in space but the Brazil international disappointingly shot wide when he should have done better.

This was the same story for the rest of the match and a combination of dogged defending and poor finishing ensured that extra-time was needed to separate both sides.

With what was virtually the last kick of the game, Lyon full-back Rafael - a replacement for Leo Dubois in the 85th minute - cynically fouled PSG's Angel di Maria, who was through on goal. The referee had no option but to show the former Manchester United man his marching orders.

Neymar stepped up to take the ensuing free-kick but his effort failed to trouble the impressive Anthony Lopes, who ensured that spot-kicks would be needed to decide the winner of the Coupe de la Ligue.

Both PSG and Lyon had a 100% record in the first round of the shootout but Traore missed at the sixth time of asking, leaving Pablo Sarabia to convert the decisive spot-kick to give PSG her ninth League Cup title.

Here, we shall be highlighting five talking points from the PSG-Lyon fixture.

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#5 Anonymous Icardi fails to take advantage

PSG
PSG's Mauro Icardi did not make an impact in the game

With Kylian Mbappe out injured and Edinson Cavani departed, the coast has been cleared for Mauro Icardi to stake a claim as PSG's main striker.

The Argentina international has not exactly made headlines since his loan move to France last summer and following his permanent signing in May, his performances would be further put under the scanner.

A common accusation levelled against Icardi right from his Inter Milan days is his propensity to not contribute to the overall play.

The 27-year-old demonstrated this tendency as he had a game to forget for PSG on Friday. He was given a start against Lyon but failed to make any meaningful impact and his numbers from the game make for pretty grim reading.

The former Sampdoria man failed to take a single shot while he had just nine touches throughout his time on the field. It came as no surprise when he was hauled off for Pablo Sarabia with just 58 minutes gone.


#4 Lyon fail to qualify for Europe for the first time in 27 years

The premature decision to end Ligue 1 because of the COVID-19 pandemic meant that the French football authorities had to come up with a system to decide the final standings.

A point-per-game system was ultimately adopted, with the average points taken in the 27 rounds of matches played used to determine the table.

This saw Lyon narrowly miss out on the European places, with a seventh-place finish not enough to secure a spot in the Europa League.

Another opportunity presented itself in the Coupe de la Ligue, with the winner set to secure a place in the second qualifying round of the Europa League. However, with their defeat to PSG, Les Gones would not participate in Europe for the first time since 1993.

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Published 01 Aug 2020, 08:04 IST
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