Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) came from behind to record a 3-1 victory against St-Etienne in an entertaining Ligue 1 fixture, with Lionel Messi taking center stage for the away side. The Argentine great has been the talk of the town in recent weeks and is widely believed to be the front-runner for the 2021 Ballon d'Or, but on Sunday, he showed his class despite enduring a rather average game by his standards.
PSG were pegged back in the opening exchanges and were made to pay for failing to take the game to the opposition, as Denis Bouanga put the ball home from close range in the 23rd minute. The star-studded attacking trio of Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe looked far from their best, with the Frenchman fluffing the best chance of the first half thanks to some inspired goalkeeping from Etienne Green.
However, PSG restored parity before the interval, as St-Etienne went down to 10 men after Timothee Kolodziejczak was sent off for a rash challenge on Mbappe. Messi curled the resulting free-kick into the box perfectly onto the head of Marquinhos, who leaped highest and turned the ball into the net to make it 1-1.
Messi makes match-winning contribution for PSG with a hattrick of assists
PSG got better as the game went on and took the lead in the 79th minute through Angel di Maria. The Argentine was found inside the box by Messi, who guided the ball onto his path with the outside of his foot. With the goal gaping, di Maria made no mistake as he slotted the ball into the back of the net with his left foot.
Marquinhos added gloss to the result with his second of the game in stoppage time, as PSG turned on the style in the second half to extend their advantage at the top of the table.
Messi didn't get his name on the scoresheet and wasn't really at his best, but he recorded three assists to spearhead his side to victory away from home. Despite the result, the night ended on a sour note for PSG, as Neymar was stretchered off the pitch after rolling his ankle awkwardly.
On that note, here are some of the best tweets from what turned out to be an eventful game of football.