Messi debuts for unbeaten PSG

Ligue 1

Lionel Messi made his first appearance in a Paris Saint-Germain shirt as the Ligue 1 leaders registered a 2-0 over Reims on Sunday evening.

Real Madrid target Kylian Mbappe continued to lead the line alongside Neymar and Angel Di Maria, with PSG naming Messi on the substitutes bench.

Mbappe rewarded manager Mauricio Pochettino on 16 minutes as he escaped a challenge to get on the end of a back-post delivery by Di Maria to nod into the top corner.

Reims already faced a tall order and it was sure to get worse midway in through a smart header in the danger box by Marquinhos, but he went way over the top following an uprooted delivery.

The Parisans ended the first half on the back-foot though after an audacious attempt outside the area by Moreto Cassama had goalkeeper Keylor Navas flapping before seeing the strike go astray.

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Former Orlando Pirates man Marshall Munetsi thought he had levelled matters after halftime from a rebound off an attempt by El Bilal Toure, but the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) called an offside.

This urged the big-spending visitors to shape up and it is exactly what Mbappe did midway in the second half when he tapped in Achraf Hakimi’s low back-post supply to complete his brace.

With the nerves allayed and the balance of play in sight, PSG put Messi on for his debut with Neymar removed and also withdrew Georginio Wijnaldum for Ander Herrera.

The Argentine superstar looked to cause havoc late on whenever in possession, but his moves were carefully snuffed out however it finished 2-0 to the Parisans.

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