Ligue 1: Led by a Messi-Neymar duo of great evenings, PSG enjoys and curries Clermont (0-5)

A festival entrance. PSG, the defending champion, kicked off their Ligue 1 season perfectly by beating Clermont at home (0-5). After the champions trophy obtained against Nantes a week earlier (4-0), the Parisians, disciplined, and with a Lionel Messi-Neymar duo on fire, put their opponents through an ordeal. While the Brazilian stood out with a hat-trick of assists, the Argentinian scored two but including a magnificent return.

Decidedly, it is not good to face PSG in this month of August. And if Christophe Galtier’s new team continues at this pace all season, he should once again leave his Ligue 1 neighbors far behind in the standings. Because, aligned in the same configuration as against the Canaries, Kylian Mbappé’s partners, absent this time due to injury, mistreated Clermont in front of his audience, who even ended up applauding Lionel Messi’s class, despite the “manita” received from the capital club.

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Ambitious, especially in their very high pressing, Pascal Gastien’s players quickly understood that the evening was not going to hold any surprises. Upon receiving a cross from Sarabia, subtly deflected by Messi, Neymar opened the score with a clear right shot from the ninth minute. Numbers 30 and 10 were still in the baton on the Parisian counter which led to the second goal, scored by Achraf Hakimi, author of an impressive tumble and an overpowered strike to pierce poor Mory Diaw.

Far from being ridiculous, the Clermont goalkeeper, who arrived this summer, prevented his team from sinking in the first period, for its baptism in Ligue 1, by making several decisive parades (29th, 37th, 45th + 1). But he couldn’t do anything to prevent Marquinhos from scoring in turn, on a remote-controlled free kick from Neymar (0-3, 39th). The return from the locker room did not reverse the balance of power, the Parisians remaining applied until the end, and forcing Diaw to new rescues (77th, 90th).

Messi and Neymar, with a big smile on their lips throughout the meeting, still took the opportunity to put on a show. From a school action, bordering on insolence, the former Barcelonan concluded from the left an offering from his great friend (0-4, 80th). Then Messi admired his whole class with a back-to-goal back-to-goal chest control sequence to lob Diaw and conclude, on a good note, the Parisian evening (0-5, 86th). Montpellier, which will move to the Park for the 2nd day, can tremble.

The joy of the Parisians against Clermont during the 1st day of Ligue 1.

Credit: Getty Images

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