In an extraordinary display of the game, Lionel Messi gave PSG the lead in the 29th with a curling free kick into the top corner from 22 yards in the French league on Saturday. Messi’s fifth league goal was one shy of his league tally last season when he took time to adapt to a new club and struggled with knocks and a bout of Covid-19.
As soon as Messi scored, the side panels at the pitch quickly changed to acknowledge Lionel Messi’s GOAT status.
Kylian Mbappe scored a late winner as defending champion Paris Saint-Germain edged Nice 2-1 to restore its two-point lead over Marseille.
This angle of Lionel Messi’s free kick goal for PSG. 🐐 pic.twitter.com/VQDFHB20OV
— Messi (@MessiGlobe) October 2, 2022
Mbappe pounced on a pass from Nordi Mukiele to beat Kasper Schmeichel with a low strike in the 83rd minute. The France striker tied Neymar as the joint top scorer in the league with eight.
Gaetan Laborde equalized from close range just after halftime after the PSG defense failed to clear a cross from Youcef Atal.
PSG needed Messi’s brilliance because forward Hugo Ekitike, who got his first start this season, proved toothless and didn’t make runs in behind the defense like Mbappe does.
😳Lionel Messi’s stunning free kick that left Kasper Schmeichel gazing at the ball.
— Champions League Stats (@alimo_philip) October 2, 2022
Nice pressed high up the pitch to prevent PSG from creating chances. That defensive ploy worked until the 27th when Messi started a dribbling run, outpacing Mario Lemina before taking on Dante, who tripped the Argentina playmaker and conceded the free kick that led to the opening goal.
Ahead of a key Champions League match at Benfica next week, PSG rested Mbappe and Nuno Mendes until both came off the bench in the second half.
With AP inputs