Lionel Messi scores, Kylian Mbappe limps off as PSG beat Montpellier

Kylian Mbappe goes to ground after picking up an injury in PSG's Ligue 1 match against Montpellier.
Kylian Mbappe goes to ground after picking up an injury in PSG's Ligue 1 match against Montpellier.
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Lionel Messi scored a stellar goal as Paris Saint-Germain returned to winning ways, but 3-1 victory over Montpellier came at a cost as star Kylian Mbappe limped off in the first half on Wednesday at the Stade de la Mosson.

Fabian Ruiz opened the scoring for the visitors in the 55th minute and Messi double the lead later in the second half to help PSG earn a much-needed win after a sub-par run of results had seen their lead at the top of Ligue 1 shrink since play resumed following the World Cup.

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However, the win was marred by a knee injury to Mbappe, who left the pitch the 21st minute shortly after missing a penalty.

"It's a knock on the knee and it hurts behind the thigh," manager Christophe Galtier said after the match. "Is it a bruise? We don't know yet. It doesn't look very serious. We're not too worried."

PSG were awarded a penalty in the seventh minute via video replay when central defender Christopher Jullien was adjudged to have pulled back Sergio Ramos.

The France forward, though, had his spot kick parried away by Benjamin Lecomte in the eighth minute, but had to take it again and the Montpellier keeper again denied him.

Mbappe then limped off the pitch holding the back of his left thigh.

Arnaud Nordin pulled a goal back for Montpellier shortly before full-time, but PSG's Warren Zaire-Emery added their third as the defending Ligue 1 champions picked up an important three points.

Ligue 1 leaders PSG take on Bayern Munich in their Champions League round of 16 first leg in two weeks.

PSG, who had lost their two previous away games and were held to a last-gasp home draw by Stade de Reims on Sunday, were more compact on Wednesday and were rewarded in the 55th minute, when Ruiz volleyed home from Hugo Ekitike's headed pass.

Ruiz was the provider 17 minutes later, finding Messi with a laser-sharp pass for the Argentine forward to beat Lecomte with a low shot from close range.

Marseille moved up to second place behind PSG after claiming a 2-0 victory at Nantes to leapfrog RC Lens, who dropped their first points at home in a 1-0 defeat to Nice.