Champions Trophy: Messi and Neymar feast
Already very sharp, Lionel Messi and Neymar offered Christophe Galtier his first title as Paris Saint-Germain coach, scoring three of the four goals to defeat Nantes (4-0), Sunday in Tel Aviv during the Champions Trophy .
Like in their best days. A diabolical hook from “Leo” (22nd), a direct free kick (45th + 3) and a penalty (82nd) from “Ney”, the stars of PSG ensured the show. And Kylian Mbappé, the third jewel, suspended, was not even there!
In tune, the world and European champion Sergio Ramos scored the third goal with a heel (57th).
Beaten last year by Lille (1-0), here in Tel Aviv, PSG did not miss their start to the season, having already won their four warm-up matches, including three in Japan.
The French champion this time seemed ready to start his Ligue 1 in Clermont on Saturday (9:00 p.m.).
Everything is not perfect, the three-man defense still experienced some squeaks, left Moses Simon (18th) or Ludovic Blas (19th) to threaten Gianluigi Donnarumma, impeccable to pick up the shot from N.10 Nantes in his skylight, but the already looks great.
As in Japan, PSG was also able to measure its popularity. The Bloomfield Stadium was full, and we met a lot of children with the club outfit, most often Messi’s N.30.
– Messi acclaimed –
The stadium shared by Maccabi and Hapoel hummed with pleasure as soon as Lionel Messi had the ball, and even sang the famous “Meeessi! Meeessi!” accompanied by prayer-reverence with raised arms.
He even greeted the crowd who cheered him when he came to take a corner (66th). He even had the right to an illumination of mobile phone torches (81st).
So, on the opening of the score with finesse from the Argentinian, the crowd was delighted to respond at the top of their lungs to the announcer to announce the scorer: “Messiii!”
The “Pulga” took advantage of a delicious pass from Neymar, which Pedro Chirivella could only touch, and erased Alban Lafont with a sharp hook as in his best years.
Then the Brazilian doubled the bet with a free kick in the top corner. He had just been mowed down by Moussa Sissoko, the international rookie of the FCN.
Just after the break, Sergio Ramos, mounted at the forefront, found himself at the reception – from the heel! – from a center by Pablo Sarabia who had escaped the yellow line, only deflected by Lafont.
Neymar completed the victory by obtaining the penalty, and the exclusion of Jean-Charles Castelletto, the culprit. Moments earlier, the stadium had in turn sung its name.
– Hakimi whistled –
On the other side of the popularity spectrum, the Moroccan Achraf Hakimi, who has supported Palestine on social networks, was copiously whistled by part of the public at each touch of the ball, like last year in the same stadium. .
He underwent this treatment until the 78th minute and his replacement by the latest PSG recruit, Nordi Mukiele, who took his first steps in his new jersey.
As coach Antoine Kombouaré feared, if PSG and its stars were on the block, it would be difficult for the people of Nantes.
On a poor quality lawn, causing a few false rebounds, and in stifling heat and humidity, his “canaries” did little to worry the champions of France.
But Kombouaré has warned that he will test his team’s mindset throughout August, to see if they get back to business after a very successful season.
Victory in the Coupe de France brought them to the Champions Trophy, but above all will bring them back to the European Cup, after 21 years of absence. First response expected in Angers, Sunday (3:00 p.m.).
At the dawn of this new season, the operation of the Professional Football League (LFP) is a success, at least in terms of popularity. The international stars of Ligue 1 ensured his promotion.
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