Lionel Messi was applauded by the entire Toulouse stadium after a superb off-field performance for Paris Saint-Germain.
Christophe Galtier’s side triumphed 3-0 in a routine Ligue 1 win at the Stadium de Toulouse in the south of France on Wednesday night.
Messi provided assists for Neymar and Kylian Mbappe before being replaced by Achraf Hakimi in the 83rd minute. Juan Bernat added a third in the 90th minute.
But when the Argentina striker was substituted, the entire stadium gave him a standing ovation, sportingly applauding his game-winning performance.
The result leaves PSG top of the league table, with Lens and Marseille leading on goal difference after four wins and one draw in their opening five games.
Galtier’s side have already beaten Clermont 5-0, Montpellier 5-2, Lille 7-1 and drawn 1-1 with Monaco under their new coach.
Lionel Messi was applauded off the pitch by the entire Toulouse stadium on Wednesday night
The Paris Saint-Germain star striker put in an excellent performance, providing two assists
Messi (left), Neymar (right) and Kylian Mbappe (centre), PSG’s standout ‘MNM’ players, clicked as the Parisians beat Toulouse 3-0 in a routine win in the south of France
Veteran star Messi himself has three goals and four assists in his first five games.
The 35-year-old joined the French capital from youth club Barcelona in July 2021 because the cash-strapped Spanish giants could not afford to keep him.
Despite an incredible streak of 13 consecutive seasons of 38 or more goals in all competitions at Barca, Messi has failed to reach the expected heights with just six league goals and 11 in all competitions.
Messi’s first assist (above) was a flick around the corner for Neymar and his second (below) was a nice pass to give Mbappe a clear shot. Spaniard Juan Bernat added a third in the 90th minute
Some wondered if the outstanding ‘MNM’ front three of Messi, Neymar and Mbappe would become a cohesive unit and they struggled at times last season.
But things seem to have improved this year – Brazilian Neymar has registered seven goals and six assists in his first five league games, while Mbappe has scored five in his first four games.
Messi’s first assist was a deft round-the-corner swing for Neymar and his second a nice pass to give Mbappe a clear shot.