Lionel Messi’s stunning first Paris Saint-Germain goal sealed a 2-0 Champions League victory over Manchester City at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday.
Messi had failed to find the net in his first three PSG appearances but marked his return to Mauricio Pochettino’s team with a trademark run and exquisite finish 16 minutes from time.
Idrissa Gueye had given PSG an eighth-minute lead with a brilliant finish of his own, a lead which City should have cancelled out when Bernardo Silva hit the bar from three yards in the first half after Raheem Sterling’s header had cannoned off the woodwork, but their hopes of a comeback were extinguished by Messi’s latest moment of magic.
PSG’s first Champions League victory of the season moves them top of Group A, while City drop to third – behind Club Brugge – after suffering their first group-stage defeat since 2018 on a testing night in the French capital.
PSG: Donnarumma (8), Hakimi (8), Marquinhos (8), Kimpembe (7), Mendes (7), Verratti (8), Herrera (7), Gueye (8), Neymar (6), Messi (8), Mbappe (7).
Subs: Wijnaldum (5), Danilo (n/a).
Man City: Ederson (5), Walker (6), Dias (5), Laporte (5), Cancelo (7), Rodri (6), Mahrez (5), De Bruyne (6), Bernardo Silva (5), Grealish (4), Sterling (4).
Subs: Foden (6), Jesus (5).
Man of the Match: Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Messi magic overcomes Man City
With all eyes were on PSG’s formidable front three of Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar it came as a surprise when the hosts took the lead through an unexpected source inside eight minutes, though the star-studded attack did all have a hand in the opener.
Messi found Achraf Hakimi, who released Mbappe to the byline from where his cutback saw Neymar fluff a shot from 12 yards and inadvertently present the ball to Gueye, who produced a clinical finish his attacking team-mates would have been proud of into the top corner of the Manchester City goal.
Gueye’s fourth goal in his last six matches should have been cancelled out when Kevin de Bruyne’s stabbed cross with the outside of his boot found Sterling, who planted a header against the bar before Silva turned the rebound onto the frame of the PSG goal when it looked easier to score.