'Unstoppable' Lionel Messi ends 'desperate' goal search for PSG against Man City

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Lionel Messi scored his first goal at club level since May's defeat at Celta Vigo by 2-1.

It was the moment European football was waiting for, and Pep Guardiola knew it was likely "unstoppable".

Lionel Messi, who glided forward at the Parc des Princes against Manchester City late on, played a one-two match with Paris St-Germain team-mate Kylian Mabappe and left Ederson with nothing but a beautiful shot into the top corner.

It was his first goal for Barcelona in his career and secured a 2-0 win for the team that signed him to help them achieve Champions League glory.

This strike ended Messi's 264-minute streak without scoring since his summer transfer from Spain. Manager Mauricio pochettino was filled with joy. Guardiola knew it was inevitable after having seen Messi close up. Messi was overwhelmed with relief.

Messi said that he was desperate to score his first goal. "I had not played in a while and only once at home, but I'm slowly getting used to the team.

"The closer we work together, the more our relationships will improve." All of us need to learn together, improve, and give our best.

Messi scored his only goal against Manchester City

The 34-year old Argentine took more than a month for him to play his four first games for his new club. This was due to injury, lack of fitness and international duty.

After joining the club on a summer transfer, he had not scored in his three first fixtures for PSG - against Reims and Club Bruges - before he was allowed to join.

That was, by his standards, a goal drought.

Messi's friend and fellow Argentine, Pochettino, is the boss of PSG. He was thrilled to see it end. He said, "I don't usually celebrate goals. I keep it to my self." "But today, Messi, I did.

"I watched Messi score goals on the opponent's side for years - so it's amazing to see my team scoring.

How Messi (number 30-) scored his goal

The much-hyped PSG front three of Messi, Mbappe, and Neymar - the two most costly players in history and the record six-time Ballon d'Or winner – showed promising signs.

They made 44 passes each, nearly 10% more than PSG's total.

Rio Ferdinand was a former Manchester United defender who was beaten by Messi in the Champions League finals of 2009 and 2011. He was impressed by the Argentine.

He said that he could see the strength, pace, balance, and technique he used to get there on BT Sport. It was amazing.

He was at the fringe of the game. Now he's at a new club, and he's finding his way. Even celebrities have to do this. The celebrations following the goal are relief. He's not always so animated afterward.

"We waited, and it was worth it for Messi's performance tonight."

Owen Hargreaves, ex-United and City midfielder, said that Messi is the man for the big occasion. He scores against Pep Guardiola teams every time.

This was Messi's seventh goal against Guardiola, his ex-Barcelona boss. Guardiola has been the only player to score more against him in this competition.

Michael Brown, a former City midfielder, was following the game on BBC Radio 5 Live. He said: "The headlines are taken by Messi and we expect that from the great man.

"He's back, and he's with PSG."

Guardiola was awarded two Champions Leagues with Messi and three Spanish titles, but could not stop one of the game’s greatest players.

He said, "We know it's impossible for Leo to be controlled in 90 minutes."

"He wasn't very in touch with ball - he was coming off injury so he needed some rhythm. But we know that he is unstoppable when he can run and get near the ball.

Messi is happy to do the dirty job

Messi made sure Kevin de Bruyne couldn't fire his free kick under the wall

Because of his dedication to the game, Messi was also a big draw. Sixteen of his 60 touches came from his own half. To stop a City attack, he won the ball from Riyad Mahrez at the box's edge.

Even his run to his goal, which was his only chance at scoring it, started in his own half.

There were 43 successful passes by PSG players in the game.

The moment that really stood out, besides the goal, was when he played the draught excluder for Kevin de Bruyne's free-kick.

This is where the player lies behind the wall, so that the taker can't fire in a low free kick. This role was invented to defend Messi's free-kicks.

De Bruyne shot high rather than low and was saved.

"We couldn’t believe it. Hargreaves said, "He's one the greatest of all times."

Ferdinand said: "The moment Mauricio pochettino asked him for that on the training grounds, someone should have gone in there and said 'no'.

"If I were in that team, I would say: 'I'll lay down for you.' Messi doesn't get his kit dirty!"

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"We did everything but score"

City entered the game after beating title rivals and European champions Chelsea, 1-0, on Saturday.

They had more chances than PSG and hit the bar twice through Raheem sterling and Bernardo Silva in one move.

Gianluigi Donnarumma, PSG's keeper, made seven saves against Ederson's 1.

Guardiola stated, "We did everything but score." Guardiola said, "They were strong in defense and dangerous when it came to counter-attack. The team deserves my highest compliment.

"The team was there, the same as Stamford Bridge. It is a shame. We wanted to win. They didn't have to do much to score their goals.

"We are going to eat well tonight, drink a glass wine, and then recover in preparation for Sunday's Liverpool match."

Brown, a former City midfielder, said: "They created many opportunities and I think Pep would say 'that’s football' and he’ll take the positives.

He knows that it is not do or die in the group stages. They have a great team and will continue to improve."

Sylvain distin, ex-defender City, said that City had the intensity to win but didn't take their chances.

"They had more chances than they could win that game."

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