This was just the kind of Sunday afternoon run-out for a certain Neymar da Silva Santos Junior. A team full of hearty journeymen to be worn down by his dazzling array of tricks. But the injured Brazilian could only look on from the posh seats in the stands at the Parc des Princes as his fellow PSG all-stars laboured and ultimately lost.
Lorient arrived at the Ligue 1 pacesetters comfortably mid table: far away from the gruel of a relegation dogfight and also the frolics for the minor European competitions.
In the incipient spring sunshine, they could enjoy themselves. And after the Lorient goalkeeper Yvon Mvogo parried away Kylian Mbappé’s 11h minute effort, they took the lead following slick interplay down the right wing. Gedeon Kalulu fed Romain Faivre who surged into the penalty area and slipped the ball to Enzo Le Fee who swept it past the PSG goalkeeper Gigi Donnarumma.
A slight setback turned complicated after 20 minutes when Achraf Hakimi was dismissed for a second yellow card.
The Morocco international could have few complaints about his sanctions for ugly lunges on Faivre and then Darline Yongwa.
But despite the numerical disadvantage, PSG rallied courtesy of a huge blunder from Mvogo.
He believed referee Jerome Brisard had whistled for a free-kick and placed the ball on the turf near his goal. Mbappé, a tad more savvy and suffering no such delusions, simply tapped the ball into the unattended net for the equaliser. The cheekiest of grins fired his run to lap up the approbation of the relieved faithful.
But the hosts were cut open just before the break. Again their undoing came down the right and Faivre was again the instigator with a ball across the box for Yongwa to tap into the net.
Midway through the second period, Mvogo atoned for his first-half blunder with a stupendous save from Danilo Pereira’s point blank header.
And though PSG dominated possession, they could not break through the obdurate back line even with the ghost of Lionel Messi past roaming the field.
Ahmadou Bamba Dieng should have made it 3-1 in the 75th minute with just Donnarumma to beat but the Senegal international hooked Yongwa’s through ball high over the bar.
Dieng believed he had his side’s third when he slotted home but he was ruled offside after Brisard checked with the video assistant referee.
However, his fortunes turned in stoppage-time when a long ball out of defence put him clear on goal.
Donnarumma repelled his first effort but Dieng headed in the rebound to seal a famous 3-1 victory for the Bretons.
Now pipe and slippers cosily mid table, Regis Le Bris’ players had furnished the faithful with stories of a joyous day out in the capital. Sunday excursions don’t come much sweeter than this.
And the dream team celebrated lustily with their delirious fans after the final whistle.
PSG’s lead at the top will be cut to five points should Marseille beat relegation-threatened Auxerre at the Vélodrome on Sunday night.