Lionel Messi finally scores his first Ligue 1 goal as PSG beat Keylor Navas’ red card in victory over Nantes

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PARIS — Lionel Messi finally scores his first goal for Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1 after winning a flattering 3-1 victory against FC Nantes on Saturday with a superb strike.

Before the magical moment of the legendary Argentinian, Mauricio Pochettino’s men had the chance to be in front thanks to a deflected effort from Kylian Mbappe and a goal against his wild camp from Dennis Appiah on either side of a strike from Randal Kolo Muani and Keylor Navas’ red card.

Although the result and performance did little to dispel the idea that PSG are far from realizing their potential under Pochettino, Messi is taking flight at the national level and lifting a weight on his shoulders.

“I’m very happy with this first league goal,” Messi said after the game. “I had several chances before, both in this game and in others. Unfortunately, I couldn’t convert them until this one finally arrived. I am very happy because I already have scored in the Champions League. The chances are there and now the goals too. ”

It was a delightful finish reminiscent of the 34-year-old’s golden age when he arrived late in a cold Parc des Princes and curled past Alban Lafont’s desperate plunge that had him foiled several times during the match.

Indeed, it was undoubtedly the only strike worthy of touching the net of the visitors with the first match of Mbappe and the goal against his camp of Appiah, both extremely unhappy for the Canaries of Antoine Kombouaré.

“It is very important for him to have scored,” added Pochettino after the final whistle. “It’s his first goal in Ligue 1. It was important for him and for the team. It’s a great victory for us.”

Messi is now four goals away all season with PSG and three of them have entered the UEFA Champions League with next week’s trip to Manchester City a chance to add to that.

PSG need to be more convincing, however, with Messi, Mbappe and sometimes Neymar’s magic not enough to continue to bail them out in very disjointed displays where they regularly take their chances.

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