Argentina fans celebrate Lionel Messi goal in World Cup final
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Lionel Messi scored an incredible last-minute free-kick winner for PSG to help complete a dramatic turnaround for the French champions after beating Lille 4-3. The Argentinian magician produced a stunning finish in the final seconds of the Ligue 1 clash to help relieve the pressure on head coach Christophe Galtier after a rollercoaster game at Parc des Princes.
In a pulsating early encounter between two of France’s top sides, the score was deadlocked at 3-3 after Lille mounted their own fightback from two goals down. But the visitors were dealt heartbreak by the veteran playmaker as he whipped a trademark free-kick into the back of the net.
The 35-year-old was some 25 yards out and placed in the centre of the pitch outside the ‘D’ as he lined up the free-kick. And somehow, he got enough power and dip on the effort to make it go through the wall and into the bottom corner past the helpless Lille goalkeeper Lucas Chevalier.
Messi’s 699th club goal came in the 95th minute of seven minutes added on by the referee and PSG celebrated euphorically after their last-gasp victory, having been staring down the barrel of a fourth straight defeat just 10 minutes before.
The pre-match build-up had been dominated by another reported disagreement between Kylian Mbappe and Neymar after the latter was pictured at McDonald’s hours after their defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
But the star duo seemed to have put their differences behind them as PSG came roaring out of the blocks to lead 2-0 inside 12 minutes.
It was Mbappe who opened the scoring with a sublime solo effort, taking on two defenders and performing an outrageous nutmeg before finishing underneath Chevalier. Neymar then touched home after a mistake from the goalkeeper to score his 13th Ligue 1 goal of the season.
But Lille soon fought back through Bafode Diakite’s header and Jonathan David equalised from the penalty spot just before the hour mark to pile the pressure back on the French champions. French winger Jonathan Bamba then put Lille ahead on 69 minutes to stun the home crowd into silence, but PSG’s stars sprung into action to salvage the result.
Mbappe produced another piece of brilliance to grab his second of the day to pull PSG level at 3-3 before Messi stepped up in stoppage time to send the crowd into pandemonium.
The result will come as a much-needed boost in morale for the French club, who lost 1-0 to Bayern Munich in midweek to leave their Champions League dreams hanging in the balance.
But thanks to his star-studded triumvirate of Messi, Neymar and Mbappe, Galtier can rest easy for now as his side extend the gap at the top to eight points over Marseille.
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