Ichraf Hakimi’s dramatic injury-time winner saved Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 at lower club Metz on Wednesday as the Capital Giants maintained their 100 per cent start to the League 1 season despite the absence of injured Lionel Messi.
Morocco’s Phil Beck Hakimi, who is signing a 60-million-euro deal with Inter Milan this year, gave PGG the lead in the fifth minute before equalizing for Kiki Coyote.
But the chaos at the height of the match saw Metz cut 10 men and send his coach, Frederick Antoniti, to the stand before Hakimi’s 94th-minute strike.
PSG founder Mauricio Pochettino said: “The team fights to the end and never concedes defeat, they have the ability to outdo the character, and the reward comes in the end.”
PSG went on to become a red hot favorite in the new season, regaining their French title after a recent season of signings, including six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi.
The former Barcelona icon was absent due to a knee injury and Pochettino’s men struggled against the Metz without winning.
But PSG extended their early lead at the top of the table to seven points ahead of rivals Marseille – who took a 0-0 lead over third-placed Ingers.
Hakimi hurried but PSG was far from their best performance and six minutes before the break, Coyote headed home from a corner.
Observer goalkeeper Keller Nawas had to make a good save to prevent Lamin Goi from scoring in a half-time stroke, while Metz rejected a handball appeal against Hakimi early in the second half.
The real drama unfolded as the clock ticked 90 minutes, although Metz defender Dylan Brown was shown a second yellow card for kicking the ball.
Coach Antoniti was immediately fired.
The PSG took full advantage of their short man as Hakimi flexed Neymar’s best pass, cut inside and fired at his left foot in the bottom corner.
Paris, the champion in seven of the last nine seasons, celebrated wildly, after which Neymar was booked.
Zirdan Shaqiri scored his first Lyon goal since joining Liverpool as his new team beat the Trojans 3-1.
Xavier Chaulerin gave the Troyes a half-time lead, but Shakiri’s brilliant shot dragged Leon to the top corner.
His teammate Emerson Pamiri completed a turn-over before Lucas Pakita added a third.
After a poor start to the campaign, Lyon have climbed to sixth in the table, winning three of their last four matches.
Below them is a good place when Amin Gueri lost a penalty in the second match after a 1-0 defeat at Laurent.
It was the club’s first League 1 defeat of the season, financed by British billionaires Jim Ratcliffe and Aeneas.
Thomas Monkandoit scored the only goal for Laurent during the first half, before Gauri, who missed a late 2-2 draw with Monaco on Sunday, lost again in the 55th minute.
Struggling League 1 champions Lilly claimed their second win of the season by beating the Rams 2-1.
Canada forward Jonathan David put the hosts ahead at the Stade Pierre-Mori just after the half-hour mark and midfielder Benjamin Andre doubled the lead before the break with his first goal of the campaign.
Lilly, who watched title-winning coach Christoph Galtier leave the seasons near Nice, went through a nervous final 15 minutes after Alexis Phillips ‘penalty reduced the Rams’ deficit.
Monaco are 10 points ahead of Lille in their second league win over St Etienne 3-1.
In the first League 1, Monaco made six substitutions due to the new Convention Protocol as Crepan Diata had to be replaced after a head-on collision with Yuan Niu.
In second place, the Rains beat Clermont 6-0 to recover from three straight losses, while Nigeria’s Samuel Kalu saved Bordeaux from a 3-3 draw at Mondpellier.