It has been a terrific preseason for Paris Saint-Germain, and they continued their success form from their USA preseason tour into the French Trophee des Champions, where they beat Lyon 2-0 in Montreal on Saturday.
Two early goals by Serge Aurier and Edinson Cavani put Paris in control of the traditional season-opening contest and left Lyon with a mountain to climb long before their captain Maxime Gonalons was sent off in the 64th minute. Having completed an unprecedented clean sweep of the domestic honours in France last season, this win underlined their status as the team to beat again in the coming campaign.
Tipped to be their main challengers once more, Lyon were invited to face the treble winners after finishing second to them in France’s Ligue 1 last season as the Champions Trophy was played outside France for the seventh year in a row. But, weakened by a series of injuries to key players and by the absence of suspended starlet Nabil Fekir, Lyon never looked like winning a game played in front of an enthusiastic crowd at the Saputo Stadium in the largest city of Canada’s French-speaking Quebec province.
A strong PSG side featuring German summer signing Kevin Trapp in goal opened the scoring in the 11th minute as the Lyon defence failed to clear a free-kick into the box and David Luiz drove the ball back into the six-yard box for his fellow defender Aurier to head home.
The second goal arrived just six minutes later when Anthony Lopes saved from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cavani, who started pre-season late after featuring for Uruguay at the Copa America, lashed home the loose ball.
With last season’s top scorer and player of the year Alexandre Lacazette unable to make an impression, Lyon offered little at the other end and Blaise Matuidi missed a great chance to increase PSG’s lead after Lopes saved from Ibrahimovic’s extravagant backheeled effort.
“The mood in the camp is good. It is early days but we have prepared well,” Matuidi told beIN Sports. “The season will be long. Now we have spent 18 days abroad and it is difficult, so we are looking forward to going home, seeing our families again and resting before the season starts.”
Fresh from winning a third successive Champions Trophy, Laurent Blanc’s PSG side start their title defence at Lille on Friday, while Lyon will begin the new Ligue 1 season at home to Lorient next Sunday.