Messi strikes early to keep PSG top in Ligue 1

PSG's 'MNM' attack is firing on all cylinders, with eight goals in Ligue 1 for Neymar, seven for Mbappe and four for Messi



PSG's Lionel Messi celebrates his goal with Marquinhos and Sergio Ramos. (Reuters)
PSG's Lionel Messi celebrates his goal with Marquinhos and Sergio Ramos. (Reuters)

By AFP

Published: Mon 19 Sep 2022, 3:01 PM

Lionel Messi struck after five minutes as Paris Saint-Germain edged Lyon 1-0 to regain top spot in the Ligue 1 table ahead of Marseille on Sunday.

Neymar set up the Argentinian with his seventh assist in eight Ligue 1 games.

The victory pulled PSG two points clear of Marseille who had taken top spot earlier with a 1-1 draw at home against Rennes.

Lorient, 3-1 winners over Auxerre, are three points adrift of the leaders.

Lens dropped to fourth after being held to a goalless draw in Nantes.

"PSG played a great game tonight, against a difficult team which was waiting for us," said PSG coach Christophe Galtier.

"We scored a good goal and could have scored others.

"We were much more balanced, Neymar in particular gave us a balance which was really necessary. Even if we were less mobile in the second half we still had a lot of chances."

PSG were imperious in the first half but did not finish off their opponent who woke up after the break with Johann Lepenant coming on in place of a tired Corentin Tolisso.

But Galtier's side held on to inflict Lyon's third defeat of the season.

Galtier's "MNM" attack is firing on all cylinders, with eight goals in Ligue 1 for Neymar, seven for Kylian Mbappe and four for Messi.

Earlier, Marseille midfielder Matteo Guendouzi scored both goals in a 1-1 draw at home against Rennes.

Guendouzi bundled past home keeper Pau Lopez to give Rennes the advantage after 26 minutes but the former Arsenal player redeemed himself with a header past ex-Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda seven minutes after the break.

There was also red card controversy in Reims who fell 3-0 to Monaco with defender Bradley Locko sent off after 22 minutes for leaving a boot in on Breel Embolo.

In a punishing game in Brittany, Ajaccio got their first win of the season 1-0 at Brest in a match where two players were stretched off.

Seconds after kick-off, Ajaccio goalkeeper Benjamin Leroy caught a teammate's knee head-on as he tried to catch a ball.

An aerial duel also floored Noah Fadiga after half an hour, leaving the defender stunned in a head-to-head clash with Ismael Diallo.

Ajaccio got their first success of the season thanks to Romain Hamouma's 65th-minute goal, to leave the Corsicans only one point behind Brest and Strasbourg.

Elsewhere, Troyes won 3-1 at Clermont to move up to 10th after two defeats in a row.


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