Paris Saint-Germain won 3-1 in Saint-Etienne to extend their lead at the top of the Ligue 1 table. Leo Messi assisted all three goals in a game that saw Sergio Ramos finally make his debut in the PSG shirt. The bad news for the Paris giants came from Neymar, who left the stadium on crutches after injuring his ankle.
Denis Bouanga offered Saint-Etienne the lead after 23 minutes. Two major events marked the dying moments of the first half, with Timothée Kolodziejczak putting the hosts down to 10 men in the 45th minute and Marquinhos equalizing in the second minute of added time. Ángel Di Maria (’79) and Marquinhos (’90+1) settled the affair in PSG’s favor with second-half goals. Leo Messi wasn’t on the score sheet at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, but provided the assists for all three Paris goals.
The game in St. Etienne was played on the eve of the 2021 Ballon d’Or ceremony, where Messi is among the favorites to win. If he takes the trophy home, the Argentinian will become a seven-time Ballon d’Or winner. His six titles so far are already a world record. Messi won the Copa America in July following outstanding performances wearing Argentina’s shirt, while also scoring at a non-stop rate for FC Barcelona at the club level in the first part of the year.
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Neymar suffers ankle injury
The Brazilian superstar needed to be taken off on a stretcher in the 88th minute of the St. Etienne match after a tackle from Loïs Diony left him with a disturbing ankle injury. Neymar was later filmed leaving the stadium on crutches. French journalists at L’Equipe claim he could now be out for up to six weeks.
— Le Parisien | PSG (@le_Parisien_PSG) November 28, 2021
“For the moment there is nothing to say. He felt pain from the twist of his ankle. Tomorrow, he will take exams and we will know a little more about his injury,” PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino told the media in his post-match press conference.
Neymar took to Instagram to address his fans.
“Unfortunately, these setbacks are a part of an athlete’s life. Now you have to raise your head and move on. I will come back better and stronger,” Neymar wrote.
Sergio Ramos played the whole game for PSG
The former Real Madrid captain played his first game for Paris Saint-Germain almost five months after moving to the French capital. Ramos was sidelined with an injury ever since he joined PSG, but in St. Etienne, he was able to play the full game. The Spaniard was also included in PSG’s squad to face City in the Champions League midweek, but wasn’t used by manager Mauricio Pochettino.
“I am very happy for Sergio, we are all happy that he is here after a few months without having been able to play since his signing at Paris Saint-Germain,” Pochettino said about the defender’s debut match. “It’s the biggest step for him, having played 90 minutes today.”
Ramos made the most of his run in the starting 11 and impressed supporters throughout the match. He won five duels, made three tackles, and completed 94% of his passes.
Following their 3-1 win in St. Etienne, PSG is now 12 points clear at the top of the Ligue 1. Rennes sits in second place, with Nice in third.