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Messi set for first taste of Marseille-PSG rivalry

Lionel Messi will get his first taste of French football's biggest rivalry when Marseille host Paris Saint-Germain later on Sunday, with the Ligue 1 leaders kicking off six points clear at the top from Lens in second.

Paris Saint-Germain’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi fights for the ball with RB Leipzig’s US midfielder Tyler Adams during the UEFA Champions League first round Group A football match between Paris Saint-Germain’s (PSG) and RB Leipzig, at The Parc des Princes stadium, in Paris, on October 19, 2021. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)

Lionel Messi will get his first taste of French football’s biggest rivalry when Marseille host Paris Saint-Germain later on Sunday, with the Ligue 1 leaders kicking off six points clear at the top from Lens in second.

Lens beat struggling Metz 4-1 earlier to close the gap on PSG, with Wesley Said scoring twice for the team from France’s far north before Ignatius Ganago and Przemyslaw Frankowski added late goals.

PSG have won nine of their 10 league games so far this season but they will get a hot reception at the Velodrome, where a sell-out crowd of around 65,000 is expected to attend the fixture known as ‘Le Classique’.

Messi scored twice for the Qatar-owned side in their 3-2 win over RB Leipzig in the Champions League in midweek, but the six-time Ballon d’Or winner is yet to find the net in Ligue 1 in just three appearances.

Paris Saint-Germain’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (C) celebrates scoring his team’s third goal during the UEFA Champions League first round group A football match between Paris Saint-Germain’s (PSG) and RB Leipzig, at The Parc des Princes stadium, in Paris, on October 19, 2021. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)


Marseille, whose coach Jorge Sampaoli managed Messi with Argentina at the 2018 World Cup, can go third in the table if they can beat their bitter rivals.

Nice went provisionally third earlier after claiming a remarkable 3-2 victory at home to Lyon, coming from two goals down to score three times late on.

Karl Toko-Ekambi gave Lyon the lead on the Cote d’Azur and Houssem Aouar doubled the away side’s advantage midway through the second half.

Youcef Atal got one back for Nice with nine minutes left before Lyon had Zimbabwe forward Tino Kadewere sent off.

Andy Delort equalised with a penalty in the 89th minute and 20-year-old forward Evann Guessand won it in stoppage time for the home team, who are owned by British company Ineos.

Rennes are fourth after defeating Strasbourg 1-0 in Brittany with a late header from Nayef Aguerd, while Monaco were 3-1 winners at home to Montpellier.

Kevin Volland scored the opener for the principality side before setting up Wissam Ben Yedder to make it 2-0 from a delightful cross with the outside of his boot.

Gelson Martins got Monaco’s third goal and Teji Savanier pulled one back from a late penalty for the away side at the Stade Louis II.

Meanwhile three people were taken to hospital after a fight between rival supporters of Bordeaux and Nantes in the Brittany town of Lorient.

A police source told AFP Bordeaux supporters were attacked in a bar ahead of their team’s 1-1 draw against Lorient.

The fight involved around 30 Nantes supporters and 50 from Bordeaux.

“There were several injuries and three people had to be taken to hospital for treatment,” the police source said.