Paris Saint-Germain beat Ajaccio: Messi booed, Hakimi sent off after punch and Mbappe scores twice
Christophe Galtier’s team are closing in on another Ligue 1 title but all is not well in the French capital.
Paris Saint-Germain closed in on the Ligue 1 title with a 5-0 win over Ajaccio on Saturday. Kylian Mbappe scored twice to take his Ligue 1 tally 26 as PSG went six points clear with three games remaining.
“It’s good for the players to take the points,” PSG boss Christophe Galtier said after the game.
“Kylian had space, more so in the second half. He also wants to be Ligue 1 top scorer for the fifth time. That’s good for him and us.”
However it was not all plain sailing in the French capital and the game was marred by incidents involving Lionel Messi and Achraf Hakimi.
Lionel Messi booed by PSG fans
Saturday’s win was Lionel Messi’s first game back in the team after serving a club suspension for an unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia. The Argentinian World Cup winner was fined for flying out to complete commercial duties in Saudi, missing a scheduled training session after a PSG defeat in the league.
Galtier insisted that Messi remains a key part of the club’s plans but Messi was booed by the Parc de Princes faithful. This was far from the first time that the PSG support has turned on Messi, but with the season nearing the end it seemed the most telling.
The 35-year-old is almost certain to leave the club this summer when his existing deal expires and he looks likely to leave the French capital under something of a cloud.
Achraf Hakimi sent off in PSG fight
With 20 minutes to go PSG had a five-goal lead and appeared to be cruising to a comfortable victory against Ajaccio. That all changed when a brawl broke out on the edge of the visitors’ box in response to a heavy tackle on Messi.
With the Argentine on the ground PSG players stormed in to protect him and Hakimi squared up to Ajaccio’s Thomas Mangani. Hakimi reacted badly to a shove from Mangani and responded with a wild swing that saw him dismissed.
In recent days there have been rumours that the Moroccan wing back is keen on a move back to Real Madrid.
Mbappe scores twice for PSG
All did not go as planned for PSG on Messi’s return to the team, but there was some good news for Kylian Mbappe who starred with a clinical brace.
Both strikes came soon after the break to secure the three points for Galtier’s side and leave the 24-year-old in pole position to pick up another award for Ligue 1 top goal scorer. He has won the award in each of the past four seasons and is on track to make it five in a row.
He is two goals ahead of Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette with three games remaining.