Messi to save the day as PSG take on Ligue 1 lead

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Lionel Messi scored in the second period to aid Paris St Germain recover from an awful start. The team extended the Ligue 1 lead to a eight points in the win at home 2-1 on Saturday.

Messi scored the winner just at the end of the half with three goals in the last five league matches, putting PSG with 54 points from 22 games.

Achraf Hakimi scored Branco Van den Boomen’s goal in the opening half for Christophe Galtier’s team, who had won only two of their last five games on the field in Ligue 1.

The results left Toulouse in 12th position with 29 points.

Olympique de Marseille are second on 46 points and will host Nice on Sunday. Third-placed RC Lens travelling to Stade Brestois.

In the absence of Neymar or Kylian Mbappe Both hurt, Messi was flanked by Hugo Ekitike in attack with Vitinha just in the back.

“Lionel was our engine. He scored and created opportunities. I’m asking the team to take on his role,” said Galtier.

“His teammates must be more defensive to allow him more freedom to move around and create opportunities.”

Renato Sanches was in midfield after Marco Verratti’s suspension however, Sanches was suspended. Portugal national left the field crying after suffering injuries to his thigh in 12 minutes.

Van den Boomen then opened score in the twentyth minute, scoring with a an excellent free kick, which leaves Gianlugi Donnarumma with both feet stuck to the ground.

Marquinhos grabbed the ball of a Messi free kick but his deflection caused his shot to strike the post 12 minutes prior to the break, however Hakimi was more punctual five minutes later, with a brilliant curling attempt in the outside of the box.

Messi was able to curl a second one to the bottom corner from outside of the area during the final 58th minutes. This time, he give PSG clearly ahead. He came close to adding another in the closing minutes, before hitting the post.

The Stade-Rennais’s Champions League hopes later took an unexpected hit when they were unable to capitalize on a 1-0 advantage and then lost 3-1 in their home to Lille who won thanks to the late goals scored from Remy Cabella, and Andre Gomes.

Rennes are in fifth position, with 40 points. Lille in sixth place, two points ahead of them.

Olympique Lyonnais continued to improve with goals scored by their young players Bradley Barcola and Rayan Cherki helped them defeat Troyes 3-1 at home.

Laurent Blanc’s team are, however, in eighth position with 32 points.