PARIS ( Associated Press) — French league leader Paris Saint-Germain succumbed to public pressure and fell 3-1 on the road to Lens on Sunday for their first loss of the season.
With the win, Lens reduced the gap in the table to four points and maintained a perfect record at home.
Lens exposed PSG’s weakness on the counterattack. The Northern team scored at the start of each half, dominated midfield and the fans booed the visitors.
Lens have nine consecutive wins under coach Frank Hayes. The club has the best defense in the league, having allowed just 11 touchdowns in 17 games compared to PSG’s 13.
PSG coach Christophe Gaultier was concerned and disappointed with his team’s performance, saying the players were not sticking to the game plan.
“It was difficult for me to judge my team. We lacked cohesion and as the match progressed they outnumbered us, we gave them a lot of space.”
“Actually, we did the opposite of what we should have done. We had difficulties against the siege of Lens, we should have played more with long passes to force them to defend further inside. dominated”.
Hayes, for his part, celebrated his 100th game as manager, grabbed a microphone and sang the club anthem to the cheering fans.
For Lens, Przemysław Frankowski scored after five minutes, Lois Openda scored 28 and Alexis Claude Maurice scored 47. For PSG, Hugo Ekitike scored after 8 minutes.
PSG played without Brazil’s Neymar, who is suspended, and World Cup champion Lionel Messi, who will return to training after his trip to his native Argentina ends.
PSG captain Marquinhos said, “Both are great players who make a difference, but that is not an excuse.” “We lacked cohesion, efficiency and intensity.”
Elsewhere, Monaco moved up to fourth in the French league after beating Brest 1-0 on Sunday, with Russian midfielder Alexandr Golovin scoring in the 54th minute after a 54th-minute double with Malian midfielder Mohamed Camara.
Monaco coach Philippe Clement has made a bold decision to send 17-year-old Moroccan Elise Ben Seghir onto the pitch in place of French striker Wissam Ben Yedder, who has been the club’s leading scorer for the past three seasons.
“Elyse started the match because she deserved it. She brought a lot of energy to the team,” said Clement. “The important thing is not the age of the player, but what he shows on the court.”
Ben Seghir made a sensational league debut in midweek. He came on as a substitute and scored two goals, including a 3–2 win over Auxerre. The latter was a curving shot in the style of Frenchman Kylian Mbappe.
Monaco shares third place with Marseille, who play Montpellier on Monday.
Lyon paid the price for their poor defending, losing 1–0 at home to Clermont, whose Austrian midfielder Muhammad Cham scored a penalty three minutes from time.
With the win, Clermont moved up to ninth and two points behind Lyon, who are in eighth.
Bottoms Angers took the lead after 10 minutes through Senegal striker Abdallah Sima, but Lorient equalized after 79 minutes through Sima’s own goal from Enzo Le Fey’s corner.
Le Fey himself won 2–1 and Lorient moved up to sixth in the table.
Toulouse beat Corsican club Ajaccio 2–0, with second-half scores from Brazilian Rafael Ratao and Belgian captain Brecht Degegere.
A 74th-minute goal from French substitute Marcus Coco saw Nantes beat Auxerre 1–0 and leave the relegation zone.