A second-half comeback saw PSG defeat Lille 2-1 at the Parc Des Princes as Messi Struggles persist.
PSG Defeat Champions Lille But Messi Struggles Persist
Di Maria and Marquinhos Play Key Roles as PSG Defeat Lille
PSG needed a second-half comeback to overcome champions Lille in their first meeting since the Trophee Des Championes, which the Ligue 1 champions won 1-0 back in August.
Champions Lille took the lead in impressive fashion through Ligue 1’s top scorer Jonathan David. The Canadian youngster latched onto a cutback from experienced strike partner Burak Yilmaz before proceeding to lift his finish above Gianluigi Donnarumma in the PSG goal after only 31 minutes. It was the 21-year-old’s eighth goal of the season in the French topflight.
PSG continued to press and ask the questions, with Neymar and Angel Di Maria forcing on-loan Atletico Madrid man Ivo Grbic into a series of fine stops. Mauro Icardi also came close in the second half after coming on for Messi, before captain Marquinhos drew PSG level.
The impressive Di Maria kept his composure down the flank before calmly lifting a cross into the box, where Marquinhos was waiting to smash home a first time finish past Grbic and equalise for the home side in the 74th minute of the encounter.
PSG continued to press for a winner and were duly rewarded after some more good work from Argentine midfielder Di Maria late in the day.
With only two minutes of normal time remaining, the midfielder picked up the ball in midfield and passed to Neymar, continuing his run towards the box. Neymar returned the ball to the Argentine, who rolled a first time left-footed effort under goalkeeper Grbic to hand his side all three points from the match.
Messi struggles, hauled off at halftime in PSG win
Lionel Messi has struggled to make an impact in the Ligue 1 with PSG, failing to find the net in all of his previous appearances in the competition since completing a move from FC Barcelona over the summer. The diminutive Argentine forward has, however, scored three times in the UEFA Champions League for the side this season.
Messi was substituted after the first half for compatriot Mauro Icardi, with manager Mauricio Pochettino stating that it was only as a ‘precaution’.
“We have to wait. We spoke with the doctor. It’s a precaution. He couldn’t go on, but it’s not a big issue. He will be available for the next game.”
While he awaits his first Ligue 1 goal, Messi has now recorded his worst start to a league season since 2005 when he was just a teenager learning the ropes at the Nou Camp when it took six matches for Messi to find the net for the first time in the 2005/06 season.
He was not needed to help PSG defeat Lille at the Parc Des Princes, but needs to step up in the coming weeks if he intends to help PSG regain their Ligue 1 crown.
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