PSG fans gorge on the luxury of Lionel Messi's moment of brilliance

© Provided by The Guardian Photograph: BSR Agency/Getty Images

And so it came to pass. With 73 minutes on the clock, He finally turned up.

Lionel Messi had done very little for the previous 20 minutes at Parc des Princes. A promising first half had given way to one of those extended periods where Messi resembles a man maintaining a pretence of polite interest while milling around a notably disappointing flea market.

Instead Messi watched and waited as Manchester City applied their own pressure, 1-0 down, and always but not quite on the verge of almost but not quite finding an equaliser.

Related: Messi’s majestic run and finish leaves Manchester City trailing in PSG’s wake

Even this late-model Messi is never really out of these games. The thing about him, the unique quality of Messi’s brilliance, is that you never run out of it. There is always more of this stuff, unopened crates, wells, deep reserves.

On 73 minutes he read the moment and began to surge, taking the ball on the inside right channel and whizzing up through the gears as the space appeared, three white shirts spinning and shifting and losing their shape in front of him.

By now he could see the angles opening, could see the corner of the goal, filing it away in the frontal lobe, the pieces moving ahead of him. There was a kind of low level moan, one of those moments before a thunderclap where suddenly everyone present, if you look closely enough, gets a premonition; a glimpse of Messi-vision.

Kylian Mbappé produced a fine decoy run, then a lovely touch back into Messi’s path. Messi Messi didn’t break stride, then placed the ball, massaged it, tickled it into the top corner, bulging the netting with a lovely, sensual twang.

And of course, the place went nuts. It was a wonderful goal. Football grounds always go nuts. This was distinct though, and also a strange kind of moment. There was something glutinous about it, not so much a pure sporting thrill, the completion of some long-realised plan, as a kind of consumer high.

People in the crowd turned to look at one another, held their phones aloft, savouring their own premium experience, a luxury brand happening. The stadium announcer, by now utterly beside himself, was ready with the call and response.

© Provided by The Guardian Lionel Messi beats City’s defenders and goalkeeper Photograph: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

“Lionel… MESSI, Lionel.. MESSI, Lionel… MESSI.” It was fond and dizzy and gleeful, a crowd unbuckling its belt and filling its face on the spectacle, a kind of Messi-gluttony. And this was an exhilarating game of Champions League football. Manchester City were perhaps unlucky to lose, and certainly unlucky to lose 2-0. At times this felt like a meeting of a team condemned to make endless chances it can’t take, against one that was all incision, all whiplash attack.

Related: Lionel Messi says ‘today was an important moment’ after goal in PSG win

Before kick-off the only news in town was that Messi would start, never mind that twanged left knee. So Paris fielded that team. The one with the players. It looked pretty “split” on paper, but split in a convincing way, with that trio of outsize talents in attack, backed by a compact-looking midfield three.

© Photograph: BSR Agency/Getty Images Lionel Messi after his spectacular goal for PSG sealed a 2-0 win against Manchester City.

For City Bernardo Silva and Rodri formed the midfield axis once again. Riyad Mahrez, the local boy, came in on the right, with Raheem Sterling an uncomfortable central attacker.

Paris is a city in recovery, still warily removing its mask (outdoors). On a sunny match-day afternoon the streets around Parc de Princes were thronging with replica-clad Parisians, Messi shirts, Messi flags, Messi kids, Messi-curious families And inside this brutalist concrete bowl was the familiar rolling cauldron of songs, thunderclaps and giant flags shimmering across the ultras end before kick-off.

But the start was all City, decked out in their white away kit and assertive in those opening moments. With four minutes gone Messi was yet to touch the ball, instead gambolling eagerly, head up, offering just his own distinct energy, those regal vibes. His first real run with the ball was greeted with a rapturous wall of noise.

With seven minutes gone, there was another brief roar as Messi played a simple pass to Mbappé, suddenly free in vast open spaces on the right. His pullback bounced around the City area, before Idrissa Gueye spanked it violently back into the top corner, his second thunderbolt at that end in the last three days.

