Messi, who did not score in five league games since arriving at PSG this summer, ended his Ligue 1 duck on Saturday. The Argentine found the back of the net against Nantes to help his ten-man side pick up a 3-1 victory. The win saw PSG take a commanding 12-point lead atop the Ligue 1 table after 14 games.
Asked about Lionel Messi ending his drought in the French top flight, PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino said at the post-match press conference:
“I don’t think he was worried about not having scored a league goal. He is a great champion, the best player in the world; so he knows how to come through difficult spells. He has the patience; and it’s good that he scored.”
Pochettino also believes the Parisians' star trio of Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar Jr. just need time to start firing in unison.
“We played really well in the first half. For Messi, Neymar and Mbappe I always said it was a question of connections, of spending time together and playing competitive matches. But the whole team played well, and it’s just a shame we didn’t score more goals in the first half.”
Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi have already begun developing a deadly strike partnership for PSG
While Lionel Messi has struggled in Ligue 1, he has been on fire in the UEFA Champions League. The 34-year-old has netted thrice in three games, including goals against Manchester City and RB Leipzig.
Interestingly, Messi's first goal in the Champions League (against Manchester City) was assisted by Kylian Mbappe. The Frenchman played a crucial role in both Messi goals against RB Leipzig as well.
It was Mbappe's pass that Messi converted on the rebound after hitting the post, for his first goal. Shortly after, the 22-year-old won a penalty which Messi converted for his third PSG goal.
Last night, Mbappe assisted Messi's first goal in Ligue 1 as well, setting up the Argentine with a good pass. Messi controlled the ball before bending a left-footed strike into the bottom corner to give PSG all three points away at Nantes.
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While Neymar is yet to join the party, the Lionel Messi-Kylian Mbappe partnership seems to be developing at a rapid pace. It will be interesting to see exactly how potent the duo can be for PSG as the season progresses.