Kylian Mbappe walks off the bench to give PSG victory after Lionel Messi special

Kylian Mbappe walks off the bench to give PSG victory after Lionel Messi special


Kylian Mbappe came off the bench to score the winning goal as Paris Saint-Germain beat Nice 2-1 on Saturday to top Ligue 1. French international Mbappe was ousted from the starting line-up with one eye by coach Christophe Gallier. Benfica face off in the Champions League on Wednesday. It is one of 11 matches the French champions have faced in the six weeks before the World Cup. Mbappe was replaced by 20-year-old Hugo Eketike, who was making his debut for PSG but was struggling to make an impact.

However, it was fellow superstar Lionel Messi who caught PSG’s attention in the 29th minute with a brilliant, curling free-kick from the edge of the box over the Nice Wall and past goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.

“I’m incredibly lucky to see him in training every morning,” Gaultier said.

It was Messi’s 60th career goal from a free-kick, but his first in a PSG shirt.

“We’re not playing as well, but our opponents are getting to know us,” PSG defender Marquinhos said after the Champions’ disappointing performance.

“We’re not going to win an extraordinary match or 5-0 every time. It’s important to know how to win 1-0 or 2-1 with a goal at the end like tonight.

“It was complicated in the first half, we didn’t find any room to create chances. Nice blocked us but a brilliant free-kick by Leo Messi unblocked the situation.”

Gaetan Laborde leveled for Nice in the 47th minute after PSG got into a terrible defensive entanglement, who had been coached by Gaultier until this season.

Mbappe was called from the bench at the hour mark and hit the winner with seven minutes remaining after Nice’s effort and failed to play the ball into defense.

The goal was Mbappe’s eighth in the league season and leveled him with teammate Neymar at the top of the scoring charts.

“You play the best game of your season, but in the end, you lose,” Nice coach Lucien Favre said after his team’s fifth Ligue 1 loss of the season.

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“We played a good match, so it’s disappointing and brutal. We didn’t give PSG too many chances to score. They didn’t have many chances.”

PSG have a two-point lead over Marseille, who beat Angers 3-0 on Friday.

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