Paris Saint-Germain defeated Nantes 4-0 to win the Trophee des Champions on Sunday, with Lionel Messi and Neymar scoring.
Kylian Mbappe did not travel to Israel for the match at Tel Aviv’s Bloomfield Stadium, but his absence was noticed as Christophe Galtier began his reign as PSG manager in style.
Messi sent the Ligue 1 champions on their way in the 22nd minute with a calm finish before Neymar doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time with a fantastic curled free-kick from 25 yards.
Sergio Ramos made it 3-0 just before the hour mark with an improvised goal. Neymar added a second late on from the penalty spot following an altercation in which Jean-Charles Castelletto was sent off.
Within the first 10 minutes, PSG’s Achraf Hakimi and Pablo Sarabia had chances, while Gianluigi Donnarumma well saved Ludovic Blas.
PSG took the lead in the 22nd minute when Messi turned Alban Lafont and tapped home Neymar’s deflected throughball.
Lafont made a good save to deny Messi a second goal just before the break, but Galtier’s men went into the half with a two-goal advantage thanks to Neymar’s stunning free-kick.
Ramos got the third goal in the 57th minute, masterfully backheeling into the net after Lafont had saved Sarabia’s original shot.
In the 82nd minute, Neymar scored his second goal with a calm penalty after being pulled down in the area by Castelletto, who referee Orel Grinfeeld issued a red card.
What does it imply? PSG warm-up in style for their Ligue 1 title defence.
PSG’s streak of eight consecutive Trophee des Champions triumphs ended last season when Lille defeated them.
They reclaimed the trophy, however, thanks to some typically magnificent performances from Messi and Neymar. The start of Ligue 1 is next weekend, and French defences have been warned.
Neymar stands out.
Neymar was on fire, setting up Messi’s opening goal and then scoring two of his own, the first of which was a stunning free-kick. After scoring just 13 goals last season, Brazil’s superstar will aim for a more productive season this time.
A red card summed up Castelletto’s night.
PSG’s dynamic forward line gave Castelletto a hard time, and his game finished on a terrible note when he was sent for a reckless foul on Neymar. The former Barcelona man added insult to injury by calmly stroking home the resulting penalty kick.
What comes next?
Both teams begin their Ligue 1 campaigns the next weekend, with PSG hosting Clermont on Saturday and Nantes visiting Angers the following day.