Lionel Messi and Neymar were the most targeted players during the French Ligue 1 match between Paris Saint Germain and Marseille on Sunday, October 24, 2021.
Coach Mauricio Pochettino gave Messi his third start of the season but the Argentine football icon failed to score for the 4th time in the league so far this season.
The last time Lionel Messi stayed this long without a league goal was during the 2005-2006 season at FC Barcelona. Hence, the 2021-2022 season is seen as the footballer’s worst start of the season in 16 years.
Recall that Lionel Messi joined PSG last summer after FC Barcelona failed to extend his contract. He has been fantastic for PSG in the Champions League but has not been able to replicate the form in the French league.
When he followed PSG to Marseille’s Stade Velodrome on Sunday, he was expected to be the game-changer but he was not able to do much for 90 minutes.
In the second half of the league match, when Lionel Messi was driving his way to Marseille’s eighteen-yard box, a pitch intruder stormed to the pitch and tried to grab Lionel Messi’s back.
A stunned Messi had to halt play and maintain his cool before the security forces arrested the intruder off the pitch.
kudos to #14 marseille player for immediately running towards messi when the pitch invader was near him it could have been a dangerous situation— ً (@g10at) October 25, 2021
Aside from that incident, Neymar was heavily targeted throughout the game. Whenever he walked to the corner of the pitch to take a corner kick, Marseille fans would throw plastic bottles at him.
Due to the incessant attacks on Neymar, security operatives at the stadium had to use plastic shields to protect Neymar whenever he wanted to take a corner kick.
The match was so intense that PSG’s new signing Achraf Hakimi was shown the red card in the 57th minute. Also, the Video Assistant Referee canceled two goals scored during the game, one each from both teams. Hence, the game ended 0-0.
The draw has not affected PSG’s leadership of the league table. They are currently leading with 28 points in 11 games, 7 points away from second-placed Lens. While Marseille are sitting on the 4th spot with 18 points in 10 games.
Lionel Messi spent a few seconds on the ground after his encounter with Dimitri Payet
One of the most talked-about aspects of the game between Marseille and PSG was the encounter Lionel Messi had with French midfielder Dimitri Payet.
Messi and Payet faced each other in a one-on-one situation and the former West Ham United midfielder got the better of the record six-time Ballon d’Or winner.
Messi and the 34-year-old Marseille midfielder were going for the ball at the center of the pitch, Messi got to the ball before the Frenchman but Payet robbed Messi of the ball before he skillfully go past the 34-year-old Argentine football icon.
Lionel Messi spent some seconds on the ground and created a moment Payet and the critics of Messi would cherish for a while.
Instant régal cette roulette de Dimitri #Payet sur Lionel #Messi 🥵💫 pic.twitter.com/gFFnsMpdTI— Project C (@Project_Cultur) October 25, 2021