Ligue 1: Messi scores superb bicycle kick as PSG open season with 5-0 rout vs Clemont (VIDEO)

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Soccer Football - Ligue 1 - Clermont v Paris St Germain - Stade Gabriel Montpied, Clermont-Ferrand, France - August 6, 2022 Paris St Germain's Lionel Messi shoots at goal from a free kick REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

By Wisdom Deji-Folutile

Paris Saint Germain have begun their Ligue 1 title defence in emphatic style after seeing off lowly Clermont in a 5-0 victory away from home on Saturday evening.

The floodgates were opened early on in the first half, with PSG forward Neymar scoring a miskicked Lionel Messi shot to kick off the season.

Wingback Achraf Hakimi doubled his side’s lead in the 26th minute with a superb finish from a tight angle after an excellent team move from PSG.

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Just 12 minutes later, PSG were celebrating a third goal, which came from a set-piece PSG when Neymar whipped a delivery into the box for Marquinhos to head home.

Clermont attempted to stay the onslaught but lost their chance to reduce the deficit before halftime when Komnen Andrić received the ball on the edge of the box before doing well to turn and fire a powerful shot just over the bar.

The game looked decided for the most part of the second half, but Argentine striker Lionel Messi made it 4-0 in the 80th minute to register a goal on the opening weekend of the League 1 season. After a lovely one-two with Neymar, the diminutive forward finished beyond Clermont goalkeeper Mory Diaw to secure the 3 points beyond reasonable doubt.

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Neymar and Messi would then combine again 6 minutes later when the Brazilian winger clipped an inch-perfect through ball to the Argentine. Messi then controlled the ball on his chest before finishing with a perfectly executed overhead kick to finish a 5-0 mauling of the French minnows.

PSG will now set their sights on Montpellier—the side they face next weekend on August 13. Clermont Foot, meanwhile, have another challenge cut out for them when they face Reims on Sunday, August 14.