The Parc erupted, sending huge, booming waves of sound around that steeply tiered overhang. Messi was in this game now, dropping deep on the right, spinning into the centre circle, taking the ball in small spaces and gliding away calmly, like a stately headmaster channelling the chaos of break time.

City really should have equalised. Somehow Sterling hit the bar when he should have nodded it into the top corner, then Silva hit the bar again from the rebound.

But in flickers there you could see the shape of something else emerging in this PSG team, who have never lacked anything but a little champion conviction. By the end Messi had touched the ball 60 times, passed nicely, and produced that one moment of brilliance. The interplay with Mbappé had looked potent at times, although less so with Neymar, who seemed to be playing much of the game in a pair of oversized fishing waders. Mainly though there was a sense here of that shared premium moment, and of Messi 2.0 taking its first significant steps.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Winemaking and marathon running: what Kyrsten Sinema does instead of her job

Serving in the US Senate is a pretty good gig if you can get it. You’re paid $174,000 a year, only have to show up around 200 days and you ... Read more »

Some Starlink customers have canceled their preorders, after paying a $100 deposit up to 9 months ago and receiving no contact from SpaceX

© REUTERS/Mike Blake SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. REUTERS/Mike Blake Some Starlink customers have canceled their $100 deposits after waiting months for the service. They said they weren’t able to contact ... Read more »

Who was Sir David Amess? A Brexiteer Tory MP who championed animal welfare and pro-life issues

David Amess with dogs Lilly and Bo at the Westminster Dog of the Year in Victoria Tower Park in 2013 – Heathcliff O’Malley Days ago, Sir David Amess was signing ... Read more »

MP David Amess Fatally Stabbed While Meeting With Constituents [FILE]

Police in Essex said a 25-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder, after Conservative MP David Amess was stabbed while holding meetings with constituents at a church in Leigh-on-Sea. ... Read more »

Good vibrations: The best Pulseroll products for relieving aches, tightness and sore muscles

We put a selection of Pulseroll products in the hands of different users (iStock/The Independent) Whenever we’ve finished a particularly energetic CrossFit workout or completed a 10K training run, we’ve ... Read more »

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe ‘loses latest appeal in Iran'

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has lost her latest appeal in Iran, meaning she could be sent back to prison “at any time”, her MP has said. Labour MP Tulip Siddiq said Ms ... Read more »

Rahul Dravid best choice for India coach if team wants to continue successful run: MSK Prasad

Rahul Dravid Former India wicketkeeper and chief selector MSK Prasad has reiterated that Rahul Dravid is the ideal candidate to replace Ravi Shastri as India’s head coach. Shastri’s contract comes ... Read more »

IPL 2021, Kolkata Knight Riders Review: Knights End Amazing Season With Final Flop Show

© Provided by News18 IPL 2021, Kolkata Knight Riders Review: Knights End Amazing Season With Final Flop Show Chennai Super Kings might have won the IPL trophy, but it is ... Read more »

India vs Pakistan T20 World Cup 2021: Virat Kohli's side will have the edge over Babar Azam's boys, says Azhar Mahmood

© Provided by Zee News Former Pakistan all-rounder and bowling coach Azhar Mahmood has said that despite the ‘age-old cliche of any team can win’ the battle of the arch-rivals, ... Read more »

The Bank of England's inflation problem is getting awkward

Inflation is becoming increasingly hard to ignore. © PA Wire The Bank of England governor has shifted his tone on inflation in the last few months. – PA Wire From ... Read more »

Virginia is for worriers: Governor race poses real risk to Dem agenda

The Democratic Party’s fortunes are increasingly tied to someone who’s never served a day in federal office: Terry McAuliffe. © Win McNamee/Getty Images Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe answers questions ... Read more »

