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Messi booed by home fans ahead of PSG loss to Lyon


Paris Saint-Germain forward Lionel Messi's name drew whistles from supporters in the stadium Sunday ahead of his side's Ligue 1 defeat against Lyon.

As the team line-ups were announced over the loudspeaker in the Parc des Princes, whistling could be heard from one part of the stadium at the Argentine's name, with fans in another area shouting in response "Messi".

A little earlier, the name of the Paris number 30 had also prompted whistles when it appeared on screens during the pre-match PSG TV broadcast inside the stadium.

Messi is nearing the end of his two-year contract with the Paris club who head Ligue 1 and talks have begun on a possible renewal.

In two seasons, the veteran player -- who led Argentina to last year's World Cup triumph in Qatar -- has played 67 matches with PSG including Sunday's game against Lyon and scored 29 goals.

PSG saw their lead at the top of Ligue 1 cut to six points with Sunday's defeat.

After losing 2-0 at home to Rennes two weeks ago, it was Lyon's Bradley Barcola who inflicted the latest loss for PSG at the Parc des Princes.

The goal by Barcola -- who had come on as replacement for the injured Amin Sarr -- made up for a missed penalty by Alexandre Lacazette in the first half.

It is the Parisians' fifth Ligue 1 loss this season, all of them in 2023, and leaves Christophe Galtier's side just six points ahead of both second placed Lens and Marseille in third.

Lyon, coached by former PSG boss Laurent Blanc, now move up to ninth place.

PSG midfielder Danilo acknowledged the team had hit "a difficult phase" which they had to find a way out of, given their rivals were closing in.

"We have to wake up. The title is not guaranteed at all, there are still a lot of matches," he said on Prime Video.

"There are lot of things to change, not just the mindset, but it's not up to me to say what."

PSG have been severely hampered by injuries, with Neymar recovering from ankle surgery and their defence decimated.

On Sunday, PSG called up 17-year-old central defender El Chadaille Bitshiabu but he was overawed, giving away the ball too often.

Kylian Mbappe failed to pull off a repeat of his late scoring heroics as he had done in recent games against Strasbourg and Brest.

"We thought we could hurt them," said Blanc. "They made a few technical errors."

Next up for PSG is a trip to Nice who are undefeated since January 2 before a crucial home clash with second-placed Lens.

They will be hopeful of delivering a further blow to their Qatar-owned rivals whose season is threatening to implode after a Champions League exit at the hands of Bayern Munich and a French Cup loss to bitter rivals Marseille.

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