Stunning Messi double gives PSG big opening win


Lionel Messi scored a sensational bicycle-kick goal as Paris Saint-Germain began the defence of their Ligue 1 title with an emphatic 5-0 victory over Clermont at the Stade Gabriel Montpied on Saturday.

Messi netted a brace to go with goals from Neymar, Achraf Hakimi and Marquinhos as they followed up last weekend’s 4-0 Trophee des Champions victory over Nantes with another easy win.

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It took only nine minutes for them to get in front as Messi brilliantly flicked the ball into the path of Neymar, who finished an excellent move.

Hakimi scored midway through the first half from a lightening counter-attack, before Marquinhos headed Neymar’s free kick into the net.

Neymar then provided a fourth for Messi, before the Argentine forward capped off an excellent performance with a stunning goal, chesting a pass from Leandro Paredes and providing a bicycle-kick finish.

PSG were without the third member of their star forward trio, Kylian Mbappe due to injury. New coach Christophe Galtier handed Ligue 1 debuts for PSG to summer arrivals Vitinha, Hugo Ekitike and Nordi Mukiele.

There was also a debut for Warren Zaire-Emery, who, aged just 16 years, four months and 29 days, became the youngest player ever to feature for PSG in a competitive match.

“A lot of satisfaction, first and foremost with the win,” Galtier said afterward. “Winning the game and scoring five goals is important, as is not conceding any chances and maintaining high levels throughout, even when the gaps were getting larger.

“I liked the way that the team expressed itself in attack, of course. But also when the block needed to put in the team effort to win the ball back. There was a lot of effort put in for one and other, and putting in that effort for teammates is something that we are really insisting on a lot.

“I know that I have a very talented team with players who are very talented, but they need to play as a team, and that needs to happen over the whole of a match, and then throughout the season.”

Earlier, Monaco won 2-1 at Racing Strasbourg after the home side had a last gasp equaliser ruled out by VAR.

Monaco, who play away in the Champions League preliminary round against PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday, went 2-0 up through Krepin Diatta and Sofiane Diop before Habib Diallo pulled one back in the 65th minute.

Diallo thought he had another, two minutes into stoppage time, when he headed home but team mate Alexander Djiku was found to be offside as he made the assist and the strike was ruled out to hand Monaco victory.



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