Messi amazes with career first in PSG masterclass (VIDEO)
Lionel Messi wowed once more with two goals and an assist for Paris Saint Germain as they got their Ligue 1 title defense underway with a 5-0 thrashing of Clermont Foot.
The Argentine had already impressed last week by netting the opener in the Qatari-backed giants' 4-0 win over Nantes in the Trophee des Champions in Tel Aviv.
On this occasion, he needed just nine minutes to make a game-changing contribution by setting up Neymar - who bagged three assists himself – with a smart knock back at speed.
What an assist from Leo Messi, and what a beautiful finish from Neymar 🇦🇷🇧🇷🔥. pic.twitter.com/DkXFwBM5U8— Sara 🦋 (@SaraFCBi) August 6, 2022
Then in the last 10 minutes, after further goals from Achraf Hakimi and Marquinhos, Messi notched a third of the league goals he managed last season (6) on opening day with a six-minute brace.
The most discussed of these was the last, which came by way of a stunning career-first bicycle kick.
First chesting the ball down from his Argentina teammate Leandro Paredes, the number '30' then positioned himself and blasted past a hapless Mory Diaw.
"It's an act of genius that you don't have to explain and just have to enjoy," suggested one commentator from the Spanish-speaking world, where that type of strike is known as a 'chilena'.
Despite being on the road, Messi had his name chanted by the whole of the Stade Gabriel Montpied in touching scenes, and he seems to be stepping up a gear with the World Cup on the horizon in November.
The whole stadium applauding and chanting “MESSI, MESSI, MESSI” after his unbelievable performance. RESPECT ❤️🐐🔥👏 pic.twitter.com/hwMG1fO9eH— mx (@MessiMX30iiii) August 6, 2022
With a change to a 3-4-3 formation, and playing Messi as a center forward, new PSG coach Christophe Galtier seems to be getting top results from his charge who already has three goals and an assist in his account for 2022/2023.
Post-match, Galtier revealed that he felt "a lot of satisfaction" with Saturday night's game and "liked the way that the team expressed itself in attack".
The ex-Nice boss was happy with the clean sheet too, however, and collective defensive work that some felt has been lacking in recent years.
"I know that I have a very talented team with players who are very talented, but they need to play as a team, and that needs to happen over the whole of a match, and then throughout the season," he demanded.
"But of course, the most important thing is to score goals, that is in Paris Saint-Germain's DNA and the DNA of the players here," Galtier also accepted.
Next up for the Parisians is a home meeting with Montpellier on Saturday as they await the Champions League group draw on August 25.