Netflix's 20 biggest critical flops, from Emily in Paris to Insatiable

© Netflix netflix flops – Netflix For those who have a masochistic streak, there are few things more fulfilling than hate-watching awful films and TV shows. And there are plenty ... Read more »

Covid-19: 7,509 kes dilaporkan

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today PETALING JAYA: Kementerian Kesihatan melaporkan 7,509 kes harian baharu Covid-19 dan 9,531 pesakit sembuh. Ini menjadikan keseluruhan 2,261,289 daripada 2,384,542 pesakit Covid-19 sudah sembuh ... Read more »

Pantai Batu Ferringhi kembali meriah

GEORGETOWN – Pantai Batu Ferringhi yang sebelum ini sepi kembali rancak dengan kehadiran orang ramai yang tidak melepaskan peluang berkelah selepas kerajaan membenarkan rentas negeri bermula Isnin lalu. Tinjauan di ... Read more »

7,772 new Philippine COVID-19 cases recorded; active tally at 85,048

© National Task Force Against COVID-19 COVID-19 vaccine rollout at the Mabalacat City College, Pampanga, October 13, 2021 The Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday reported 7,772 new COVID-19 cases, ... Read more »

Peneroka hilang ditemui mati dalam kenderaan

© Provided by Sinar Harian JEMPOL- Kehilangan seorang peneroka Felda sejak Jumaat akhirnya terjawab apabila dia ditemui meninggal dunia dalam kenderaan pacuan empat roda di sebuah ladang kelapa sawit, Ladang ... Read more »

Shapps echoes Sunak saying Christmas gifts will be available

© Provided by City AM Transport secretary Grant Shapps has echoed Chancellor Rishi Sunak and said that Christmas gifts will be available despite the backlogs witnessed at UK ports. “People ... Read more »

How to Use Sunscreen - Dermatologist Explains The Do's And Don'ts!

© KS Swati | India.com Lifestyle Staff How to Use Sunscreen – Dermatologist Explains The Do’s And Don’ts! Picture Credits: Pixabay A little exposure to the sun does not harm ... Read more »

Journalist warns that 'exceptional' and 'special' Celtic star may now not be fit to start

© Provided by Transfer Tavern Celtic’s Tom Rogic Tom Rogic may be left out of the starting line-up for Celtic’s trip to Motherwell on Saturday afternoon after his international exertions, ... Read more »

No need to speak to me through media: Sonia Gandhi to G-23 leaders during CWC meet

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi on Saturday (October 16, 2021) took a veiled dig at the group of 23 (G-23) leaders and said ... Read more »

3 astronauts arrived at China's new space station, which it's building as it's banned from the International Space Station

© REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins Astronauts Ye Guangfu, Zhai Zhigang and Wang Yaping wave during a ceremony ahead of the launch. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins Three Chinese astronauts have arrived at the ... Read more »

China supports resumption of Iran nuclear negotiations: Foreign minister

© Provided by Hindustan Times Chinese Foreign minister Wang Yi.  (Reuters file photo) China supports the revival of negotiations on an Iran nuclear accord, Foreign minister Wang Yi told his ... Read more »

Kerala Floods: Woman Washed Away in Car in Idukki; Heavy Rainfall Warning in 5 Districts

© Provided by News18 Kerala Floods: Woman Washed Away in Car in Idukki; Heavy Rainfall Warning in 5 Districts One person has reportedly died in Kerala’s Idukki district as heavy rains ... Read more »

Inside the resurgent, often deadly craze of 'lift surfing,' where thrill seekers sneak into skyscrapers to ride on top of speeding elevator cabs

© Beno/YouTube Inside the resurgent, often deadly craze of ‘lift surfing,’ where thrill seekers sneak into skyscrapers to ride on top of speeding elevator cabs Lift surfing – or elevator ... Read more »

Soon, manage your WhatsApp reactions notifications

WhatsApp has long been known to be working on a feature called Message Reactions. For those who haven’t been keeping up with WhatsApp’s flurry of upcoming features, the company’s Message ... Read more »

HDFC Results: Bank's Q2 consolidated profit rises 18% to Rs 9,096 crore

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: HDFC Bank on Saturday reported an 18 per cent increase in its consolidated net profit at Rs 9,096 crore for the second quarter ... Read more »

Zee Digital Auto Awards 2021: 5 cars nominated for SUV of the Year

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: In the upcoming Auto Awards 2021, Zee Digital is poised to honour the best cars and carmakers in the Indian automotive industry. On ... Read more »

Water Crisis: Day Zero No More?

