Ruiz-y does it for Fab PSG
Paris Saint-Germain got themselves back to winning ways with a 3-1 triumph over Montpellier HSC at Stade de la Mosson, despite an earlier penalty miss and seeing two goals disallowed for offside.
Despite the weekend’s victory at Auxerre, Montpellier’s pre-match form was woeful, and they remained on the edge of this season’s extended four-team relegation zone ahead of this clash. The visit of a PSG side also determined to improve on recent results only looked set to make the situation worse for Olivier Pitau’s men, and there were fears of going behind after just seven minutes when Christopher Jullien bundled over Sergio Ramos in the penalty area, and the referee pointed to the spot.
Returning goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte, fresh from a stoppage-time penalty save in his first match back at the club last weekend, heroically stopped both Kylian Mbappé’s initial effort and a retake, in which he tipped the ball onto the post before the France international skied the rebound. That was to be Mbappé’s last major contribution of the match too, as he was substituted through injury.
As a consequence of his departure, the Parisians failed to trouble Lecomte again before HT, though Lionel Messi briefly thought he had the opener after a delicate dink over the goalkeeper, only to see his goal chalked off for offside. Christophe Galtier’s side came out of the tunnel undeterred and reinvigorated, and it wasn’t long before they once again had the ball in the back of the net, as Achraf Hakimi fired into the top corner from 30 yards, but an offside in the build up ensured this one was also ruled out.
PSG responded well though, and finally took the lead when substitute Hugo Ekitike pounced on a loose ball and headed it into the path of Fabián Ruiz, who was tasked with simply steering the ball into the empty net. Montpellier started to threaten, and Stephy Mavididi saw a great chance saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma, but the capital side were straight up the other end, and Ruiz turned creator with a brilliant through ball to Messi, who brilliantly slid the ball into the corner for his side’s killer second.
Montpellier were given some hope late on against the run of play, when Arnaud Nordin skipped ahead of a defender and whipped the ball past a helpless Donnarumma. However, their dreams were crushed by PSG on the counter, as Warren Zaïre-Emery got in behind and drove his shot past Lecomte. Ultimately, it was business as usual for PSG, while Montpellier extended their home league record to six games without victory, and will be looking over their shoulder at the teams behind them.