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HomeLigue 1After falling behind: Messi-Mbappé teamwork ensures home win against Saint-Etienne

After falling behind: Messi-Mbappé teamwork ensures home win against Saint-Etienne

Paris were also behind against Saint-Etienne after the 1:3 in Nantes. But then two co-productions from Messi to Mbappé ensured PSG turned the game around just before and after half-time.

After their poor performance in the 3-1 defeat at Nantes a week ago, PSG once again started with their star attack of Neymar, Mbappé and Messi – the latter, incidentally, had set up all three goals in the first leg against Saint-Etienne (3-1). The Stephanois, who have been strong since the change of coach to Dupraz and the addition of several big-name players, arrived with ten points from their last four games – and performed accordingly, especially in the first half, despite being 16th in the table.

Bouanga, in particular, showed his desire to play from the start, first dribbling past Kehrer on the left in the 13th minute and then upsetting Marquinhos to cross for Gourna. He didn’t manage to take the lead yet, so Bouanga scored it himself. But it was Danilo Pereira who was mainly responsible for this, as he failed to control the ball at his own sixteen after an opponent’s throw-in, allowing Saint-Etienne’s offensive player to finish alone in front of Donnarumma (16th).

PSG with three goals in eleven minutes of pure playing time

PSG controlled the ball in the first half (73 per cent possession) and made some good counter-attacks, but for a long time only the visitors had chances to score. Bouanga then crossed again, but this time Donnarumma and Danilo Pereira were able to keep out Boudebouz, who was ready to shoot. Before half-time, it was once again Mbappé who brought PSG back into the game, after a very well-directed cross from Messi.

The hosts came out of the break just as they had left it: with a goal. In the 47th minute, Messi kept the ball close to his foot in the ASSE penalty area and passed to Mbappé, who was just a few metres in front of him, who turned the game around. With these two goals, Mbappé now shares second place with Ibrahimovic and 156 PSG goals in the perennial Parisian goalscorers list, behind Cavani (200). Five minutes after Mbappé, Danilo Pereira extended the lead. After Mbappé’s cross from the far post, the Portuguese had only to nod home from a metre out.

Mbappé now second top PSG scorer with 23

Saint-Etienne could not recover from the shock of three goals in eleven minutes of pure playing time, before and after half-time. PSG still created numerous chances for an even clearer result, through Di Maria and Messi (74th), Neymar’s shot against the post (79th), Di Maria’s lob (86th) and Wijnaldum’s shot against the post (90+2nd), but were ultimately not as consistent as they were immediately before and after half-time.

Next up for PSG is current second-placed OGC Nice, next Saturday (9pm). However, with a 16-point gap, it is not a duel in the title race. Mbappé will be suspended and the clash with Saint-Etienne will be his last before the second leg of the last 16 against Real Madrid in the Champions League.

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