Despite missing Kylian Mbappe and Neymar due to injury, Paris Saint-Germain beat Toulouse 2-1 on Saturday to consolidate their lead at the top of Legue 1. Messi scored a superb second-half winner.
The 20th-minute freekck of Dutch midfielder Branco van den Boomen gave Toulouse the lead at the Parc des Princes, but Achraf Hakimi equalised with half-time fast approaching. Before the hour mark, Messi scored PSG’s first goal with a glorious first-time strike low into the corner of the net with his left foot.
A World Cup winner stepped up when PSG’s other superstar attackers were absent, scoring his 10th Ligue 1 goal of the season and 15th for his club. As a result, Qatar-owned club are eight points clear at the top from Marseille, which plays Nice on Sunday and hosts PSG in the French Cup last 16 next week.
After missing PSG’s two other superstar attackers this season, Messi stepped up in the absence of them to score his 10th Ligue 1 goal of the season and 15th for his club. Qatar’s club now leads Marseille by eight points, while Marseille play Nice on Sunday and host PSG in the French Cup last 16 next week.
El Chadaille Bitshiabu replaced him, with Danilo Pereira moving into the midfield, and was partly to blame when PSG lost. In the resulting free-kick, Van den Boomen beat Gianluigi Donnarumma and sent it low into the left corner of the net after Bitshiabu brought down Zakaria Aboukhlal 25 metres from goal.
After that, there was no doubt that PSG — who have been struggling lately — would win. Anthony Rouault forced Donnarumma to make a great save deep into injury time, but Messi hit the post at the end. Rennes will try to win their 11th consecutive league game by beating Lille later this week before Lyon travels to Troyes.