Messi made his debut for PSG. How it was
Three weeks ago, Lionel Messi made the most difficult decision in his career – he said goodbye to Barcelona, in which he spent his entire football life, and signed a contract with PSG. Since that day, Paris (and what is there – the whole world!) Was looking forward to the debut of the Argentinean for the team of Mauricio Pochettino . However, the 34-year-old striker, who had no normal pre-season training, took about 20 days to get in shape and earn inclusion in PSG’s application.
It was Mbappe who scored the only goal in the first half. Paris had a great territorial advantage, controlling the ball 65% of the time, but the starting 10-15 minutes turned out to be difficult for the guests. The hosts, out of emotion, tried to crush the favorite, 23-year-old attacking midfielder Ilan Kebbal , a smart, technical player, stood out in their composition . But PSG scored with the first shot on target: Mbappé struck with his head from about the goalkeeper’s line after Angel Di Maria’s feed from the right flank.
By the break, the score was 9: 2 in favor of Pochettino’s team, but PSG hit the target only twice (Reims never once). The dynamic game lacked beauty.
In the 52nd minute, a surprise happened – Reims scored. PSG defenders missed a cross from the right flank, a header and finishing off the ball, reflected by the goalkeeper Keylor Navas in front of them. By the way, the new goalkeeper of the Pochettino team, the hero of Euro 2020, Gianluigi Donnarumma , watched all this from the bench . But the Parisians were lucky: after a long study of the video, the goal was canceled due to a small offside position. As soon as the PSG coach felt a change in the game, he sent Messi to warm up. Leo moved and jumped along the edge to the applause of the local audience, he even waved his hand to someone with a smile.
As Messi was preparing to enter the field, Paris scored the second goal. The guests brilliantly counterattacked due to a long pass to the right flank to free Ashraf Hakimi . The Moroccan shot – Mbappé scored a double. And this goal was checked for offside. There was no violation here.
Leo replaced Neymar. The Brazilian is clearly not in shape yet, he was not very much remembered in Reims. In 64 minutes, I never shot on goal, did not make a single dribble and made only two key passes.
The Argentine is in position under the striker Mbappé. At first I got used to the field and new partners in the game, mostly playing along. Without the ball, of course, he did not make many jerks, although his selection is remembered, after which Leo created the moment for Kilian. Perhaps Mbappe decided in vain to return the ball to Messi in this episode – the pass turned out to be inaccurate. It would be better if the Frenchman hit on goal.
Then the newcomer of Paris took part in several combinations in the opponent’s half of the field. Nevertheless, this evening the fans who filled the stands of the stadium “Auguste Delaunay II” did not wait for magic and goals from Messi. Leo also needs to improve his form. Argentinean statistics: 26 touches, zero shots, 21 assists with 95% accuracy and three fouls earned (opponents met him hard). The ex-Barcelona forward simply helped PSG to calmly bring the matter to victory. For a start, this is enough.
Pochettino’s team has four victories in four rounds of Ligue 1 and a sole lead. In the next round, PSG will host Clermont. Perhaps Messi’s debut in front of his audience will be more striking.