PARIS – Lionel Messi was on target as Paris Saint-Germain sealed their record-breaking 11th Ligue 1 title, despite being held to a 1-1 draw at Strasbourg on Saturday.
Messi, who is set to leave PSG when his contract expires at the end of the season, broke the deadlock with his 16th goal of the season just before the hour at Stade de la Meinau, reported STATS Perform/dpa.
Strasbourg substitute Kevin Gameiro thwarted Christophe Galtier’s side with a 79th-minute leveller, but the point was enough for PSG to secure a successful Ligue 1 title defence with a match to spare.
Strasbourg’s top-flight status was also confirmed after the draw for Frederic Antonetti’s hosts maintained their six-point cushion over 17th-placed Nantes, who failed to beat Lille.
PSG survived a scare in the 15th minute as Habib Diallo intercepted El Chadaille Bitshiabu’s sloppy pass back toward Gianluigi Donnarumma, but Sergio Ramos reacted quickly to clear the forward’s attempt from a tight angle.
Diallo drew a smart reflex save from Donnarumma, while Matz Sels produced a fine stop at the other end to keep out Renato Sanches’ volley from a Kylian Mbappe corner.
Strasbourg continued to carry the greater attacking threat and went close again when Diallo rattled the right post with a thumping 20-metre volley.
But PSG broke through 14 minutes into the second half when Messi arrived late in the box to collect Mbappe’s square ball before neatly sweeping it into the far corner.
The duo almost reversed roles for a second goal soon after as Messi crossed for Mbappe, who failed to convert from inside the six-yard box.
Yet PSG was denied victory by former player Gameiro, who capitalised to snatch a draw 11 minutes from time after Donnarumma parried Morgan Sanson’s initial attempt.- Bernama