Lionel Messi will have been the most relieved man inside the Parc des Princes when he saw Kylian Mbappe slalom in between Lucas Vazquez and Eder Militao before finishing past Thibaut Courtois.
The Frenchman scored an injury-time winner for Paris Saint-Germain against Real Madrid to give them a 1-0 victory in their Champions League last-16 first leg.
Half an hour previously, Messi had missed his side’s best opportunity of the match from the penalty spot.
Mbappe had been brought down by Dani Carvajal but Messi saw his spot-kick saved by Courtois.
Fortunately for the Argentine, the miss didn’t prove costly as Mbappe’s brilliance ensure PSG will take a lead into the second leg.
Mbappe is all over the headlines this morning – and rightly so.
However, what of Messi? How did he play in PSG’s biggest game of the season so far?
It’s been a difficult campaign for Messi in France with just seven goals in 21 appearances in all competitions so far. But that’s not to say the 34-year-old has been playing badly.
And that was the case once again on Tuesday night. That’s despite French outlet L’Equipe handing Messi a 3/10 rating!
The notoriously harsh match ratings thought Messi performance was worthy of a 3/10 – the worst score in the entire PSG side.
Lionel Messi given 3/10 by L’Equipe
That is just wrong.
For what it’s worth, we actually thought Messi played well throughout the 90 minutes – other than his missed penalty. He got on the ball constantly and looked to cause problems for a deep Real defence.
And if you don’t believe us, video highlights of his performance have emerged. They show Messi creating several chances and dictating play from deep.
Take a look and tell us that’s a 3/10 performance:
VIDEO: Lionel Messi’s highlights vs Real Madrid
Okay, so you may not believe us or the video highlights.
How about the opinion of a top journalist who was at the game?
The Guardian’s Sid Lowe posted a series of tweets about Messi after the match. He started off: “I don’t seem to have seen the same Messi as many other people tonight.”
He followed that up with: “I will console myself by having been in stadium and thus having seen it differently. And by the fact that I’m right and they’re all morons, obviously.”
And to clarify what he meant, he finished with: “(To clarify: I thought he was excellent first half and good second).”
And when Lowe saw L’Equipe’s match ratings, he simply wrote ‘laughable.’