Lionel Messi is Mr. Reliable! PSG winners, losers & ratings as Argentina star steps up with Mbappe & Neymar out
Lionel Messi lurked for most of Paris Saint-Germain's contest against Toulouse. He floated around, enjoyed a few touches, and served as an unnerving presence, more a warning than an attacking threat.
But then, he came to life. As he always does. With PSG locked at 1-1 with the mid-table side, Messi drifted towards the top of the box, and whipped a loose ball into the bottom corner.
Messi has scored that goal countless times. And on this occasion, it lifted PSG to a vital Ligue 1 win.
Toulouse took the lead inside 20 minutes, with Branco van den Boomen sweeping a free kick past a wrong-footed Gianluigi Donnarumma.
PSG struggled for a creative spark in the fitness-related absence of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, with Lionel Messi a peripheral figure in the early goings. Achraf Hakimi provided a moment of magic, though, firing into the bottom corner from 20 yards out to equalise.
Things changed in the second half, with Messi inevitably popping up with the goal to put his side ahead. Hakimi laid the ball off to the World Cup winner just outside the box, who curled his shot past a helpless goalkeeper.
Toulouse had one clear chance late on, but Donnarumma equaled a scrappy effort after a scramble in the box. And it was all about Messi in the end, the Argentine stepping up in the absence of Mbappe and Neymar, dragging PSG to the finish line.