Argentine superstar Lionel Messi starred with a goal as Paris Saint Germain defeated 12th placed Toulouse and extend their lead on top of the Ligue One table. Without Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, the responsibility of shouldering the PSG attack was sorely on the shoulders of the World Cup winner and he did not disappoint.
Messi curled in an exquisite goal into the bottom corner from outside the area in the 58th minute and put PSG 2-1 ahead, helping the hosts recover from a woeful start where they conceded first. The Argentine also came close to completing his brace in stoppage time only to hit the post. This was his third goal in his last five league games and it put PSG on 54 points from 22 games.
Achraf Hakimi had cancelled out Branco van den Boomen’s opener in the first half for Christophe Galtier’s side, who had only won two of their last five matches in Ligue 1.
🎥 Lionel Messi’s incredible goal
— Barça Spaces (@BarcaSpaces) February 4, 2023
Olympique de Marseille are second on 46 points before hosting Nice on Sunday with third-placed RC Lens travelling to Stade Brestois.
Without the aforementioned Neymar and Mbappe, both injured, Messi was flanked by Hugo Ekitike in attack with Vitinha just behind.
Renato Sanches was on in midfield following Marco Verratti’s suspension, but the Portugal international left the pitch in tears after sustaining a thigh injury on 12 minutes.
Van den Boomen then opened the scoring in the 20th minute with a finely taken free kick that left Gianlugi Donnarumma with both feet stuck in the ground.
Marquinhos latched onto a Messi free kick, only for his deflection to hit the post 12 minutes before the break, but Hakimi was more precise five minutes later with a superb curled attempt from outside the box.