Lionel Messi who has just won his seventh Ballon D’Or was aiming to add his tally and silent his critics in the game against Nice this midweek. Unfortunately, he did not succeed and was even outshone by another Argentine.
Walter Benitez might not be as well-known as Emiliano Martinez or Sergio Romero between the sticks and has never been called up by Albiceleste, despite being touted as one of the talented side in Ligue 1. However, last night he proved that he deserves such chance. According to whoscored.com, The Argentine goalie was the highest rated player in the away match against PSG. Messi was kept quiet as he only had one shot on target and easily held by him. Benitez also managed to made five crucial saves, including the three chances from Nuno Mendes, Angel Di Maria and Kylian Mbappe. He was definitely the key man in Nice’s solid defence while holding PSG in a goalless stalemate in Parc Des Princess. The result does not change much of Mauricio Pochettino’s side position in the standings as they still have thirteen points clear from the second place. One thing for sure, Benitez’s impressive form here, and this season overall, could be a great addition – and give a headache - for Argentina boss, Lionel Scaloni before naming his final squad in Qatar 2022 later.
PSG vs Nice 0-0
PSG: Gianluigi Donnarumma – Presnel Kimpembe (Leandro Paredes 77), Achraf Hakimi, Nuno Mendes, Marquinhos – Danilo Pereira, Eric Bimbe (Marco Verrati 62), Idrissa Gueye – Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Angel Di Maria (Mauro Icardi 77)
Nice: Walter Benitez – Melvin Bard, Dante, Jean Todibo, Lotomba – Morgan Schenderlin, Mario Lemina (Kephrem Thuram 74), Hichem Boudaoi (Amine Gouri 80), Justine Kluivert (Calvin Stengs 74) – Kasper Dolberg, Andy Delort
Meanwhile, Le Parisien’s classic contender, Olympique Marseille, finally could join the Champions League race after climbing to the second on the table. Jorge Sampaoli’s men clinched a narrow win while travelling to Nantes. A single goal from Gerson was enough to lift up their position. They overtook Rennes which went down to the third after a home defeat from the reigning Champion, Lille. Jose Fonte and Co are still stuck in the mid table. They are now twenty points behind PSG.
Brest vs St.Etienne 1-0
Metz vs Montpellier 1-3
Strasbourg vs Bordeaux 5-2
Angers vs Monaco 1-3
Troyes vs Lorient 2-0
Clermont Foot vs Lens 2-2