Lionel Messi made his debut as Mbappe got clean boot

Lionel Messi made his debut, Kylian Mbappé stole the show as Paris Saint-Germain beat Stade de Reims 2-0 on the road on Sunday night.

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The striker’s first-half header and second-half bullet were enough for the Parisians to maintain their 100% start to the new Ligue 1 season.

While wantaway Mbappe’s brace may grab the headlines, substitute Messi got the most love in the north of France. Throughout the game, PSG‘s ultras called and chanted his name before he stepped across the white line in the 66th minute.

Messi looked supremely comfortable immediately, dribbling around and passing the ball with ease – like a child in a playground.

PSG PLAYER RATINGS

1. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Keylor Navas (GK) – 8/10 – The Costa Rican was constantly alert though a slow opening to the game. Then, minutes before the half-time break, Ilan Kebbal unleashed a rasping shot that whizzed through the PSG defence. Navas calmly caught the ball and settled his side. A moment which sums up a fantastic performance from the goalkeeper.

Achraf Hakimi (RB) – 7/10 – The full-back was more of a winger than a defender on Sunday evening. From kick-off he was a vital component in the team’s high press. Every time he got the ball he seemed to be in an acre of space.

Marquinhos (CB) – 7/10 – After a difficult few weeks defensively for the club, the return of Marquinhos was welcomed. Even though he spent the majority of the game in midfield, his return visibly settled the PSG back four.

Thilo Kehrer (CB) 7/10 – The centre-back looked a lot more comfortable on Sunday, especially with Marquinhos beside him.

Abdou Diallo (LB) 6/10 – While he got forward well, the full-back’s temper flared in the second half and he made some rash challenges. He regained his composure quickly after a few moments of madness.

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2. Midfielders

Wijnaldum looked uncomfortable in a deeper role / FRANCK FIFE/Getty Images

Idrissa Gueye (CM) – 8/10 – The Senegalese midfielder did very well as a defensive leader. As soon as possession was lost, he tracked back and made a number of vital tackles to close out Reims.

Marco Verratti (CM) – 6/10 – The Italian was tidy with his passing, but reckless with some of his challenges. His first-half yellow card was a stern warning, which he took to heart. After that he was more reserved.

Georginio Wijnaldum (CM) – 7/10 – The former Liverpool star was excellent at winning the ball back and distributing. However, he looked uncomfortable playing slightly deeper than usual.

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3. Forwards


Angel Di Maria (RW) – 8/10 – The winger flourished out wide on Sunday. His pressing was vital in PSG winning the ball back every time it was lost, and his close control tormented the Reims back four. It was fantastic performance rewarded with a fine assist for the opener.

Kylian Mbappé (ST) – 8/10 – The forward was dynamic as the focal point in the 4-3-3 formation. When he wasn’t running into space or dropping back to play the wingers through, he was in the right place at the right time in the box. It was a textbook performance for a modern striker.

Neymar Jr (LW) – 7/10 – Neymar was everywhere – midfield, out-wide, and inside the box. He was also excellent at keeping the ball close, drawing in defenders, and winning free-kicks from threatening positions.

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4. Substitutes

Messi was brought on in the second half for PSG / FRANCK FIFE/Getty Images

Lionel Messi (LW) – 8/10 – It didn’t look right, but it happened. Every touch seemed planned and every move was so well articulated, you would have sworn Messi always played for PSG.

Presnel Kimpembe (CB) – 6/10 – The defender found himself stuck for pace a number of times after coming on. Another shaky performance from the centre-back.

Leandro Paredes (CM) – 6/10 – The Argentine’s temper nearly caught him out towards the end of the game. Despite this, it was a solid second-half showing.

Ander Herrera (CM) – 6/10 – The midfielder slotted into the centre, and the pace of the game remained the exact same. An ideal showing from the former Manchester United man.

Julian Draxler (CM) – 6/10 – It was a quiet night for the German, who passed the ball well for PSG.