Lionel Messi made his highly anticipated Paris St Germain debut from the bench as the Ligue 1 club recorded a routine 2-0 win at Reims this past Sunday.
Entering the field for the first time in the unfamiliar dark blue of PSG, Messi’s arrival and first touch were greeted with enthusiastic cheers from the 6,000 travelling fans.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner signed a two-year deal in the French capital on 10 August after ending a 21-year spell at Barcelona, but he had not played since winning the Copa America with Argentina on 11 July.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men did not have to wait long to take the lead. With 15 minutes played, Mbappe – who started despite ongoing links with a move to Real Madrid – got between two Reims defenders to head the ball into the back of the net from a well-weighted Angel Di Maria cross.
Keylor Navas was called into action for the first time with just over five minutes left in the first half, the PSG goalkeeper having to be alert to intercept a low cross from Ilan Kebbal.
Reims looked to have scored an equaliser shortly after half time when Navas was unable to hold on to a header from El Bilal Toure at the first time of asking, with Marshall Munetsi following up to bundle the ball home.
However, after a lengthy VAR review the goal was disallowed, with Munetsi marginally offside when the first ball was played in.
Mbappe added his second three minutes past the hour mark, with Achraf Hakimi the architect on this occasion.
The right back broke forward before sending an inch-perfect pass into the path of the French forward, who tapped it home to double his side’s lead.
Messi had to wait 10 minutes after coming on for anything resembling a goalscoring opportunity. The 34-year-old drove forward before passing to Mbappe, but the return pass could not find the Argentinian.
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