Paris Saint-Germain 2-3 Clermont: Messi denied winning send-off
Paris Saint-Germain failed to muster a winning send-off for Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos as they ended the Ligue 1 season by squandering a two-goal lead in a 3-2 loss against Clermont.
Early goals for the Spaniard and Kylian Mbappe put the champions on top at the Parc des Princes, before Johan Gastien, Mehdi Zeffane and Grejohn Kyei completed a stirring comeback from the visitors.
It was a damp last note for ex-LaLiga heroes Messi and Ramos, who leave Paris as two-time league champions but without having won supporters' hearts – with Messi booed ahead of kick-off.
Likewise, it may prove a dour final chapter for coach Christophe Galtier, who is widely tipped to depart despite leading PSG to a record 11th Ligue 1 title.
PSG, who wore shirts adorned with the name of hospitalised team-mate Sergio Rico in the first half, needed VAR to rescue them after Kyei prodded home an early finish.
The hosts promptly seized control, with Ramos netting a farewell header from Vitinha's delivery before Mbappe doubled their lead with an excellent penalty following Alidu Seidu's foul on Achraf Hakimi.
Clermont refused to fold though, with Gastien capitalising on Marco Verratti's mistake to halve the arrears and Zeffane bundling in a leveller either side of Kyei putting a spot-kick wide in a thrilling first half.
Messi, who misfired on his farewell, spurned a chance to finish Mbappe's square ball after the restart before Kyei nosed the visitors in front with a close-range finish.
PSG continued to toil for an equaliser in the closing stages and Messi almost stole a point in the final minute of injury time, only for goalkeeper Mory Diaw to stop his direct free-kick with an acrobatic save.
What does it mean? PSG end campaign with a whimper
It's been the same old story at the Parc des Princes this season, with another league triumph wrapped up and European success still eluding the stadium's occupants.
The departures of Messi and Ramos, high-profile names often lambasted by a perpetually polemic fanbase, nevertheless deserved a better send-off than this.
Mbappe retains goalscoring crown
As two of the game's greats bow out from the French capital, another continues to build on his legacy, even as questions linger over his own future.
With 29 goals for the Ligue 1 season, Mbappe finishes as the competition's top scorer for the fifth consecutive campaign (shared with Wissam Ben Yedder in 2019-20).
Diaw delights once more
Heading into Saturday's game, the Clermont shot-stopper had prevented more goals in Ligue 1 than any other 'keeper against their xG figures (9.9), highlighting his impressive performances.
He excelled again here after his two early concessions, with four saves, including a crucial one to deny Messi at the death.
Key Opta facts:
- Messi played his 75th and final game for PSG, ending his stint in France with 66 goal involvements in all competitions (32 goals, 34 assists). Only Mbappe (107) has registered more goal contributions for PSG since Messi's debut in August 2021.
- Mbappe is just the fifth player to finish as the top goalscorer in one of Europe's top five leagues in five consecutive seasons, after Jean-Pierre Papin in Ligue 1 (1987-88 to 1991-92), Messi in LaLiga (2016-17 to 2020-21) and Robert Lewandowski in the Bundesliga (2017-18 to 2021-22).
- At the age of 37 years and 65 days, Ramos became the oldest ever player to net for PSG in any competition.
- PSG conceded 25 goals at home in the 2022-23 Ligue 1 season, their highest tally at the Parc des Princes in a single top-flight campaign since 1984-85 (28).
- Clermont's return of 25 points since the start of April is the second-best record in Ligue 1 over that period (W8 D1 L1). PSG, meanwhile, rank fifth with 19 points.
- Clermont finished the campaign with 59 points, the best tally managed by a team in their second season after promotion to Ligue 1 since Montpellier in 1987-88 (63, adjusted for three points for a win).
PSG will look to retain their Ligue 1 title again next term, but will do so without Messi, Ramos and potentially other stars.
Clermont, meanwhile, will look to build on an impressive eighth-placed finish.