The story of his first tenure with Paris SG will remain a draft:
like his team, Lionel Messi suffered the events in Bruges, Wednesday (1-1), in the Champions League.
The “Pulga” returned to their cherished competition with a new jersey, but this did not transform the player who remained in a 2020/21 season far from his standards.
Waste, a yellow card and the crossbar: the record of Argentina’s N.30 did not live up to the expectations aroused by his arrival last August.
The Messi show ended without really having started. After the match, it was the Brugge players who performed a lap of honor, in front of a conquered audience.
The failures of the Argentinian late in the game, as PSG tried to accelerate to obtain the victory, left a feeling of helplessness.
The superstar found goalkeeper Simon Mignolet on his only shot on target of the match (70th).
In the first period, his beautiful curled shot hit the corner of the crossbar of the Belgian cage (29th).
These are the only clear opportunities for a team with a disappointing offensive performance, given the talent of his magic trio Messi-Neymar-Kylian Mbappé.
For the show:
it was necessary to skip the other match of the group, between Manchester City and RB Leipzig, which the English flew over (6-3).
The squad coached by Pep Guardiola will travel to Parc des Princes in two weeks, where Messi will have to make a much better copy if PSG do not want a complicated fall to qualify.
Not far from Antwerp, the city of diamonds, we know how to appreciate a jewel: applause resounded when the speaker said the name of Messi, during the presentation of the teams.
– Warning –
Bruges was therefore going to be the scene of the world premiere of the “MNM”, in the same way as Amsterdam had been that of the Barcelona “MSN” in C1, in 2014.
That night, Messi scored twice (2-0) to seal his alliance with Neymar and Luis Suarez which, seven months later, resulted in the Catalan club’s 5th Champions League.
PSG dreams of rewriting the same story. But the start was not the same.
The “Pulga” made a shy start, just like his teammates mistreated by Flemings not dazzled by the stars of the Parisian workforce.
Aligned on the right, while Mbappé occupied the axis and Neymar the left wing, the Argentinian was not involved in the game as much as the other two superstars.
He launched “Kyky” (23rd) but the attacking world champion lost his duel against Simon Mignolet.
For the rest, the Belgian defenders annihilated the rare attempts at connection between Messi and his teammates, who relied on individual exploits to respond to the Belgian collective.
In the exercise, the six-fold Ballon d’Or is a genius, capable of turning the tide of a match with a touch of the ball. He tried well, but his curled shot of 25 meters ended on the crossbar of the Flemish cage (29th).
Mbappé’s injury exit (51st) tightened the frame a little more on Messi who evolved in the axis during the second period, behind Neymar and Mauro Icardi.
His repositioning in the midfield did not have the effect expected by coach Mauricio Pochettino, short of solutions. He created only one opportunity, stopped by Mignolet (70th).
Shortly after, he received a yellow card for a foul on Mats Rits (72nd).