90min
Paris Saint-Germain

Lionel Messi's PSG substitution will dominate the headlines despite his brilliant performance

Max Parsons
Lionel Messi has failed to score for PSG thus far
Lionel Messi has failed to score for PSG thus far / FRANCK FIFE/Getty Images
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Lionel Messi may not have scored for Paris Saint-Germain yet, but don't be fooled - he hasn't lost his touch.

Sunday night brought with it the much anticipated home debut of Messi at the Parc des Princes, a stadium absolutely rocking with the fervent excitement of watching the Argentine in his home debut.

It hasn't been the fairytale start to his PSG career up to this point.

While he has inevitably shown glimpses of his ridiculous quality in the navy blue shirt, his introduction to the club in a 24-minute cameo against Metz and the subsequent full 90 in his side's depressing 1-1 draw at Club Brugge have resulted in zero goal contributions - when comparing to other big name switches this summer (Cristiano Ronaldo comes to mind), you might be quick to berate the legendary forward.

And, after another outing lacking in a decisive action on Sunday night, you might be even quicker to do so.

Especially after that awkwardness with Mauricio Pochettino after being substituted.

The Parisian outfit had to rely on Neymar's equalising penalty and Mauro Icardi's last-gasp header to overcome Lucas Paqueta's opening strike and seal a 2-1 win over Lyon to maintain a 100% start to their Ligue 1 campaign.

However, the little genius wasn't exactly absent from proceedings. Throughout his 75-minute stint on the field Messi was the chief source of creativity, opening up what proved to be a resolute midfield and back ine with his glorious movement, vision, control and general quality on the ball.

Dropping deep to find himself alongside Ander Herrera and Idrissa Gana Gueye, the forward sprayed balls around the field to find the front three in vast amounts of space and set dangerous attacks in motion.

When further up the field, he'd take passes with his back to goal, give the defender a little shimmy and turn the poor fella inside out to surge away and dribble directly at a quivering back four. It was this low centre of gravity and knack of leaving his opposition for dead that created PSG's first real opening of the night.

Turning away from his marker and darting into the space in front of him, Messi linked up with Neymar in superb fashion down the left, before forcing Anthony Lopes into a clever stop from close range. Admittedly, it was a chance you'd expect the six-time Ballon d'Or winner to bury but even so, it was a chance of his divine creation.

He went despairingly close to breaking the deadlock for a second time before the interval, striking a stunning free kick against the corner of the woodwork - inches away from finding the top corner.

His influence on proceedings did anything but wane after that, however the second half show was stolen by a reinvigorated Neymar, whose trickery and fearlessness terrorised the Lyon backline into eventual submission.

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Lionel Messi disappointed at being taken off the field / FRANCK FIFE/Getty Images

But Messi's continued moments of awe-inspiring brilliance caught he eye throughout his time on the pitch. Indeed, it was a surprise when Pochettino made the decision to remove him form the action with 15 minutes left on the clock - a decision that left Messi visibly unhappy.

Even so, we are just three appearances into the Argentine's career at the Parc des Princes and, although he's yet to register a tangible goal contribution, his characteristically mesmerising showing on Sunday night shows it won't take long for him to get back in the groove.

That first goal will come, and it will come soon.


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