Lionel Messi scored his first Paris Saint-Germain goal on Tuesday and it was a significant one, helping put Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City to the sword in a 2-0 Champions League win for the French club.
Messi’s goal was both stunning and also so typical of the Argentine, as he burst forward from the right and played a one-two with Kylian Mbappe on the edge of the box, holding off Aymeric Laporte as he sent a first-time strike high into the net.
It raised the roof at the Parc des Princes, as PSG supporters celebrated seeing the six-time Ballon d’Or winner open his account for the club he joined in August.
Idrissa Gana Gueye, arguably PSG’s best player this season, had given the home side an early lead to leave City chasing the game.
Guardiola’s side, who beat the French club in the semi-finals last season before losing the final, dominated large spells of the match in between the two goals, but their finishing let them down.
They will especially rue the moment in the first half when Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva each hit the bar in quick succession, but City will still be confident of progressing to the last 16.
PSG and Club Brugge, who won 2-1 at RB Leipzig on Tuesday, are level on four points at the top of Group A, with City on three having beat the Germans 6-3 a fortnight ago.
The Premier League champions will hope to take their revenge on PSG when they meet in the reverse fixture, but this was a night for the Qatar-owned rivals of Abu Dhabi-backed City to bask in the glow of having Messi.
The former Barcelona man had missed PSG’s last two games with a knee knock but the expectation was always that he was being saved for this glamour tie.
He had completed 90 minutes for PSG only once before this game since arriving to team up with Neymar and Mbappe in a dream front line.