Lionel Messi finally has his first Paris Saint-Germain goal in Ligue 1 after completing a flattering 3-1 victory over FC Nantes on Saturday with a superb strike.
Prior to the legendary Argentine’s moment of magic, Mauricio Pochettino’s men were extremely fortunate to be in front through a deflected Kylian Mbappe effort and a wild Dennis Appiah own goal either side of a Randal Kolo Muani strike and Keylor Navas’ red card.
Although the result and performance did little to dispel the idea that PSG are far from tapping into their potential under Pochettino, Messi getting off the mark domestically lifts a weight off his shoulders.
“I am very happy with this first league goal,” said Messi post-match. “I had several chances before, both in this game and others. Unfortunately, I could not convert those until this one finally arrived. I am very happy as I have already scored in the Champions League. Chances have come and now the goals have too.”
It was a delightful finish reminiscent of the 34-year-old’s prime when it arrived late on at a cold Parc des Princes and curled beyond the despairing dive of Alban Lafont who had foiled him multiple times during the game.
Indeed, it was arguably the only worthy strike to hit the visitors’ net with Mbappe’s opener and Appiah’s own goal both wildly unfortunate for Antoine Kombouare’s visiting Canaris.
“It is very important for him to have scored,” added Pochettino after the final whistle. “It is his first Ligue 1 goal. It was important both for him and the team. It is a good victory for us.”
Messi is now on four goals all season with PSG and three of those have come in the UEFA Champions League with next week’s trip to Manchester City a chance to add to that.
PSG must be more convincing, though, with Messi, Mbappe and occasionally Neymar magic not enough to keep bailing them out in majorly disjointed displays where they regularly ride their luck.