Udayavni Special

Soccer world awaits Messi’s PSG debut; Nice routs Bordeaux


PTI, Aug 29, 2021, 9:26 AM IST

With the timing of Lionel Messi’s eagerly awaited debut for Paris Saint-Germain getting nearly all the attention, Nice got on with the business of winning with a 4-0 rout of Bordeaux in the French league.

Amine Gouiri continued his fine start to the season with two goals. The forward has three goals and an assist so far for Nice, which is coached by Christophe Galtier. He left Lille after guiding it to the French title last year.

The hosts opened the scoring in the sixth minute through Justin Kluivert, the son of former Netherlands and Barcelona striker Patrick Kluivert. It was his first goal for Nice after joining on loan this season from Italian club Roma.

Gouiri then netted twice before the break, the second with a penalty after being fouled by veteran defender Laurent Koscielny.

The fourth was scored late on by midfielder Khephren Thuram, the son of former France defender Lilian Thuram.

Nice is unbeaten so far but there were no fans to cheer the team on because of a stadium ban following fan violence in the team’s previous league game against Marseille.

Marseille also won, beating another bitter rival in Saint-Etienne 3-1 in a game where visiting fans were not allowed to travel for the game at Stade Velodrome.

New signings Matteo Guendouzi, fellow midfielder Gerson — on his debut — and winger Cengiz Under all scored for the home side, with defender Timothee Kolodziejczak getting Saint-Etienne’s goal.

MESSI’S DEBUT? Lionel Messi could finally make his debut as Paris Saint-Germain visits modest Reims on Sunday.

PSG was waiting until Sunday to name its squad.

Striker Kylian Mbappe’s future at the club is uncertain with Real Madrid trying to sign him.

”Mbappe has worked very well as usual, and he trained for the game this morning,” PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino said. ”The position of our president and our sporting director is very clear on Mbappe’s situation at PSG.” Elsewhere, Lille seeks a first win when it hosts Montpellier and struggling Monaco is at promoted Troyes.

Monaco is 19th with one point from three games and was eliminated in the Champions League playoff this week.

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