Lionel Messi netted a stunning free-kick and Kylian Mbappe struck a late winner off the bench as Paris Saint-Germain beat Nice 2-1 at the Parc des Princes on Saturday.
Messi’s 28th-minute strike was his seventh in all competitions for PSG this season. He has scored four goals in two games for Argentina in the international break that has just ended.
– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, more (USA)
But Nice, the ex-club of current PSG coach Christophe Galtier, responded through Gaetan Laborde just after half-time.
However, Mbappe would have the last word, converting from Nordi Mukiele’s cut seven minutes from time.
The win puts PSG back at the top of Ligue 1, ahead of second-placed Marseille by two points.
PSG had only started the game with Mbappe as a substitute following his exploits for France in the UEFA Nations League and ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League clash at Benfica. Instead, Galtier handed a first start to 20-year-old summer signing Hugo Ekitike.
It looked like PSG would do well without Mbappe as Messi took center stage in the 28th minute. Kasper Schmeichel in the Nice goal was unmoved as Messi advanced and found the top corner of the goal with that famous left foot from just outside the box.
But Nice had other ideas and took advantage of a sloppy host defense to equalize just two minutes after half-time.
A cross from Youcef Atal from the right was sent straight to Laborde at the far post, who had time to get past Gianluigi Donnarumma from close range.
Unsurprisingly, Galtier soon approached Mbappe off the bench to help find a winner.
Nice continued to assert themselves but Mbappe would eventually make the difference. Mbappe’s 83rd-minute winner was his eighth goal of the season in Ligue 1, joining team-mate Neymar as the top scorer.
https://www.espn.com/soccer/report?gameId=639695 Paris Saint-Germain vs. Nice – Football Match Report – October 1, 2022