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How Kipchoge Influenced PSG Win Over Champions Lille

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics marathon champion passed by the stadium where he took photos with France’s World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe

Kenyan marathoner Eliud Kipchoge paid a special visit to the Parc des Princes, France, home of French club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) who needed two late goals to beat reigning Ligue 1 champions Lille 2-1 on Friday, October 29.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics marathon champion passed by the stadium where he took photos with France’s World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe who gifted him with a jersey with his name printed at the back as well as a pair of football boots.

Kipchoge in turn gifted Mbappe his signature Nike running shoes which came to the limelight when he wore them to become the first human to run a sub-two-hour marathon.

Eliud Kipchoge with PSG’s Kylian Mbappe. /FACEBOOK

The French club shared a video Kipchoge took on social media, expressing his love for the club whilst wishing them a good game.

“Hi everyone! I’m very happy to be here at the PSG stadium. I wish all my fans and football fans a good game. Come on Paris!” he encouraged.

Kipchoge’s words might have motivated PSG who powered from being a goal down in the 31st minute to beat Lille. Mbappe was absent from the match due to ongoing treatment for his ear, nose and throat (ENT) infection.

Marquinhos and Angel Di Maria netted one each late in the second half to complete the comeback victory, with the winner coming just two minutes from time.

Lille were the better side in the first 45 minutes and took the lead through Jonathan David, as PSG looked disjointed in midfield and toothless in attack. The visitors could have opened the scoring just one minute in, but Burak Yilmaz failed to capitalise on a swift counterattack and beat Gianluigi Donnarumma, while Jonathan Ikone sent the ball just wide 12 minutes later.

Lille finally managed to break the deadlock just after the half-hour mark through David, who was teed up by Yilmaz inside the box and didn’t miss from close range. The Canadian redirected the Turk’s low cross past Donnarumma and into the net.

PSG’s only clear opportunity in the first half came just before the break when Di Maria found himself unmarked inside Lille’s area but failed to get his effort towards the back post on target. Immediately after the restart, Donnarumma made another great save with his feet to deny David, who failed to hit the target just before the hour mark, with his effort going just over the crossbar.

From that point on it was all PSG. Di Maria was denied by Ivo Grbic on the hour mark, while Mauro Icardi, who came off the bench at halftime to replace Messi, sent his header just over the crossbar after a sublime cross by Neymar.

PSG finally grabbed an equaliser in the 74th minute, when Di Maria’s stopped cross found Marquinhos at the back post and the PSG captain levelled the match with his first goal of the season. Mauricio Pochettino’s men piled the pressure on Lille and after Icardi sent a strike just wide of the left post, Di Maria made sure of the three points with just two minutes to go as he made the most of Neymar’s smooth pass inside the visitors’ area and net his team’s second to turn the game around.

PSG now sit top of the Ligue 1 table with 31 points, with second-placed Lens having 10 points fewer, with reigning champions Lille in 11th place after having picked up just 15 points from 12 games.

Angel Di Maria celebrates scoring the winner for PSG on October 29, 2021. /FACEBOOK

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