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Lens grabbed the opportunity to win over depleted PSG

In the Ligue 1 opener, a patched-up Paris Saint-Germain suffered defeat from RC Lens, missing seven players through coronavirus, including Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.

The French top-flight kicked off towards the end of August but Thomas Tuchel’s side was given extra time off after their exploits in the Champions League.

Only after three weeks of their defeat at Bayern Munich, Tuchel’s men were in action at the newly promoted Lens and after a threatening run, Ignatius Ganogo denied by the post the hosts grabbed the best chance in the first half.

The hosts broke the deadlock in the 57th minute after alarm bells rang, with 20-year-old goalkeeper Marcin Bulka making a terrible mistake, passing straight to Ganogo who made no mistake with a cool finish this time.

PSG never looked like restored parity as the damage had been done, although Bulka helped make amends with a fine save to deny Simon Banza, making only his second appearance.

To see the newly-promoted side host the power of PSG, five thousand home supporters attended the match and as the Ligue 1 champions rolled into the city there was a strange sense of confidence at Stade Bollaert-Delelis before kick-off. Lens knew without Neymar, Mbappe, Keylor Navas, Mauro Icardi, and Co they would never have a better chance to beat the Parisians.

Lens had begun their campaign with defeat to Nice but showed no fear and little respect for the depleted PSG, fully deserving of their famous victory. It was a night to forget about Bulka, who had an opportunity to make an impression in the absence of Navas, only to cost his side dear. Things for PSG went from bad to worse as Presnel Kimpembe limped out late with a knee injury.

If the game should have been postponed with so many players missing due to Covid-19, it begs the question. PSG may well have started the campaign with a handicap, and as they prepare for a home match with fierce Marseille rivals on Sunday, it doesn’t get any easier.

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Lens – PSG 1:0

Goal: Ganago 57

Lens: Leca – Gradit, Bade, Medina – Michelin, Doucure (83′ Mauricio), Perez, Sylla (84′ Boura) – Kakuta (71′ Cahuzac) – Ganago (71′ Jean), Banza (65′ Sotoca)

PSG: Bulka – Kurzawa, Kehrer, Kimpembe (74′ Diallo), Bernat (84′ Bakker) – Herrera, Gueye, Verratti – Sarabia, Kalimuendo (74′ Jese), Ruiz-Atil (68′ Dagba)

Bookings: Doucoure, Sotoca – Sarabia, Bernat

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