PSG vs. Nantes result: Lionel Messi scores, rescues 10-man PSG in 3-1 win
Lionel Messi finally scored his first Ligue 1 goal for Paris Saint-Germain as the league leader secured another win 3-1 over visiting Nantes. But Messi & Co. did it the hard way.
A deflected shot by Messi and late curling strike by the Argentine star gave 10-man PSG the lead after Nantes equalized in the second half on the heels of a red card to PSG’s starting ‘keeper.
After a comfortable first half that saw them cruise into the break with a 1-0 lead on a second-minute Kylian Mbappe goal, PSG took its foot off the pedal in the second half. Nantes changed formation, brought in attacking reinforcements and then PSG goalkeeper Keylor Navas was sent off for coming off his line and taking out a player for denial of an obvious goal-scoring opportunity.
Nantes would equalize on a fantastic back heel by Kolo Muani and it looked like PSG would be on its heels for the rest of the match. But Messi and Mbappe worked together to create havoc in the Nantes back line. First it was a Messi shot that was deflected for an own goal that gave PSG the lead and then Messi put the icing on the cake with three minutes remaining (video below).
74th min.: SUB - Gini Wijnaldum comes in for Marco Verratti, who’s sitting on a yellow. Ten-man PSG need someone who can cover ground.
70th min.: Reflex save by Sergio Rico! Ball deflects off PSG defender Diallo and Rico has to prevent the ball from going in. What once was a comfortable match for PSG will not be a battle for the last 20 minutes.
68th min.: SUB - PSG backup goalkeeper Sergio Rico comes in and Neymar is the player sacrificed.
65th min.: Red card! Things just got interesting in Paris. Keylor Navas was just sent off for coming off his line and out of the box and taking out Blas. It’s a questionable decision by Navas who opted for the risky play.
58th min.: SUBS - Nantes are going to make a run at this. Osman Bukari and Quentin Merlin are on for Fabio and Coulibaly.
54th min.: Nantes nearly equalizes with two chances. PSG has taken its foot off the pedal. The ball misses a wide open Koulibaly in the first instance, and then his shot was blocked by defender Thilo Kehrer in the second instance.
46th min.: Second half is underway.
Halftime: PSG 1, Nantes 0
Halftime: Nantes 22-year-old goalkeeper Alban Lafont is the only reason that the visitors are still in this game. The Neymar-Mbappe-Messi attacking trident is moving and combining well and Nantes simply can’t stay with them. On the other end, PSG has easily handled everything Nantes has thrown its way and the Canaries only have two shots all game. This seems like the best scenario for Messi to finally get his first Ligue 1 goal in the second half. But with a Champions League match in midweek, manager Mauricio Pochettino could decide to rest his stars if they can put the match out of reach.
42nd min.: SUB - Dennis Appiah comes in for Nantes in place of the injured Sebastien Corchia.
38th min.: No mercy from PSG and Lafont has to come up with another save on Messi. And after the play recirculates, there are appeals for a penalty on Neymar. Good no call.
22nd min.: The PSG front three is clicking and it’s another save by Lafont. That was Messi finding Mbappe in the box. Good movement by the star players.
20th min.: Before the corner kick, Mbappe has to be tended to. He received a stomp on the play and a piece of his cleat came off. He has to change shoes on the sideline.
18th min.: What a chance for Messi! Neymar finds him in the box, but Messi shot is saved by Nantes ‘keeper Alban Lafont. It was essentially a 1-on-1. Messi still looking for his first Ligue 1 goal.
16th min.: First real threat by Nantes on a shot by Coco from outside the box that goes high of the target. The visitors haven’t really threatened the PSG makeshift backline.
10th min.: PSG targeting that wide left attacking flank (the right side for Nantes). That’s also where the play on the goal started via Neymar.
8th min.: Finally we see a replay on the broadcast and it was Lionel Messi who was offside. Mbappe was kept on for his seventh of the year.
2nd min.: Goal PSG! A long-distance shot by Leandro Paredes is deflected by Mbappe on its way to goal. At first it looked like Mbappe was offside, but the goal stands.
PSG vs. Nantes lineups
The good news for Paris Saint-Germain fans is that their star trio is starting up top, and Marco Verratti and Leandro Paredes make their return to midfield.
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But starting center backs Presnel Kimpembe or Marquinhos are unavailable. Abdou Diallo and Thilo Kehrer will fill in. Julian Draxler and goalkeeper Gigi Donnarumma are also not part of the matchday squad.
PSG starting lineup (4-3-3, left to right): 1-Keylor Navas-GK — 14-Juan Bernat, 22-Abdou Diallo, 24-Thilo Kehrer, 2-Achraf Hakimi — 6-Marco Verratti, 27-Idrissa Gueye, 8-Leandro Paredes — 10-Neymar Jr., 7-Kylian Mbappe, 30-Lionel Messi
PSG subs (9): 16-Sergio Rico-GK, 17-Colin Dagba, 25-Nuno Mendes, 28-Eric Junior Dina Ebimbe, 15-Danilo, 18-Georginio Wijnaldum, 21-Ander Herrera, 11-Angel Di Maria, 9-Mauro Icardi
It’ll be interesting to see how the Nantes formation matches up against PSG. The Canaries will be without suspended center back Nicolas Gallois, but they will still be dreaming of an upset win at the Parc des Princes for the second straight season.
Nantes starting lineup (4-2-2-2, left to right): 1-Alban Lafont-GK — 24-Sebastien Corchia, 3-Andrei Girotto, 21-Jean-Charles Castelletto, 2-Fabio — 5-Pedro Chirivella, 18-Samuel Moutoussamy — 11-Marcus Coco, 10-Ludovic Blas — 23-Randal Kolo Muani, 7-Kalifa Coulibaly
Nantes subs (9): 30-Denis Petric-GK, 12-Dennis Appiah, 33-Yannis M’Bemba, 14-Charles Traore, 8-Wylan Cyprien, 31-Gor Manvelyan, 19-William Geubbels, 26-Osman Bukari, 29-Quentin Merlin