Ligue 1: Lionel Messi scored a elegant purpose for PSG vs Nantes.© AFP
Lionel Messi struck his first purpose in Ligue 1 on Saturday as Paris Saint-Germain overcame a pink card for goalkeeper Keylor Navas to defeat Nantes 3-1. Kylian Mbappe carried on his prolific goalscoring run with an early opener on the Parc des Princes, however Randal Kolo Muani equalised for Nantes within the second half after Navas was despatched off. A freak personal purpose by Dennis Appiah put PSG again in entrance with 10 minutes left earlier than Messi wrapped up a twelfth win in 14 league video games this season forward of subsequent week’s Champions League journey to Manchester City. Mauricio Pochettino’s facet elevated their lead over Lens on the prime to 13 factors.
Messi missed PSG’s previous two video games earlier than the worldwide break via damage, however returned to type a fearsome assault alongside Neymar and Mbappe after main Argentina to a spot on the 2022 World Cup.
Nantes had overwhelmed PSG on their final go to to the capital in March, however Mbappe ensured the hosts made a perfect begin by redirecting Leandro Paredes’ long-range effort previous Alban Lafont.
The France star has scored seven instances in his final 4 outings after netting 5 objectives for his nation in World Cup qualifying wins over Kazakhstan and Finland over the previous week.
Lafont produced a collection of superb saves to maintain Nantes within the recreation, twice thwarting Messi whereas additionally denying Neymar and Mbappe along with his legs.
Nantes sensed their alternative although when Navas was proven a pink card on 65 minutes for flattening Ludovic Blas after charging exterior his space in pursuit of a protracted ball.
With Gianluigi Donnarumma sick, third-choice Sergio Rico got here on for his first look of the season at Neymar’s expense, virtually instantly making an excellent reflex cease from point-blank vary.
Rico once more reacted sharply to repel a header from Kolo Muani, however the Nantes striker was quickest to the rebound and back-heeled over the road — with goal-line know-how confirming it had crossed earlier than Rico parried clear.
PSG regained the lead via an enormous stroke of luck as Appiah’s try to chop out a go from Messi looped over a stranded Lafont from 20 metres.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner then sealed the factors 4 minutes from time, receiving a go from Mbappe 35 metres out and drifting in the direction of the realm earlier than sweeping into the far nook.
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