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Nice 0-2 Paris Saint-Germain: Messi gets champions back on track
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Lionel Messi got on the scoresheet for PSG
Lionel Messi got on the scoresheet for PSG

Goals from Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos helped Paris Saint-Germain secure a much-needed 2-0 victory against Nice in Ligue 1 on Saturday.

Messi struck 26 minutes in at Allianz Riviera, before he supplied the cross from a corner for Ramos' second-half header.

Victory was a first in three games for Christophe Galtier's side after back-to-back defeats, although they were indebted to goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma as much as Messi.

Nice peppered the PSG goal either side of half-time, only to come away empty-handed against their former coach, suffering their first defeat under Didier Digard.

PSG had started the brighter, knowing a victory was required to restore a six-point cushion to second-placed Lens, and went close to an opener when Danilo Pereira's header beat Kasper Schmeichel but bounced back out off the post.

Four minutes later, Messi made the breakthrough when he finished into the roof of the net from Nuno Mendes' square pass inside the area.

Nice refused to back down, however, and Donnarumma made excellent saves to deny both Nicolas Pepe and Terem Moffi late in the first half.

That momentum continued into the second half, with Dante agonisingly close to a deserved equaliser when the ball bounced down off the crossbar and back out via the post without fully crossing the goal line.

Further Donnarumma saves followed, including another notable stop from Pepe shortly after Dante's effort, and Nice were made to pay for their profligacy when Ramos rose highest at the other end to meet Messi's corner.

Danilo then headed against his own crossbar in the closing stages, summing up Nice's rotten luck.

What does it mean? PSG snap losing streak

With defeat to Rennes in their final game during March and a loss at the hands of Lyon upon their return to action following the international break, PSG had been enduring a tough spell.

They got their title defence back on track here, however, even if they did so in a fashion that again did not always reflect the wealth of talent they had on the pitch.

Mbappe made to wait once more

It has been nearly a month since Mbappe last scored in Ligue 1, leaving him still on 138 goals for PSG in the top flight.

He needs only one more to surpass Edinson Cavani as the club's outright all-time leading scorer in the competition, but chances were few and far between in this game. The forward blazed over in the closing minutes but was ruled offside.

Nice denied despite chances

With 21 shots to 13 from PSG, Nice will wonder how they did not find the net.

A large part of that was down to Donnarumma, who made seven saves – his joint-most in the league since eight against Lille back in August.

Key Opta Facts

– PSG have won their last three Ligue 1 away games (3-0 against Marseille, 2-1 against Brest, 2-0 against Nice) after losing three of their first four in 2023 (W1).
– The capital club faced 21 shots against Nice, their second-highest tally in a Ligue 1 game over the past five seasons, behind the 24 against Reims in October 2022 (0-0).
– Messi has been involved in 11 goals in 2023 in Ligue 1 (seven goals, four assists), trailing only Wissam Ben Yedder (12). The PSG forward has scored and assisted in the same league game on six occasions this season, the highest tally in Europe's top five leagues.
– Mbappe attempted just one shot in this game, his joint-lowest tally over the last two seasons when playing 90 minutes in the league, along with the game against Auxerre in November 2022.

What's next?

Nice are in Europa Conference League action against Basel on Thursday, while PSG have a table-topping Ligue 1 clash with Lens next Saturday.


Ligue 1Paris Saint-GermainNice
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