Lionel Messi made it a winning return to Paris as the World Cup hero helped the Ligue 1 leaders bounced back from last week’s defeat to Lens by inflicting a tenth consecutive defeat on bottom boys Angers
The leaders wasted no time in opening the scoring as Hugo Ekitike converted a Nordi Mukiele cross at the near post, making it three for the campaign as the young striker continues to settle in after his high-profile summer transfer from Reims.
The visitors, though, would hold out for the rest of the half as they fended off some muddled attacks from the league leaders, Neymar and Ekitike piercing through the defence but lacking the final ball.
As has often been the case this season, it was Lionel Messi who had the keys to open the defensive gates, the Argentine making it a triumphant return to Paris as he doubled the lead after a neat one-two with Nordi Mukiele. With Lens held to a draw by Strasbourg, it’s a result that puts the leaders seven points clear again – and more importantly, shows their Argentine star is still very much here to run the show, even in Kylian Mbappé’s absence.
PSG ratings v Angers:
Gianluigi Donnarumma, 5
Nordi Mukiele, 7 – Two assists for the Frenchman, who dominated his wing and combined well with Messi in his forays forward. Successfully shut down any counter-attacks on his side of the defence.
Sergio Ramos, 6
Juan Bernat, 5
Fabián Ruiz, 4
Danilo Pereira, 5
Lionel Messi, 7 – A triumphant return to action for the World Cup-winning captain, who orchestrated Ekitike’s opener before scoring one of his own. Constantly at the heart of the action – it’s as if he never left.
Neymar, 4 – A poor match by his lofty standards this season, rarely getting his final ball in and lacking in incisiveness – it was his Argentine teammate that took centre stage tonight.
Hugo Ekitike, 6 – The former Reims man continues to grow into his new role as the understudy to world football’s best front three, notching his third goal of the campaign with a fine finish within five minutes and making some piercing runs for the rest of the game. Replaced by Carlos Soler with ten minutes to go.
Angers ratings v PSG:
Paul Bernardoni, 6 – Some solid saves to keep his team in it for most of the match.
Abdoulaye Bamba, 5
Cédric Hountondji, 6 – An impressive defensive display to keep an admittedly wayward PSG front three at bay for long stretches of the game.
Miha Blažič, 6
Souleyman Doumbia, 5
Pierrick Capelle, 5
Batista Mendy, 6
Nabil Bentaleb, 7 – A metronomic performance that saw the Algerian outclass PSG’s entire midfield, and even seeing out the match with the captain’s armband on.
Hamid Abdelli, 4
Adrien Hunou, 3 – Angers were toothless in attack and no forward was more at fault than the former Rennes man, a wasteful performance that underscored a dire need for more options going forward for the bottom-placed side.
Abdallah Sima, 5
GFFN | Raphaël Jucobin