[PSG] Messi’s magic and Angers’ triumph: A weekend of long-awaited victories

Lionel Messi scored a goal and provided an assist as Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) beat Nice 2-0 to maintain their six-point lead in the French league. The win comes a week after the Argentinian was jeered by some PSG fans during their home defeat to Lyon, which led to speculation about his future with the club. In the 26th minute, Messi clipped in a cross from left-back Nuno Mendes, and veteran defender Sergio Ramos headed home Messi’s corner from the left in the 76th minute.

Despite being unbeaten in 14 matches, Nice failed to capitalize on several opportunities to equalize in the first half, with PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma making crucial saves from Nicolas Pépé and striker Terem Moffi. The victory ensures PSG’s position at the top of the league, and Messi’s performance has somewhat eased concerns about his future with the club.

During the game, veteran defender Dante had a shot that hit the underside of the crossbar and appeared to cross the line in the 51st minute. However, goal-line technology did not alert referee Jérémie Pignard that it had crossed the line, despite video replays showing that a goal should have been awarded.

PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma made several more saves, denying shots from Nicolas Pépé and Youssouf Ndayishimiye as Nice kept up the pressure on the league leaders. Despite being unbeaten in 14 games, Nice missed several chances to score, hitting the crossbar late in the match. This match was another example of PSG’s struggles this year, as they have already lost eight games in 2023.

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) coach Christophe Galtier faced his former club, Nice, where he had coached last season. However, Nice’s ultras greeted him with an insulting chant and a derogatory banner. After PSG’s 2-0 win, Galtier sarcastically gave a thumbs up to the section of fans who insulted him, leading to an angry reaction. PSG sporting director Luis Campos had to intervene and encourage an upset-looking Galtier to leave the field quickly. PSG’s win against Nice ensured that they stayed six points ahead of second-placed Lens ahead of their match in Paris the following weekend.

Meanwhile, Angers, the bottom-ranked team, won their first game in 22 league matches, beating defending champions Lille 1-0 at home. Defender Halid Sabanovic scored the winner in the 84th minute, striking the ball off the post. Angers had not won a game since September 17, 2022. The win will give them hope in their bid to avoid relegation, while Lille’s defeat put a dent in their hopes of retaining their title.

Overall, it was a weekend of mixed emotions for the coaches and fans of PSG and Nice, with Galtier receiving insults from his former club’s fans and PSG maintaining their lead at the top of the league, while Angers celebrated a rare win and Lille faced a setback in their title defense.

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