Messi gets hat-trick of assists in PSG win
Lionel Messi set up all three goals as Paris Saint-Germain stretched their Ligue 1 lead to 14 points with a 3-1 comeback win at 10-man Saint-Etienne yesterday, while Neymar sustained a possible ankle injury and was taken off on a stretcher.
PSG made the most of Timothee Kolodziejczak's red card on the stroke of half-time as Messi fed Marquinhos for two headed goals and Angel di Maria struck to seal a clinical turnaround after the hosts had opened the scoring through Denis Bouanga.
The result leaves the capital club on 40 points from 15 games.
The game marked Sergio Ramos' debut for PSG, almost five months after joining from Real Madrid as a free agent, and the Spaniard started in central defence alongside Marquinhos.
Messi, 34, stands on the verge of a record-extending seventh Ballon d'Or title, as the prestigious awards ceremony returns today after it was cancelled last year because of the pandemic.
But the attacker, who won his first senior international title by leading Argentina to the Copa America in July, faces the challenge of Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski, who set a Bundesliga record 41 goals in just 29 games last season to eclipse the long-standing mark by the late Gerd Mueller. - AFP