Ligue 1 – After PSG-Nantes (3-1): Lionel Messi, a first goal and great promises


It was party night at the Parc des Princes. For the Virage Auteuil, of course, which took care to blow out its 30 candles in a joyful crash, with a remarkable tifo and the cracking of countless smoke. On the ground too, PSG was up to the occasion. The vice-champions of France tamed Nantes at the end of a part with a breathtaking scenario, even confusing at times (3-1). Keylor Navas has certainly been expelled, and he was not too celebratory when he joined the locker room. But the main thing was elsewhere: yes, finally, Lionel Messi scored the first goal of his career in Ligue 1.

It was therefore on a cold evening in November, at the end of a new international truce, that the six-fold Ballon d’Or unlocked its counter in the French Championship. Served by Kylian Mbappé, the Argentine erased Andrei Girotto before shooting a curled shot from the left from outside the area. Alban Lafont could not do anything and the Canaries, who were pushing to equalize, definitively abdicated (3-1, 87th). Goals like this, « la Pulga » have probably stacked dozens of them on Spanish lawns. That he does it in L1 necessarily has a different flavor. For observers and for him.

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Leo Messi (PSG)

Credit: Getty Images

I am very happy to have scored this first goal

« Even though I had already scored in the Champions League (three times in as many meetings, editor’s note), I’m very happy to have scored this first league goal,  » soberly confessed the former FC Barcelona player at the microphone of Prime Video just after the final whistle. « I’m very happy for him, welcomed his teammate Achraf Hakimi, also interviewed by the broadcaster. We hope he can help us achieve all of our goals.  »

And it was ultimately the coach of the two men, Mauricio Pochettino, who summed up the situation best: « It was very important for him to score his first goal in L1. And it was also important for us! » In fact, Paris knows that it will need a Messi at the top of his game to achieve his ultimate dream of lifting the Cup with big ears. And until then, it is clear that « Leo » – who, it must be remembered, was disturbed by physical glitches – had undoubtedly left more than one unsatisfied. The copy he returned this Saturday, however, has enough to dispel a lot of doubts.

Messi-Neymar-Mbappé, the connection is more and more fluid

Because beyond his goal, which certainly calls for others, Messi achieved a full match. If he is also involved in the unfortunate and unlikely counter-camp of Dennis Appiah (2-1, 81st), the Parisian number 30 has above all been a constant threat from start to finish. By being a bit more incisive and without a great Alban Lafont (17th, 38th), he would certainly have scored more than one goal. « We had a lot of chances, but we ran into a very good goalkeeper, » has also conceded the native of Rosario.

Above all (and this is perhaps the most important), the trio he forms with Neymar and Kylian Mbappé made sparks. A fortiori in the first period, during which the Parisian grip on the meeting was clear. Despite his recent injury, the Brazilian has been in tune with his French teammate who has been walking on water for a while. Of course, not everything was perfect. Because otherwise, PSG would have taken shelter well before the last ten minutes. Still, this trio, so promising on paper, seems to be starting to find its feet. Here is another reason for being in a festive mood for Parisian supporters.

Lionel Messi celebrates his goal during PSG-Nantes

Credit: Getty Images

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