Wijnaldum rescues PSG after Lens leave Messi in a daze
Georginio Wijnaldum’s injury-time equaliser allowed Paris Saint-Germain to snatch a 1-1 draw away to Lens in Ligue 1 on Saturday in a match which confirmed Lionel Messi’s difficulties adapting to the physical nature of French football.
Messi was floored by a strong tackle and some PSG players stopped playing in the build-up to Seko Fofana’s goal which gave Lens a 62nd-minute lead in northern France, reports AFP.
It looked as if that would be enough for Lens to claim a victory which would have been just reward for an outstanding performance that delighted the crowd of close to 37,000.
However, PSG equalised in the second minute of injury time as Kylian Mbappe crossed for fellow substitute Wijnaldum to head home.
It is a second draw in as many matches for the Qatar-owned club, who extend their lead at the top of Ligue 1 to 13 points from Marseille, beaten 2-1 at home by Brest earlier on Saturday.
Despite their big lead at the top, it was yet another unsatisfactory performance from Mauricio Pochettino’s disjointed team of superstars, who have usually had enough individual talent to get results this season but have
“Lens is a very good team and very physical. They made us suffer. Overall I think we knew how to suffer in different periods of the game and I think the draw is a fair result,” Pochettino told broadcaster Canal Plus.
“It wasn’t our best night but the effort was there and when the effort is there you have to congratulate the players, but we know very well we need to do better.”
It was a PSG side missing Neymar, who is out with an ankle injury and not expected to return before mid-January, while their nine-goal top scorer
Mbappe was rested at kick-off before coming on to help save the day.
Messi still has just one goal from nine Ligue 1 appearances and he struggled to make his presence felt against an impressive Lens side who lie fifth in the table.