Messi for the first time without Mbappe & Neymar: PSG stumbles in Ligue 1

Perhaps Lionel Messi, the 34-year-old version of the Ballon d’Or winner, can’t win matches alone like he once was. Or perhaps he still needs time to prove he can do it in a new league with new side Paris Saint-Germain.

The Argentine superstar is the only one of the club’s three superstars to face second-placed Lorient in Ligue 1. With Neymar injured and Kylian Mbappe suspended, Messi must shoulder the burden. , but his PSG team struggled. in a 1-1 draw with the equalizer coming only in stoppage time.

Messi ranks ahead of PSG’s attack alongside compatriots Angel Di Maria and Mauro Icardi, but a match against the 16th-placed Ligue 1 side against Lorient proved something far from simple.

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PSG suffered an embarrassing 0-1 defeat at the hands of Lorient, before Icardi’s final equalizer further confused the game. However, Messi remained invisible for large parts of the game, and the performance will make it even more difficult for the French giants, who are still hoping to compete for the UEFA Champions League title this season.

Lorient took the lead at half-time thanks to a 40th-minute assist from Thomas Monconduit, but that was worse for PSG than the scoreline suggested. It was not the case that Messi’s side were stunned by a fantastic goal in a game they dominated – PSG were really good and really the underdog.

Despite holding almost 80% of the ball for PSG, Lorient hit 11 of PSG’s six in the first half, with nine created for PSG’s three.

Early signs that it wouldn’t be the Ligue 1 leaders’ day came as Icardi, who has been off the bench for most of the season, missed a huge opportunity by just two minutes. in the void.

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As for Messi, he was tit-for-tat in the first half, with just a single shot before the break, an effort in the 26th minute that hit the right post. He played an assist in the second half, opening up the Lorient defense and international team-mate Di Maria hit the ball with a great chance, but he missed the crossbar.

Messi was denied in the 80th minute, which saw a repeat attempt from the right of the box that was successfully saved by goalkeeper Paul Nardi.

PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino brought on Sergio Ramos from the bench to build up the backline, but that didn’t end well either. After a futile second half that still caused PSG to make mistakes in front of the net and squander chances,

🟥🔥 Sergio Ramos sent off after receiving second yellow card!

🍿 Watch Lorient 🆚 PSG LIVE NOW on beIN SPORTS! #FCLPSG 🇫🇷

– beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) December 22, 2021

“> Ramos was sent off, received a second yellow card within four minutes. The red shirt was Ramos’ first game against PSG, after just 130 minutes of playing for the club.

Messi finished the game with four shots taken (two on target, including the wooden frame on target), combined for a disappointing total expected goal of 0.24 xG, according to FotMob. On the creative side, despite an important pass for Di Maria, Messi still finished the match with a score of 0 in the number of chances created.

Overall, PSG finished with a massive 77% possession advantage and overcame Lorient 717-171, but finished at the level on shots and with a lesser chance created. Lorient is still in the relegation zone with 16 points, while PSG is still at the top with nearly 3 times more points (46).

In a game where Messi was destined to star for his new club, it went as badly as it could.

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