Business as usual for Messi and Ramos as former rivals see Reims The42
Updated 8 hours ago
LIONEL MESSI BACK Another big name signing Sergio Ramos scored as Paris Saint-Germain cruised to a 4-0 win over Reims on Sunday to restore their Ligue 1 lead to 11 points.
Earlier, Nice briefly closed the gap with a 2-0 win at Metz. But three of the teams right behind them lost.
Messi, back from Covid, started on the bench while Kylian Mbappe returned to the starting XI after a groin strain while Ramos made just his second league start of the season.
Goalkeeper Keylor Navas also returned, rushing into line-up after a Covid fight due to an injury to Italian Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Marco Verratti put PSG ahead in the final minute of a sluggish first half, scoring his first Ligue 1 goal since May 2017.
PSG picked up the pace after the break.
— Paris Saint Germain (@PSG_English) January 23, 2022
Ramos, who arrived from Real in the summer, scored his first goal for the club. The central defender reacted the fastest to a loose ball from a PSG corner. After his first shot was parried by Predrag Rajkovic, the Spaniard again reacted fastest to slam the rebound.
This goal brought Ramos level with Messi on a league goal this season, it also served as a signal for Messi.
In the 67th minute, Messi set up Verratti for a shot that deflected past two defenders and into the top corner.
Danilo Pereira added a fourth as PSG equaled their biggest league win of the season.
Earlier, Khephren Thuram’s goal gave Nice a valuable 2-0 away win as they beat struggling Metz to climb to second place in France’s Ligue 1.
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Thuram is one of the footballing sons of French 1998 World Cup icon Lilian Thuram, who scored twice in a memorable semi-final win over Croatia.
This afternoon, the strapping 20-year-old Khephren opened the scoring for Nice in the 58th minute while a late kick from Amine Gouiri completed the win with a cheeky Panenka through the middle.
The three points put Nice, owned by British chemicals magnate Jim Ratcliffe, above bitter south coast rivals Marseille, who are a point behind in third with a game less.
Nice are coached by Christophe Galtier who joined the club in style after leading Lille to the French title last season.
— OGC Nice 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@ogcnice_eng) January 23, 2022