Messi and Ramos help get Galtier era at PSG off to winning start

By Sports Desk July 15, 2022

Lionel Messi won a penalty that Sergio Ramos converted as Paris Saint-Germain got a new era under Christophe Galtier off to a winning start on Friday.

The French champions, who appointed Galtier as Mauricio Pochettino's successor earlier in July, saw off second-tier side Quevilly-Rouen 2-0 in a behind-closed-doors friendly.

Galtier named a starting XI containing a mix of big names and younger players, with Messi partnering Mauro Icardi in attack, while Vitinha, signed from Porto, was given a debut in midfield.

Messi played a big part in PSG's opener as he was brought down in the box for a penalty, which Ramos stepped up to convert midway through the first half.

Without Kylian Mbappe and Neymar for their pre-season opener, PSG were rewarded with a second goal early in the second half through 18-year-old academy player Djeidi Gassama.

PSG, who changed their entire side for the second half, will now fly out to Japan ahead of fixtures with Kawasaki Frontale, Urawa Reds and Gamba Osaka.

Related items

  • Argentina 4-1 Guatemala: Messi and Martinez star as Copa America holders warm up in style Argentina 4-1 Guatemala: Messi and Martinez star as Copa America holders warm up in style

    Lionel Messi and Lautaro Martinez scored twice for Argentina as they concluded their Copa America preparations with a comfortable 4-1 victory over Guatemala. 

    Argentina found themselves behind inside four minutes when Lisandro Martinez's own goal handed Guatemala their first-ever goal against La Albiceleste.

    However, Messi, who was featuring for the 182nd time for his country, levelled the contest eight minutes later as goalkeeper Nicholas Hagen's poor clearance fell kindly into his path.

    Lionel Scaloni's team were awarded a penalty just before half-time as Nicolas Samayoa fouled Valentin Carboni, with Martinez stepping from 12 yards to score. 

    Messi and Martinez combined for Argentina's third goal, with the latter doubling his tally after he was picked out by his team-mate in the area.

    Messi put the result beyond doubt late on, lofting the ball over Hagen after latching onto a fine pass from his former Paris Saint-Germain team-mate, Angel Di Maria. 

    Argentina kick off their Group A campaign against Canada on June 21 before facing Chile and Peru in their quest to retain their Copa America title. 

    Data Debrief: Messi and Martinez make light work of minnows

    Guatemala were simply no match for their illustrious opponents at FedEx Field, managing only four attempts and getting none of those on target, mustering 0.18 expected goals.

    Argentina finished with 3.07 xG, with Martinez (1.47) and Messi (1.3) responsible for the majority of that figure. Between them, they had 13 shots, nine more than Guatemala managed as a team.

  • Germany 5-1 Scotland: Five-star hosts make emphatic start at Euro 2024 Germany 5-1 Scotland: Five-star hosts make emphatic start at Euro 2024

    Germany enjoyed a wonderful start to their home Euro 2024 campaign on Friday as they thrashed 10-man Scotland 5-1 in Munich.

    A huge contingent of Scotland fans packed into the Allianz Arena in hope of witnessing their country's first major tournament victory since Euro 1996, but they were stunned into silence as Florian Wirtz and Jamal Musiala put Germany two goals up inside 19 minutes.

    Ryan Porteous was then sent off for a dismal lunge on Ilkay Gundogan shortly before half-time, allowing Kai Havertz to kill the game as a contest from the penalty spot. 

    Niclas Fullkrug came off the bench to score a tremendous fourth for Julian Nagelsmann's hosts, though Antonio Rudiger's own goal gave Scotland's supporters some small comfort late on.

    However, Emre Can – a late call-up to the squad – added further gloss to the scoreline in stoppage time, giving Germany the biggest ever win in an opening match at the Euros. 

    Germany needed just 10 minutes to go ahead, with Angus Gunn tipping Wirtz's low strike onto the post and in after Joshua Kimmich found the Bayer Leverkusen star unmarked on the edge of the area.

    Within nine further minutes, Germany were two up. Gundogan slipped Havertz into the area, and he kept his cool to tee up Musiala for a slammed finish high into the net.

    Gunn made a reflex save to keep out Gundogan's header, but Porteous caught the Barcelona midfielder with a high challenge from the rebound, causing referee Clement Turpin to award a penalty and brandish a red card following VAR review. 

    Havertz stepped up to take the spot-kick in first-half stoppage time, striking it straight down the middle as Gunn dived left to make it a case of damage limitation for Scotland. 

    Rudiger's 35-yard strike had Gunn at full stretch early in the second half, then Wirtz sent a half-volley over when presented with a golden chance at the back post.

