Lionel Messi gave Paris St Germain fans what they came for! Messi helped them beat visitors Manchester City 2-0 in their Champions League clash with his first goal for his new club on Tuesday.
- The Argentine forward, who joined PSG on a two-year contract after leaving Barcelona, found the top corner superbly in the second half to add to Idrissa Gueye’s early first-half opener and put the capital club top of Group A on four points.
- Messi, 34, had been quiet on his fourth appearance for PSG until he netted on the counter as his link up play with their France striker Kylian Mbappe bore fruit.
- After two games, City are third on three points after their first defeat in a group stage game since 2018 ended an 18-match unbeaten run, a point behind PSG and Club Brugge, who won 2-1 at RB Leipzig.
- After sitting two games out with a bruised knee, Messi started alongside Mbappe and Neymar, and for a long time it seemed like the diminutive forward’s role did not fit a team playing on the counter attack.
- But he struck in the 74th minute with his 121st goal in Europe’s elite club competition, triggering deafening roars from the Parc des Princes crowd who long chanted his name after he effectively wrapped up the win.
- PSG missed chances in last season’s 4-1 aggregate defeat to City in the semi-finals but this time they went for the kill early on.
- With Italy midfielder Marco Verratti also back from a knee injury and fellow Euro 2020 champion Gianluigi Donnarumma preferred to Keylor Navas in goal, PSG soaked up early pressure and found the net on their first foray into the City area.
- PSG’s counter attacks always threatened, however, and in the 65th minute Neymar was played through by Messi, only for the Brazil forward to shoot wide with Mbappe waiting for a cross on the left.
Then it was Messi’s time to shine. The Argentine dribbled towards the box and slipped the ball to Mbappe, who flicked it back into his teammate’s path for Messi to strike it into the top corner.