Paris Saint-Germain cruised to a 4-0 victory over Reims on Sunday, restoring their Ligue 1 lead to 11 points. Lionel Messi returned, and another marquee signing Sergio Ramos scored.
PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino said, “We had a good game, we took three points.”
Nice had previously closed the gap with a 2-0 victory over Metz. Three of the teams close behind them, however, were defeated.
Messi started on the bench after returning from Covid, while Kylian Mbappe returned to the starting lineup after a groin strain, and Ramos made his first league start of the season.
PSG took the lead in the final minute of a sluggish first half, with Marco Verratti scoring his first Ligue 1 goal since May 2017.
Pochettino said, “It’s good that a player who doesn’t score often does.”
After the break, PSG picked up the pace.
Ramos scored his first goal for the club after joining from Real Madrid in the summer. When a loose ball from a PSG corner fell to the central defender, he was the first to react. After Predrag Rajkovic parried his first shot, the Spaniard reacted quickly to slam home the rebound.
“I’m pleased to have played 90 minutes, and I’m particularly pleased because it’s my first goal with PSG; I hope there will be many more,” Ramos said.
“I’ve been playing regularly with the group for three weeks,” he said. “With the cup, league, and Champions League on the horizon, now is the best time to get in shape.”
Pochettino was pleased with his team’s performance.
“It’s fortunate that he scored as well as Marco. “He played well,” the manager said.
That goal not only brought Ramos level with Messi in terms of league goals this season, but it also signaled Pochettino’s decision to send Messi on.
Messi set up Verratti for a shot that deflected off two defenders and into the top corner in the 67th minute.
PSG matched their biggest league win of the season with a fourth goal from Danilo Pereira.
Earlier in the day, Khephren Thuram’s goal gave Nice a crucial 2-0 away win over Metz, allowing them to reclaim second place.
Khephren, the 20-year-old son of World Cup winner Lilian, scored in the 58th minute, and Amine Gouiri’s late penalty kick sealed the win with a cheeky Panenka.
Nice now has a three-point lead over bitter south coast rivals Marseille, who are two points behind in third place and have a game in hand.
“We’re still too far behind (PSG) to consider first place.” “What’s coming up behind us concerns me more,” Nice coach Christophe Galtier said.
“It’s all about getting points, which can be difficult when your opponent is fighting relegation.”
‘Perfect game,’ says the player.
Strasbourg were defeated 4-3 by Bordeaux, who were lifted out of the bottom three thanks to a hat-trick from Hwang Ui-Jo.
Bordeaux, who had failed to score in three league and cup games this season while conceding ten goals, scored three goals in the first 38 minutes, but had to work hard for their win after their defense conceded three goals.
“Hwang played flawlessly, bailing us out on several occasions.” Bordeaux’s under-threat coach Vladimir Petkovic said, “He’s had some difficulties in the last few games, so I’m very happy that he’s back.”
“I’m sorry we allowed three goals,” Petkovic said. “We played very well in the first half, but the fear of losing the game took over.”
Rennes took an 18th-minute lead at Clermont with a goal by Baptiste Santamaria, but they squandered several other opportunities and paid the price in the second half.
Lucas Da Cunha, a former Rennes player, equalized in the 59th minute, and Jordan Tell scored in the 70th minute.
Montpellier climbed to sixth place after a 3-2 victory over Monaco.
Stephy Mavididi scored twice, with the winner coming in stoppage time, after Elye Wahi gave the home team a 13th-minute lead.
Wissam Monaco fell to seventh place after goals from Ben Yedder and Vanderson.