Sports, Football

Mbappe off bench to steer PSG to victory

Published : 02 Oct 2022 08:35 PM

Kylian Mbappe came off the bench to score the winning goal as Paris Saint-Germain defeated Nice 2-1 on Saturday to reclaim top spot in Ligue 1.

French international Mbappe was left out of the starting line-up by coach Christophe Galtier with one eye on Wednesday's Champions League clash at Benfica.

That is one of 11 fixtures the French champions face in the six weeks leading up to the World Cup.

Mbappe was replaced by 20-year-old Hugo Ekitike, who was making his first start for PSG but struggled to make an impact.

However, it was fellow superstar Lionel Messi who grabbed the attention when he gave PSG a 29th-minute lead with a sumptuous, curling free-kick from the edge of the box which sailed over the Nice wall and past goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.

"I'm incredibly lucky to see him every morning in training," said Galtier.

It was Messi's 60th career goal from free-kicks but first in a PSG shirt.

"We are not playing less well than we were, but our opponents are starting to know us," said PSG defender Marquinhos after a disjointed display by the champions.