UEFA Champions League

Messi: 'We were able to turn it around'

Publish on 20/10/2021 at 10:00 - S. WILLIS

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Lionel Messi was full of team spirit after hitting two goals to help Paris Saint-Germain come form a goal down to beat RB Leipzig 3-2 in their UEFA Champions League Matchday 3 clash at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday.

Paris are now in sole control of UEFA Champions League Group A, a point clear of Manchester City, at the half-way point of the group stage, but it could easily been otherwise for Mauricio Pochettino's men - who were without Neymar, injured in training on Monday - as they faced a stiff test from an RB Leipzig side desperate to clock their first points of the campaign.

Angeliño unlocks PSG defence

Although Kylian Mbappé got the hosts off to a good start as he rifled home on the break in trademark fashion (09'), PSG found themselves a goal down just before the hour-mark after André Silva (28') and Nordi Mukiele (57') both latched onto superb passes from Angeliño to beat Keylor Navas.

"Yes for sure, we suffered," admitted PSG's Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera. "We knew before the game that they were a very dynamic side and they needed to win the game because they had zero points. We started the game well in the first 20/25 minutes and then we lost control of the game a bit so we need to improve on that."

Majestic

Enter Lionel Messi. Following a loose pass from Leipzig's Tyler Adams, Mbappé raced into the area and the diminutive Argentine was perfectly placed to slot home from the cut-back - following through to tap the ball home after it had hit the inside of the far post and rolled along the goal line - and draw his side level (67').

Mbappé and Messi then combined once more - the former earning a penalty as he was brought down in the area by Mukiele and the latter converting with an ice-cold Panenka to put Paris Saint-Germain in front and back in the driver's seat.

Messi could easily have completed a memorable hat-trick when PSG were awarded another penalty in injury time when Achraf Hakimi was chopped down in the box, but he handed the spot-kick to Mbappé, who blazed over the bar much as he did for France in their shoot-out loss to Switzerland in the round of 16 at Euro 2020 back in July.

Messi geared up for Classique bow

Nonetheless, Paris Saint-Germain had done enough to claim all three points and take sole control of Group A - a massive confidence boost ahead of returning to Ligue 1 Uber Eats duties for what will be Lionel Messi's first Classique against arch-rivals Olympique de Marseille at a packed Stade Vélodrome on Sunday night.

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