PSG rout Marseille on the road in Ligue 1 summit clash


MARSEILLE, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 26: Lionel Messi #30 of Paris Saint-Germain celebrate his first goal with Kylian Mbappe #7 during the Ligue 1 match between Olympique Marseille and Paris Saint-Germain at Orange Velodrome on February 26, 2023 in Marseille, France.

Kylian Mbappe has become Paris Saint-Germain’s joint-record scorer and Lionel Messi hit the 700th goal of his senior club career as the Ligue 1 leaders thrashed rivals Marseille 3-0.

Mbappe and Messi exchanged assists on Sunday night as the visitors stormed into a 2-0 halftime lead, with the Argentine’s tap-in taking him to 700 goals in senior football for Barcelona and PSG.

The duo saved the best for after the break, however, with Mbappe volleying Messi’s dinked pass home to join Edinson Cavani on 200 PSG goals on a memorable night for Christophe Galtier’s men.

The result took the Parisians eight points clear of Marseille at the summit, easing the pressure which had begun to build on Galtier following their underwhelming start to 2023.

PSG suffered an early setback when a tearful Presnel Kimpembe was carried off injured, but they hit the front 25 minutes in as Messi found space to send Mbappe through on goal, with the striker applying an unerring finish.

Mbappe repaid the favour four minutes later, combining with Nuno Mendes on the break before teeing Messi up for a tap-in with a pinpoint low cross.

Messi should have had a second when he somehow blazed over from just six yards out, before Marquinhos fired narrowly wide of the bottom-left corner after beating the hosts’ offside trap.

Mbappe nodded Vitinha’s cross narrowly wide of the left-hand post six minutes after the restart, but the France star had his landmark goal four minutes later.

A flowing move ended with Messi scooping a wonderful ball into the path of Mbappe, who lashed a left-footed volley beyond Pau Lopez to effectively end the contest.

Alexis Sanchez and Marseille’s Vitinha went close to pulling one back, but Gianluigi Donnarumma denied both with sharp saves to preserve PSG’s clean sheet.

Earlier, Patrick Kisnorbo’s Troyes suffered a 2-1 defeat at fellow strugglers Ajaccio.

The Australian coach’s side now sit 19th and two points behind Ajaccio, who also remain in the relegation zone on goal difference despite the victory.

Elsewhere, Nice won 3-0 at third-placed Monaco in the Cote d’Azur derby, Reims were victors by the same scoreline at home to Toulouse, Rennes beat Nantes 1-0 as did Auxerre at Lorient, and Clermont drew 1-1 with Strasbourg.

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