Lionel Messi netted PSG’s win in the 87th minute with a pass from Kylian Mbappe at the end of the attack. Messi had already scored three goals for his new club in the Champions League but failed to find the net in the last five Ligue 1 games.
Key points –
- Lionel Messi gave PSG the win in the 87th minute
- These champions have played nine games and maintained their unbeaten home record this season
- PSG got off to a good start as the home side needed less than two minutes to advance
Lionel Messi scored his first goal in the French league, and Kylian Mbappe scored the fastest goal of his life as Paris Saint-Germain beat Nantes 3-1 on Saturday.
Messi scored for PSG in the 87th minute through Mbappe’s pass at the end of the attack. After receiving the ball, the Argentine star quickly moved closer to the edge of the box, past the defender and wrapped up one of his left-handed shots past Nantes goalkeeper Alban Lafont.
Messi, who joined from Barcelona this summer, had already scored three Champions League goals for his new club but did not find internet within the last five Ligue 1 games.
Playing in front of a thriving crowd at the Parc des Princes, nine-time champions have maintained their unbeaten home record this season. PSG are 12 points ahead of Rennes, climbing to second place with a 2-0 win over Montpellier.
Ahead of the trip to Manchester City for the Champions League on Wednesday, PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino started with attacking stars, Mbappe, Messi and Neymar.
PSG got off to a good start as the home side needed less than two minutes to lead, with Mbappe scoring his seventh goal of the season.
The home side took full advantage of the Nantes’ defenders as Leandro Paredes released a 25-meter half-volley that Mbappe diverted past Lafont. According to Opta, it’s been PSG’s fastest league goal since May 2017, also as Mbappe’s most immediate goal in his career.
PSG dominated negotiations, held the reins and almost doubled their lead in the 18th minute, but Lafont’s strong hand blocked Messi’s effort from Neymar’s ball.
The Nantes goalkeeper made a choice a couple of minutes later to dam Mbappe’s low shot, then stopped Neymar’s fine effort for about half an hour. Another good goal from the 22-year-old goalkeeper frustrated Messi in the 38th minute after a one-on-one play against Marco Verratti and broke Nantes’ defence but saw his left-hander disarmed.
The game was very balanced after a while as Nantes played very aggressively. PSG was reduced to 10 men within the 65th minute after goalkeeper Keylor Navas received a red card for evil outside the bench for Ludovic Blas, who was running alone towards the goal.
Nantes pushed hard for an equalizer and were eventually rewarded for their efforts when Randal Kolo Muani hit offside to equalize with 76 points. The striker began to see his head being rejected by Sergio Rico, who replaced Navas, but he followed his attempt by touching a clever backheel that crossed the goal line.
Nantes was unlucky when Dennis Appiah sealed his goal as he tried to block Messi’s low ball instead of turning it into the net before Messi opened his French league account.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner then scored four minutes from time, receiving a pass from Mbappe 35 meters away and drifting straight to the spot before sweeping the far corner.
Later on, Saturday, Rennes continued to perform well as a confident victory over Montpellier extended their unbeaten run to 11 games altogether competitions.
Goals from Martin Terrier and Croatian international Lovro Majer put Lens, Nice and Marseille in second place for half an hour.