© Provided by Indiatimes Close your eyes and imagine that you have just woken up. You are excited to start the day and you run to your bathroom for ablutions. ... Read more »

ISKCON seeks UN's attention over attack on its Noakhali temple in Bangladesh

After a mob allegedly attacked Hindu devotees at an ISKCON temple in Bangladesh’s Noakhali area on Friday, the religious organisation wrote to the United Nations on Saturday, seeking the international ... Read more »

Elizabeth Warren calls for breakup of Amazon

Elizabeth Warren calls for breakup of Amazon Massachusetts Sen Elizabeth Warren reiterated her call for Amazon to be broken up, in response to a report indicating that the online marketplace ... Read more »

Biden to attend memorial service honoring U.S. law enforcement officers

FILE PHOTO: Ceremony for U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick in Washington By Nandita Bose WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will attend a ... Read more »

UPDATE 3-UK PM Johnson visits church where lawmaker was stabbed to death

* David Amess was murdered meeting constituents on Friday * Johnson lays flowers with opposition leader Starmer * Man arrested at scene believed to have acted alone * Lawmaker urges ... Read more »

SBB rüsten 35 Waggons für Reisen von Fans an Auswärtsspiele aus

© KEYSTONE/GAETAN BALLY Die SBB rüsten 35 Bahnwaggons für den Transport von Fans an Auswärtsspiele ihrer Clubs aus. Die klimatisierten Wagen erhalten spezielle Toiletten und einen Linoleum-Boden, der leicht zu ... Read more »

Vilifying Republicans is part of the problem, not part of the solution

We should all condemn, in no uncertain terms, the violent Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol. George Packer, in his book, “Last Best Hope,” claims, “A mob of freedom-loving ... Read more »

Why did Saudi Arabia's crown prince buy a team in northern England? It's not about the soccer

LONDON — A former shipbuilding city in northeast England may seem an unlikely place for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to rehabilitate his tarnished reputation. © Provided by NBC ... Read more »

Ranveer Singh looks ripped in steamy selfie, Pooja Hegde leaves cheeky comment on his towel!

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: Actor Ranveer Singh sent his fans in a tizzy as he shared a shirtless picture of himself wearing nothing but a white towel. ... Read more »

Russia seeing record gas demand but still ready to boost EU supplies, Novak says

© Reuters/WOLFGANG RATTAY FILE PHOTO: Flames from a gas burner on a cooker are pictured in a private home in Bad Honnef MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian gas consumption is running ... Read more »

Co-founder Ryan Tan surprised that NOC office being sold for S$1.1 million

© The Independent Singapore Singapore – Night Owl Cinematics has been making headlines after its co-founder Sylvia Chan was alleged to have verbally harassed their employees. Following the ongoing incident, ... Read more »

T20 World Cup: Babar Azam defends changes in squad, welcomes inclusion of Fakhar Zaman, Shoiab Malik, Haider Ali

Pakistan captain Babar Azam on Saturday defended the changes made to Pakistan’s T20 World Cup squad and said that a few players were not in good touch during the domestic ... Read more »

Dasun Shanaka backs inexperienced Sri Lanka to go deep: 'I think we've struck a good balance'

© AFP/Getty Images Dasun Shanaka feels his side has what it takes to make a mark at the T20 World Cup © AFP/Getty Images Sri Lanka may have had a ... Read more »