Monday, October 18, 2021

Lionel Flair! Messi’s first goal for PSG punishes Pep

LIONEL MESSI announced himself in style at Paris Saint-Germain as his first goal for the club downed Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

Messi took the game away from City late on but Guardiola took several positives despite a 2-0 Champions League defeat in the Parc des Princes on a night that saw Liverpool thrash Porto 5-1.

The City manager heaped praise on his old prodigy, claiming it was ‘impossible’ to thwart him for the entire game. ‘The Messi goal was fantastic,’ Guardiola said. ‘We know it’s impossible to control Leo during the whole 90 minutes but he was not much in touch with the ball.

‘We know quite well that when he can run and get close to the box he is unstoppable. We knew it already, we spoke about that, we cannot control them for 90 minutes, these huge talents. The only options I know are to either defend deep for 90 minutes and pray or to take the ball and try to play your game. We played our game.

Messi pleaded for more time to settle in France after making only his fourth appearance for Mauricio Pochettino’s PSG since leaving Barcelona over the summer.

Messi said: ‘I hadn’t been able to play recently and this was only my second game in this stadium. I’m adapting to my new team. The more we forwards play together the better our relationship will be. We all need to grow together and improve and keep giving our best.

Last year’s finalists missed a number of chances — not least when Bernardo Silva hit the bar from only two yards before half-time.

PSG scored with two of their three shots on target — Idrissa Gueye scoring on eight minutes — and Guardiola refused to be downcast.

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