Nantes surprise leaders PSG in Ligue 1

Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian defender Marquinhos (L) fights for the ball with Nantes' Congolese forward Randal Kolo Muani during the French L1 football match between FC Nantes and Paris-Saint Germain (PSG) at the Stade de la BeaujoireLouis Fonteneau, western France, on February 19, 2022.

Nantes have brought leaders Paris St Germain down from their dizzy heights with a surprise 3-1 victory in Ligue 1.

Just days after beating European giants Real Madrid 1-0 in their first-leg Champions League tie, the visitors were overpowered by Nantes in a commanding first-half performance.

Randal Kolo Muani gave the hosts the lead as early as the fourth minute before Lionel Messi was denied a swift equaliser by a fine save from Alban Lafont.

Nantes doubled their lead through a fine strike by Quentin Merlin in the 16th minute.

There was drama when Dennis Appiah was shown a straight red card late in the first half after bringing down PSG's Kylian Mbappe when he was through on goal, but the decision was overturned after a VAR review.

More controversy followed when referee Mikael Lesage did not award a penalty for handball by Georginio Wijnaldum in stoppage time, only to take another look and point to the spot with Ludovic Blas converting to make it 3-0.

Neymar reduced the deficit just a couple of minutes after the restart when played in by Messi, but then saw his soft penalty saved after Mbappe had been brought down.

PSG remain 13 points clear of Marseille, who host Clermont on Sunday, after a first league loss since early October while Nantes moved to fifth.

Earlier on Saturday, Lens and Lyon drew 1-1 at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis, where both goals came in the first half.

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