Lionel Messi celebrated his return to Paris Saint-Germain with a aim in his first recreation again since lifting the World Cup.
The 35-year-old solely returned to coaching within the new 12 months after taking a while off to rejoice and recuperate after Qatar 2022, the place he lastly gained the trophy that had at all times eluded him in one of many greatest finals ever.
However the ahead didn’t look to be struggling any hangover as he returned to motion with a aim from shut vary in PSG’s 2-0 win in opposition to Angers on Wednesday.
Messi additionally paid tribute to Pelé earlier than the match, becoming a member of his teammates in carrying a t-shirt with the Brazilian’s face on it through the warmup.
PSG sits comfortably prime of the league regardless of Christophe Galtier having to modify up his group as he eases gamers again in after the World Cup.
Kylian Mbappé, a overwhelmed finalist in Qatar, was rested for Wednesday’s match, permitting the likes of teen Hugo Ekitiké to get some recreation time.
The 20-year-old ahead has impressed when given the prospect this season and opened the scoring with a sweeping end within the first half.
Messi, who dovetailed the assault alongside Neymar Jr., then doubled the lead within the 72nd minute after a nicely timed run and proper foot end.
The linesman had initially flagged for offside, however the Digital Assistant Referee (VAR) overruled the decision and the aim was given.
The win on Messi’s return is a few welcome excellent news for PSG, who lost in the league for the primary time this season final week, 3-1 away to Lens.
“Sure, it was crucial to get again to successful methods. We’ve rivals who’re pushing exhausting,” Galtier advised PSGTV after the sport.
“We knew that we have been going to have a tough match as a result of Angers is a group that performs good soccer and poses massive issues on a tactical stage.
“I additionally insist on the truth that the scenario – post-World Cup – signifies that we’ve got had a variety of gamers absent, that the group was very scattered and that, little by little, everyone seems to be coming again and reconnecting.”
PSG, which is six factors clear atop the desk, performs Rennes in its subsequent recreation on Sunday.