‘That is just Messi all over… the pace, the strength, the balance, the finish. PHENOMENAL’: Lionel Messi’s maiden goal for PSG against Man City hailed by Rio Ferdinand and Owen Hargreaves
- PSG’s new all-stat attack finally hit form on Tuesday as they beat Man City
- Lionel Messi bagged his first goal for the Parisians to make in 2-0 on 74 minutes
- The icon laid-off to Kylian Mbappe, who flicked back to set-up a sublime finish
- Rio Ferdinand was delighted to see Messi properly announcing himself in Paris
Lionel Messi is scoring goals in the Champions League again – a sentence to send shivers down defenders spines, unless you’re marvelling at him from a studio.
The Argentinian icon bagged his first PSG goal in style on Tuesday, secured a big three points in Group A, sunk his old boss Pep Guardiola and got the Parc des Princes rocking.
Messi looked himself again on the big stage, showing his 34-year-old legs still have most of that electric pace by driving through City’s defence, playing a one-two with Kylian Mbappe and lifting it into the top corner.
Lionel Messi is off the mark for PSG after scoring against Manchester City on Tuesday night
Messi raced through the City defence, laid-off for Kylian Mbappe before hitting the top corner
Rio Ferdinand, who doesn’t have to fear Messi on the pitch, delighted in another goal to remember.
‘The pace, the strength, the balance and the technique to put it where he did… phenomenal,’ the former Manchester United defender said on BT Sport as he re-watched PSG’s second in the 2-0 victory.
‘Hakimi’s run is so important because it takes the defender away. When you’ve got players like Hakimi causing havoc like that it opens up the space for someone like Messi to exploit.’
Owen Hargreaves added: ‘There was so much to like about this goal. I love the overlap from Hakimi there, making the space. It’s Messi all over.
‘He would have been expecting it, he’s the man for the big occasion. He always seems to score against Pep Guardiola teams for whatever reason.
Messi made a slow start to life at PSG but Rio Ferdinand was delighted to see him get going
The Parisians’ outrageous front three of Messi, Mbappe and Neymar can now push on
‘Today was the perfect performance from PSG. Once they got the first goal and the space opened up for Hakimi, with Messi being able to come inside and then Neymar and Mbappe are in there – it’s going to be a thing of beauty.
‘Today they got it right and with Messi on the end of things, he’s going to score a tonne of goals there.’
Messi joined PSG this summer amid a backdrop of Catalan chaos, as even the Argentine agreeing to a pay-cut couldn’t save Barcelona.
He was forced to move on, and chose to reunite with Neymar in Paris. And while his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo fired on his second debut for Manchester United, it took Messi until game four for PSG.
‘Messi being the superstar he is – with he and Cristiano (Ronaldo) taking the game to new levels in this time – even today at times he was on the periphery of the game,’ Ferdinand added.
The Barcelona and Argentina icon wasn’t as influential as he can be but is settling in nicely
Messi and Achraf Hakimi look set to make a dynamite partnership on the right of PSG’s team
‘He wasn’t integral to everything that was going on like at Barcelona because he’s at a new club and feeling his way into it.
‘Even superstars have to do that. Then you see the celebration, that’s relief. He’s not as animated normally.’
Former Manchester City midfielder Michael Brown on BBC said: ‘We know where all the headlines are going to be. Good performances from both teams, flashes of brilliance.
‘But the headlines will be taken by Lionel Messi and that’s what we expect from the great man himself.
‘He’s back and he’s with PSG. It’s been a great game and ultimately the finishing they had got PSG the win.’