Messi to the rescue as PSG extend Ligue 1 lead

Messi to the rescue as PSG extends Ligue 1 lead. Lionel Messi scored in the second half to help Paris St Germain recover from a woeful start and extend their Ligue 1 lead to a provisional eight points with a 2-1 home victory on Saturday. Messi struck the winner after the break with his third goal in his last five league games to 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.

Messi to the rescue as PSG extend Ligue 1 lead

The result left Toulouse in 12th place on 29 points. Olympique de Marseille are second on 46 points before hosting Nice on Sunday with third-placed RC Lens travelling to Stade Brestois. Without Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, both injured, Messi was flanked by Hugo Ekitike in attack with Vitinha just behind:

“Lionel was our engine, he scored and created chances. I ask of the team that they play for him,” said Galtier.

“His team mates need to make more efforts defensively to give him more freedom to create movement and opportunities.”

Stade Rennais’s Champions League hopes later took a major knock when they wasted a 1-0 advantage and lost 3-1 at home to Lille, who prevailed thanks to late goals by Remy Cabella and Andre Gomes. Rennes are left in fifth place on 40 points, with Lille in sixth, two points behind them. Olympique Lyonnais continued to improve as goals by their youngsters Bradley Barcola and Rayan Cherki helped them beat Troyes 3-1 away. Laurent Blanc’s side, however, remain in eighth place on 32 points.

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