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7 Aug, 2022 08:44

Messi amazes with career first in PSG masterclass (VIDEO)

The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner scored an overhead kick for the first time in his career
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.

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. 

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.