Lionel Messi snatches dramatic win for PSG after Neymar stretched

Paris Saint-Germain’s Argentine striker Lionel Messi celebrates scoring his team’s fourth goal during the French L1 soccer match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Lille LOSC at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on 19 February 2023. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)

Lionel Messi scored a free kick in the 95th minute to give Paris Saint-Germain a 4-3 win over Lille in an extraordinary Ligue 1 game on Sunday in which Kylian Mbappé scored twice but Neymar was stretchered off due to an ankle injury.

Messi’s last-gasp game-winner came after PSG blew a two-goal lead and fell 3-2 behind, with Mbappe scoring a late equalizer before the Argentine’s stunning shot.

The result ends a three-match losing streak for PSG and ensures it ends the weekend as it began, five points clear of second-placed Marseille, who won 3-2 in Toulouse and hosts the Parisians next.

“We got over it. It wasn’t a great performance,” Mbappé told broadcaster Amazon Prime.

“We made a lot of mistakes and lost concentration too often and against a quality team you pay dearly, but we showed that even when we are not at our best and the context is not exactly favourable, we are a different team with different players and always we can find a way.

An immediate concern for PSG is the injury to Neymar, who appeared to be in tears when he was helped onto a stretcher early in the second half after spraining his right ankle.

no fracture

PSG later confirmed that a scan showed no fracture but said further tests would be needed to assess the damage to the ligaments in the coming days, raising fears the Brazilian would miss the round of 16 second leg. of the Champions League against Bayern. Munich on March 8.

“I hope ‘Ney’ returns soon because he is an important player for us,” added Mbappé, as PSG also forced Nuno Mendes out with an ankle problem.

Christophe Galtier’s side were looking to bounce back from a 1-0 home loss to Bayern in the first leg of that European tie, and took an early lead against Lille through Mbappe, making his first start after returning from a Recent thigh injury.

Neymar soon made it 2-0 against a team PSG beat 7-1 in their last meeting in August, but Bafode Diakite pulled one back for Lille midway through the first half.

Five minutes into the second half, the home side saw Neymar take the ball and Lille equalized when Jonathan David converted a penalty for his 17th goal this season after Marco Verratti was fouled in the box.

Jonathan Bamba made it 3-2 for the away team with an excellent finish and the hosts looked set for a fourth straight defeat before Mbappe converted an assist from Juan Bernat with three minutes remaining.

That was his 27th goal this season in all competitions, but it wasn’t the end of the drama, as Messi earned a free kick when Benjamin Andre fouled him outside the box.

The World Cup winner stepped up to send the dead ball into the net from the post to round out a remarkable game.

Marseille keep up the pressure

Marseille have now won nine and drawn one of 11 league games played since their Champions League exit in early November after they came from behind to win in Toulouse.

Dutch striker Thijs Dallinga gave mid-table Toulouse an early lead, but Marseille roared back from behind in the second half at Le Stadium.

Chancel Mbemba equalized and Cengiz Under put Marseille in front before Nuno Tavares scored his sixth goal of the season on loan for Arsenal, with Ado Onaiwu pulling one back for the hosts.

Monaco followed up their 3-1 win over PSG last weekend by winning 2-1 at Brest to move two points behind Marseille in third place.

Aleksandr Golovin and Myron Boadu scored for the main team, with Jeremy Le Douaron closing the gap.

Fourth-placed Lens beat Nantes 3-1, while Rennes moved past Lille to fifth place by beating Clermont 2-0, with former PSG striker Arnaud Kalimuendo scoring both goals.

There were also victories for Lorient and Montpellier, while Strasbourg broke out of the relegation zone on Saturday by beating bottom side Angers 2-1 in the debut of new coach Frederic Antonetti.

Auxerre, also struggling, beat Lyon 2-1 on Friday, while Nice and Reims drew 0-0.


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