    The outstanding Musiala was involved again as Germany got their fourth after 68 minutes, linking up with Gundogan before Fullkrug blasted his finish into the top-right corner.

    Scotland pulled one back with three minutes left as Rudiger put through his own net after a deep free-kick caused a goalmouth scramble, but Can restored Germany's four-goal cushion at the death, curling a 20-yard strike out of Gunn's reach and into the bottom-right corner.

    Wirtz and Musiala Germany's shining lights

    With an average age of 29 years and 22 days, Nagelsmann named Germany's oldest starting lineup for a World Cup or Euros match since a 1-1 draw with Romania at Euro 2000 (30 years, 86 days).

    However, in Wirtz and Musiala, Germany also started two players aged 21 or under at the Euros for the first time since 2004, when Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger faced Czechia. 

    Their two young guns led the way.

    Wirtz's strike made him the youngest player to ever score the opening goal at a European Championship (21 years, 42 days), but Musiala – just over two months Wirtz's senior – refused to be upstaged as he capped a flowing move with a powerful finish for 2-0.

    This is the first time two players aged 21 or under have scored for the same team in a Euros match.

    Porteous red caps miserable Scotland start

    Scotland arrived in Munich targeting their first Euros victory since 1996, having only won two of their previous nine matches at the tournament (two draws, five defeats).

    The gulf in quality between the sides was soon apparent, though, as Germany became just the second team to net three first-half goals in a Euros match. France have previously done so twice, scoring three against Belgium in 1984 and four versus Iceland in 2016.

    Things barely improved in the second half, with Scotland conceding at least five goals in a competitive match for the first time since November 2003, when they were beaten 6-0 by the Netherlands in a Euro 2004 qualifier. 

    While this was always likely to be Scotland's toughest assignment, they will also feel the consequences of their display against Switzerland, with Porteous suspended.

    He is the first Scotland player to be sent off at a major tournament since Craig Burley versus Morocco at the 1998 World Cup.

  • Euro 2024 social round-up: Mou and Fergie link up, Pickford's quiz and Pavard the photographer Euro 2024 social round-up: Mou and Fergie link up, Pickford's quiz and Pavard the photographer

    Euro 2024 hosts Germany got off to a flying start as they comprehensively dispatched Scotland 5-1 on Friday.

    Goals from Florian Wirtz, Jamal Musiala, Kai Havertz and Niclas Fullkrug blew Scotland away at the Allianz Arena.

    But while the football entertained, there was also plenty of action on social media.

    Here's a pick of the best posts.

    The special... two?

    Jose Mourinho and Alex Ferguson enjoyed a great rivalry on the touchline down the years, but there was no sign of that as the two watched on from the stands in Munich.

    Unfortunately for Ferguson, Scotland were on the receiving end of a hammering.

    We can only wonder what these two greats had to say about Scotland's sorry performance, though surely they will have been full of praise for Germany.

    Honouring a great

    Franz Beckenbauer passed away in January, and ahead of the opening game, his wife Heidi led a touching tribute to der Kaiser.

    Moral support

    Nathan Patterson is not fit to feature for Scotland, but the Everton full-back has travelled out to Germany to support his team-mates.

    Unfortunately for Scotland, it didn't quite work out, and Patterson will be needing to provide plenty of moral support after their heavy defeat in Munich.

    Pickford gets quizzed

    England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was fulfilling his media duties on Friday, and he stopped by to answer some fan questions ahead of the Three Lions' opener against Serbia.

    Pickford was quizzed on how he copes with the pressure as kick-off approaches - "Enjoy the moment", he said - while revealing former England shot-stopper Joe Hart, who retired last month, has served as an inspiration.

    Young guns exciting Schweinsteiger 

    Bastian Schweinsteiger helped Germany to World Cup glory in 2014, so it feels like he is pretty well placed to pass judgement on up and coming stars.

    And when asked on X for the players he was most excited to see in action at Euro 2024, the former Bayern Munich midfielder picked out Florian Wirtz, Cole Palmer and Rafael Leao.

    Wirtz certainly delivered, as he starred in Germany's big win over Scotland. Will Palmer and Leao be equally as impressive for England and Portugal respectively?

    Picture perfect

    Olivier Giroud is one handsome devil, so it's no surprise that he's a photographer's dream.

    That being said, it's rare that the person behind the camera is one of his team-mates, but Giroud could only smile, and offer a cheeky pose, as Benjamin Pavard sneakily grabbed a camera and tried to get the perfect shot while the France number nine was holding a press conference.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.