Lionel Messi news: Paris Saint-Germain superstar closes gap with the Argentine in race for the European Golden Shoe
What's the story?
Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe has inched closer to Lionel Messi's league goal tally this season, following a sensational hat-trick against AS Monaco in Ligue 1 yesterday. The 20-year old is now on 30 league goals for the season, while the mercurial Argentine leads the race for the European Golden Boot with 33 goals in La Liga. Cristiano Ronaldo, meanwhile, is a distant 11th in the table with 19 goals in the Seria A
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Barcelona beat Real Sociadad 2-1 on Saturday, with Messi having a rare scoreless game. But he contributed the assist for Jordi Alba's winner. Ernesto Valverde's side are on the hunt for the treble this season. They are the runaway leaders in La Liga, have reached the finals of the Copa del Rey and demolished Manchester United 4-0 on aggregate en route to reaching the UEFA Champions League semi-finals.
Messi has scored 45 goals and made 15 assists in all competitions in the present campaign. 'La Pulga' is currently leading both the UEFA Champions League and La Liga goalscoring charts.
The heart of the matter
Mbappe's heroics against AS Monaco saw Paris Saint-Germain secure the Ligue 1 title with 5 games to spare. The 3 points ensured that the Parisians lead the table with an unassailable 19 points ahead of nearest rivals Lille OSC. The 20-year-old World Cup winner has shouldered the goalscoring burden at PSG, with talisman Neymar out injured. Mbappe toepoked the first goal from a pass from Notre-Dame in the 15th minute, beating the defensive line with sheer pace. He beat his marker for pace and power again to smash in the second on the 38th minute mark. He ensured he left the pitch with the match ball in the 55th minute, tapping in a Dani Alves pass from a fast PSG counter. Mbappe leads the Ligue 1 scoring chartes with a whopping 30 goals, with Lille's Nicolas Pepe second with 19 goals.
Barcelona next face Alaves in La Liga on Tuesday night, while PSG will come up against Rennes in the French Cup final on Saturday as they look to complete a domestic double.