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Sunday, October 24, 2021

Messi’s first PSG goal helps down Man City

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Lionel Messi has scored 121 Champions League goals – 120 for Barcelona and one for PSG

Lionel Messi scored his first Paris St-Germain goal in stunning fashion as they beat Manchester City in an enthralling Champions League group game.

Messi, making his fourth appearance for PSG since leaving Barcelona, ran from the halfway line before playing a one-two with Kylian Mbappe and leaving Ederson rooted to the spot with a lovely 20-yard shot.

The roar from the Parc des Princes crowd was deafening as the Argentine, on his return from injury, added one PSG goal to the 672 he managed for Barca.

Idrissa Gueye had given last season’s French runners-up an early lead with an excellent drive into the top corner.

City had plenty of chances to score in between those goals with Raheem Sterling’s header hitting the bar and Bernardo Silva striking the woodwork from the rebound with an empty net in front of him.

They also had seven shots on target but could not beat Champions League debutant Gianluigi Donnarumma in PSG’s goal.

The second age of Messi begins

The first three games of Messi’s spell at PSG – which has been interrupted by injury and fitness issues – had failed to set the world alight. No goals and no assists.

But this was the night that all changed as he soared forward, gave the ball to Mbappe and got it back with a backheel before bamboozling Ederson with his shot.

The build-up to this match had all been about whether he would return form a knee injury which had kept him out for a couple of games. There was a huge cheer from the fans before the game as his name was read out in the starting XI.

He was involved earlier in the move for the opening goal too, finding Mbappe outside the box.

Mbappe’s pass was air-kicked by Neymar, with Gueye then scoring a beauty.

Messi’s only shot was the goal – but on a night when City made PSG work hard, the veteran did his fair share too.

Almost a third of his touches were in his own half, including when he tackled Riyad Mahrez just outside the box.

Even at the end, he performed the draught excluder role in the wall for a Kevin de Bruyne free-kick – a position almost invented to defend his own free-kicks.

PSG – who have won all their Ligue 1 games to date – are a different team than the one who lost both legs to City in last year’s semi-final.

Gueye and Marco Verratti, back from four games out injured, were excellent in central midfield – and the team defended well too to keep City out.

Donnarumma, in goal, made seven saves as well as four claims or punches. Ederson in the other goal only made one save.

More to follow.

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Paris Saint Germain

  1. Squad number50Player nameG Donnarumma

  2. Squad number2Player nameHakimi

  3. Squad number5Player nameMarquinhos

  4. Squad number3Player nameKimpembe

  5. Squad number25Player nameNuno Mendes

  6. Squad number21Player nameHerrera

  7. Squad number6Player nameVerratti

  8. Squad number27Player nameGueye

  9. Squad number30Player nameMessi

  10. Squad number7Player nameMbappé

  11. Squad number10Player nameNeymar

  1. Squad number15Player nameDanilo Pereira

  2. Squad number18Player nameWijnaldum

Manchester City

  1. Squad number9Player nameGabriel Jesus
  2. Squad number47Player nameFoden

Line-ups

PSG

Formation 4-3-3

  • 50G Donnarumma
  • 2Hakimi
  • 5Marquinhos
  • 3Kimpembe
  • 25Tavares Mendes
  • 21Herrera
  • 6VerrattiBooked at 77minsSubstituted forWijnaldumat 78′minutes
  • 27GueyeSubstituted forDaniloat 90′minutes
  • 30Messi
  • 7Mbappé
  • 10Neymar

Substitutes

  • 1Navas
  • 8Paredes
  • 9Icardi
  • 15Danilo
  • 17Dagba
  • 18Wijnaldum
  • 20Kurzawa
  • 22Diallo
  • 23Draxler
  • 24Kehrer
  • 28Ebimbe
  • 60Letellier

Man City

Formation 4-3-3

  • 31Ederson
  • 2Walker
  • 3Rúben Dias
  • 14Laporte
  • 27CanceloBooked at 24mins
  • 20Bernardo Silva
  • 16Rodri
  • 17De BruyneBooked at 39mins
  • 26Mahrez
  • 7SterlingSubstituted forGabriel Jesusat 78′minutes
  • 10GrealishSubstituted forFodenat 68′minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Stones
  • 6Aké
  • 9Gabriel Jesus
  • 13Steffen
  • 21Torres
  • 25Fernandinho
  • 33Carson
  • 47Foden
  • 87McAtee
  • 97Wilson-Esbrand

Referee:
Carlos del Cerro Grande

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