‘nstoppable’ Lionel Messi scores first PSG goal in Champions League win over Manchester City.
In a 2-0 Champions League win against Manchester City on Tuesday night, Lionel Messi scored his first goal for Paris Saint-Germain.
In the 74th minute, the Argentine striker curled in a beautiful left-footed shot from the outside of the box to give the French giants a two-goal lead.
PSG took an early lead via midfielder Idrissa Gueye, but Manchester City came close to equalizing when Raheem Sterling and Bernado Silva both struck the crossbar in quick succession.
However, Messi’s goal, which was his fourth since leaving Barcelona, sealed the group stage win in Paris.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola lauded PSG star Lionel Messi after the game,
calling the 34-year-old “unstoppable.” Guardiola coached Messi at Barcelona,
where they won two Champions League championships together.
“First and foremost, we dealt with PSG,
but we know it’s difficult to keep Leo under control for 90 minutes,” Guardiola added.
“He wasn’t in contact with the ball,
he was coming back from injury, so he needed some rhythm
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but we know how unstoppable he is when he can sprint and get near to the ball.”
What we’ve done is limit these kinds of choices as much as possible while creating the opportunities that we could, and I’m happy with the way we played.
“Nobody can dispute that we were present. When you lose the ball and they can make one pass,
particularly with (Marco) Verratti — a fantastic, incredible player,
and make contact with Neymar and Messi and they can sprint, it’s tough.”
Messi went above and above for his side after scoring his goal,
lying down behind a defensive wall at a freekick to prevent a shot from being taken beneath it and shocking goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand,
on the other hand, believes that a player of Messi’s ability should not have been assigned to such a task.
“Someone should’ve gone in there and said, ‘No, Leo Messi is unaffected by this “On BT Sport,
Ferdinand, who won the Champions League with Manchester United in 2008, stated., no You can’t do it. It’s disrespectful, and I’m not going to put up with it.
‘Listen, I’ll lie down for you,’ I’d have to say if I were on their squad. I’m sorry,
but I couldn’t let him lie down like that. I’m not able to view it. Messi doesn’t get his uniform filthy; he doesn’t do it.”
In August, Messi signed a two-year contract with PSG, ending his two-decade stay with Barça.
Messi failed to score or assist in his first three games for the club,
which were marred by a lack of preseason training and injuries.
On his home debut for PSG, Mauricio Pochettino, to the six-time Ballon d’Or winner’s displeasure,
replaced him in the second half as his team looked for a winning goal against Lyon.
Pochettino and Messi didn’t shake hands, although they did exchange a few words as Messi walked to the bench.
Pochettino justified his choice to replace Messi after PSG won the Ligue 1 match courtesy of a Mauro Icardi header in stoppage time.
However, against Manchester City at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday,
the Argentine superstar looked like himself again,
scooping up his customary pockets of space and playing effectively with Kylian Mbappé and Neymar.
And little over 15 minutes from the conclusion of the contest,
with the outcome still in doubt, the Parisian fans got what they wanted as Messi scored past a rooted-to-the-spot Ederson with his signature left foot.
The goal was his 121st in the Champions League,
and he has 27 in 35 games versus English clubs in the tournament, 15 more than any other player.
After Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema,
he became just the second player in Champions League history to score in 17 straight seasons.
Following the game, Messi emphasized the significance of getting a good result following PSG’s dismal 1-1 tie with Club Brugge.
He told Canal+, “I hadn’t been able to play lately,
and this was just my second game in this stadium.”
“I’m getting used to my new colleagues.
The more we play together as forwards, the better our connection will become.
We must all work together to develop and continue to provide our best.”
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