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Home Football Ligue 1: PSG loses for the first time this season without Messi...

Ligue 1: PSG loses for the first time this season without Messi and Neymar, while Monaco moves up to fourth.

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Ligue 1: PSG suffered their opening defeat in the current Ligue 1 competition. The Lens outclassed the French club. Monaco has won over Brest in the interim.

Ligue 1: At the Stade Bollaert-Delelis Stadium on Sunday, second-placed Lens defeated league leaders Paris Saint-Germain, handing them their first loss of the current campaign. Without Lionel Messi and Neymar, PSG lost the game 1-3 as Kylian Mbappe’s comeback attempt was thwarted. With the victory, Lens has closed the gap with PSG at 40 points to four. Additionally, AS Monaco of France defeated Brest 1-0 in the other game to move up to fourth place in the standings.

Lens brutally exposed PSG’s counterattacking vulnerability. The northern team has now won nine straight home games under coach Franck Haise after scoring at the start of each half and dominating the midfield battle against a frightened PSG. With 11 goals conceded in 17 games, Lens boasts the league’s top defence, compared to 13 for PSG.

Haise joined the ecstatic fans in chanting the club hymn as he commemorated his 100th game in charge. Lens, a close-knit community of supporters known as Les Sang et Or (The Blood and Gold) for its crimson shorts and yellow jersey, has deep working-class roots from its time as a mining community. In 1998, Lens won its sole league championship, while in 2002, it finished just behind Lyon.

In the fifth minute, the opening goal was scored. Gianluigi Donnarumma deflected winger Przemyslaw Frankowski’s goal-bound cross away after Lens used a vigorous pressing strategy to regain the ball and transfer it wide left to Florian Sotoca. After Lens mishandled a right-wing cross three minutes later, attacker Hugo Ekitiké, who was given an unusual start in place of Neymar and Lionel Messi, scored from close range. Later, the Lens scored two goals to go ahead 3-1 thanks to Lois Openda and Alexis Claude Maurice.

Due to a suspension, Neymar was absent from PSG, as was World Cup winner Messi, who had been away from training for some time. The 13-goal leader in the league, Kylian Mbappé of PSG, managed only a speculative shot in the 60th minute.

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