Messi scores consecutive goals to save PSG in 3-2 win against Leipzig


Lionel Messi scored two goals in quick succession, including an exquisite Panenka-style penalty, to rescue Paris Saint-Germain in their comeback to beat Leipzig 3-2 in the Champions League after being dominated for long periods on Tuesday.

Messi equalized in the 67th minute, finishing from very close after goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi fired his first shot at the post. He then sent Gulacsi to the left before tapping the ball lightly down the middle for his third goal since joining PSG from Barcelona.

They have all made it to the Champions League, with Kylian Mbappé preparing the first two and earning the penalty for Messi’s goal against Leipzig in the 74th minute.

Mbappé then took a penalty in the fourth minute of injury time, awarded after a video review for a foul on right-back Achraf Hakimi, but finished it off well.

PSG top Group A with seven points, one more than Manchester City. Leipzig is the last without points.

Mbappé opened the scoring with a goal in the nine minute.

But after that, the visitors took control pressing high on the pitch and forcing the panicked PSG to make numerous mistakes.

Forward Andre Silva tied at 28 and midfielder Nordi Mukiele volleyed hard at 57, with left-back Angelino priming both with his right-handed left foot.

PSG were missing forwards Neymar and Mauro Icardi, giving Julian Draxler an unusual start alongside Mbappé and Messi in attack. Neymar has adductor pain while Icardi was excused for family reasons.

An instant shot by Draxler from a long pass from Marquinhos put Mbappé in the middle, and he cut off a defender long before putting the ball into the lower left corner for the first goal.

But with American coach Jesse Marsch giving orders from the touchline, Leipzig exposed the glaring weaknesses of coach Mauricio Pochettino’s team, which despite winning nine of 10 league games has worked and needed late goals.

Lively striker Christopher Nkunku, sold by PSG to Leipzig two years ago, caused major problems with his pace and movement.

After beating defender Presnel Kimpembe in midair, he nodded towards Silva and the Portugal forward deftly cushioned the ball before volleying off the post.

A minute later, Silva was celebrating after Nkunku deftly flipped the ball from right to left and Angelino overlapped well to return it and select Silva near the back post.

Nkunku then came close after he easily passed his former teammate Kimpembe, but dragged his shot just wide.

When the PSG defense failed again, Angelino had time to float on a high pass in which Mukiele volleyed.

Messi, who scored a brilliant first goal for PSG in a 2-0 win against Manchester City three weeks ago, played better in the second half but had little influence until his draw and then handed Parc des Princes a delicious penalty.

In the other Group A match, Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez scored two goals for City to crush Club Brugge 5-1 in Belgium.