Lionel Messi, Neymar, PSG, Nantes
Match Reports

Messi stars as PSG beat Nantes in Trophée des Champions

Messi stars as PSG beat Nantes in Trophée des Champions

Match Reports
Publish on 07/31 at 21:54 - S. TELFORD

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Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr. and Sergio Ramos were on target as Paris Saint-Germain beat FC Nantes 4-0 in to lift the Trophée des Champions in Israel.

Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr. and Sergio Ramos were on target as Paris Saint-Germain beat FC Nantes 4-0 in to lift the Trophée des Champions in Israel.

 

Paris Saint-Germain 4-0 FC Nantes

 

THE MATCH

 

PSG were without suspended superstar Kylian Mbappé for this meeting at Tel Aviv's Bloomfield Stadium, but Christophe Galtier packed enough talent into what looks to be becoming his preferred 3-4-1-2 formation. Achraf Hakimi had the first chance of the game early on after neat interplay in the Nantes box, but his shot was well saved by Alban Lafont (5'). Marquinhos then rattled Lafont's crossbar with a header following a Messi corner as les Canaris held on (14'). Nantes looked capable of hitting PSG on the break, and Gigi Donnarumma had to be on his toes to keep a curling Ludovic Blas attempt out from the edge of the area (19'). Paris took charge of the game soon after, though, with Messi sitting Lafont down with his left foot before firing high into his goal with his right (22'). Neymar then shaved the far post before the flag went up for offside against him (40'), but he found the target in first half injury-time, steering home a fine free-kick for 2-0 (45+5').

 

PSG pull clear

 

Evann Guessand (50') and Messi (53') exchanged chances before Ramos made it 3-0 inside the hour. Pablo Sarabia forced a save from Lafont and Ramos reacted quickest, bagging his 130th career goal an exquisite backheel - not bad for a centre-back (59')! Former PSG coach Antoine Kombouaré tried to change things up, sending Samuel Moutoussamy and new arrival Mostafa Mohamed into the fray (64') and switching to a 4-2-3-1 system having initially mirrored PSG's three-man defence, but damage minimalisation was all Nantes had left in them. Juan Bernat - who had himself come on for Nuno Mendes (68') - fired into the outside side-netting after being slipped through by Neymar (77'). Nordi Mukiele then replaced Hakimi, coming on for his PSG debut having joined this week from RB Leipzig (78') before Neymar made it four from the penalty spot (82') - Jean-Charles Castelletto sent off for the challenge on the Brazilian that led to the spot-kick. Lafont denied Messi a second late on (88') and it ended 4-0.

 

 

THE PLAYER: Lionel Messi

 

Messi was criticised last year during his maiden campaign in France after scoring just six Ligue 1 Uber eats goals, but he was quick to post photographs of his pre-season training regimen to his Instagram this summer, and he contributed two goals and an assist in PSG's recent friendly tour of Japan. The Argentine picked up where he left off here, orchestrating Paris's play throughout and was rewarded with his 32nd goal in a final.

 

THE STAT: 11

 

PSG have now won the Trophée des Champions a record 11 times - three more than next-best Olympique Lyonnais. Sunday's triumph was their first in two seasons, however, having lost to Galtier's previous employers LOSC in 2021 showpiece - although Jocelyn Gourvennec was les Dogues' coach by the time the sides met in Tel Aviv.