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Sunday, April 24, 2022

PSG rout Reims in Ligue 1

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PARIS:

Lionel Messi returned, another marquee signing Sergio Ramos scored as Paris Saint-Germain cruised to a 4-0 victory over Reims on Sunday to restore their Ligue 1 lead to 11 points.

“We had a good game, we took three points,” said PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Earlier, Nice briefly cut the gap with a 2-0 win at Metz. But three of the teams just behind them lost.

Messi, returning from Covid, started on the bench while Kylian Mbappe returned to the starting line-up after a groin strain while Ramos made only his second league start of the season.

Marco Verratti put PSG ahead in the final minute of a sluggish first half, drilling home his first Ligue 1 goal since May 2017.

“It’s good that a player who doesn’t score often, does,” said Pochettino.

PSG upped the tempo after the break.

Ramos, who arrived from Real in the summer, scored his first goal for the club. The central defender reacted quickest to a loose ball from a PSG corner. After his first shot was parried by Predrag Rajkovic, the Spaniard reacted fastest again to slam home the rebound.

“I am happy to have played 90 minutes and I am personally happy because it is my first goal with PSG, I hope there will be many more,” said Ramos.

“It’s been three weeks since I started playing normally with the group,” he said. “We have the cup, we have the league, we have the Champions League, this is the best time to arrive in shape.”

Pochettino was happy with the goal.

“It’s good that he scored like Marco. He had a good game,” said the manager.

That goal brought Ramos level with Messi on one league goal this season, it also acted as the cue for Pochettino to send Messi on.

In the 67th minute, Messi set up Verratti for a shot that deflected off two defenders and into the top corner.

Danilo Pereira added a fourth as PSG matched their biggest league win of the season.

Earlier, Khephren Thuram’s goal set up a precious 2-0 away win for Nice as they saw off strugglers Metz to move back up to second place.



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