Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe were all on the scoresheet as Paris Saint-Germain battled to a 4-3 win over Troyes in a thriller.
Lionel Messi scored a world-class goal and assisted another for Neymar as Paris Saint-Germain twice came from behind to beat Troyes 4-3 and go five points clear at the top of Lige 1.
PSG were behind with just 134 seconds played – the first they had gone behind at home in the league since September 2018 – after Mama Balde headed in from close range.
Neymar played in Carlos Soler to equalize after 24 minutes, but Balde restored Troyes’ lead early in the second half and left the champions needing some inspiration, which arrived in the form of Messi.
The forward struck with a brutal strike from 30 yards and then set up Neymar before Kylian Mbappe gave PSG some of the breathing space they needed when Ante Palaversa pulled one back for what proved to be only a late consolation.
Balde fired Troyes into an early lead after PSG failed to cut out Abdu Conte’s cross from the left and Rony Lopes volleyed the ball into his team-mate’s path.
Recalled PSG midfielder Soler soon brought the visitors back on level terms when he rounded Gauthier Gallon and converted after being played in by Neymar’s chipped pass.
Gallon made a number of saves and further frustration followed for PSG when Balde clinically outpaced Gianluigi Donnarumma after cleverly turning his man.
But Messi equalized with a powerful shot that Gallon couldn’t get to before spotting Neymar running at the Brazil international to lift the ball over the Troyes keeper.
Soler capitalized on some hesitation at the back to win a late penalty, which Mbappe emphatically converted, and although Palaversa headed in Troyes’ third to set up a nervy finish, PSG held on.
Paris Saint-Germain player ratings v Troyes
Gianluigi Donnarumma – 4
Nordi Mukiele – 6: Was up against a tough opponent in Wilson Odobert was left behind on more than one occasion, but also managed to hold his ground in many of the counter-attack situations PSG faced. Proves himself to be a more than serviceable back-up for Achraf Hakimi.
Sergio Ramos – 4
Presnel Kimpembe – 5
Juan Bernat – 5
Carlos Soler – 6
Marco Verratti – 6
Vitinha – 7
Lionel Messi – 8: Came the closest to giving PSG the lead at the end of the first half and pulled the strings in the second to secure a hard-fought three points – his long-range strike for the hosts’ second the pick of tonight’s seven goals.
Neymar – 8: Ten goals and eight assists now this season for the Brazilian, whose carefree yet applied attacking drive is what makes PSG a joy to watch going forward. An assist for Carlos Soler’s first-half strike before a goal of his own.
Kylian Mbappé – 5: A confidently dispatched penalty to seal the win goes some way to making up what was a largely wasteful performance from the Frenchman.
Troyes player ratings v PSG
Gauthier Gallon – 3
Thierno Baldé – 5
Jackson Porozo – 4
Erik Palmer-Brown – 4
Yoann Salmier – 5
Abdu Conté – 4
Rony Lopes – 6
Romingue Kouamé – 7
Xavier Chavalerin – 6
Wilson Odobert – 7: The 17-year-old caused constant trouble for Nordi Mukiele down the left-hand side, showing his former club that they may well have been better advised to hold on to him. Somewhat dropped away in the second half.
Mama Baldé – 7: Two goals to make it seven for the season for the forward, who was a constant nuisance for a shaky PSG defence. His second, a turn in the box in tight space before a rifled finish, had his team in the lead for a fleeting moment.