Achraf Hakimi saves PSG to keep unbeaten run alive

Mueez Ajao

– Achraf Hakimi’s dramatic injury-time winner rescued Paris Saint-Germain a 2-1 victory at bottom club Metz on Wednesday as the capital giants maintained their 100 per cent start to the Ligue 1 season despite the absence of the injured Lionel Messi.

– Moroccan full-back Hakimi, a 60-million-euro signing from Inter Milan this year, gave PSG a fifth-minute lead before Kiki Kouyate’s equaliser.

-But a chaotic climax to the match saw Metz reduced to 10 men and have their coach Frederic Antonetti sent to the stands before Hakimi’s 94th-minute strike.

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– PSG went into the new season as red-hot favourites to regain their French title after a raft of close-season signings, including six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi.

– The former Barcelona icon was absent with a knee injury and Mauricio Pochettino’s men struggled against winless Metz.

– But PSG extended their early advantage at the top of the table to seven points over rivals Marseille – who drew 0-0 at third-placed Angers – after a seventh victory from as many league games.

– Hakimi pounced early on but PSG were far from their best and Kouyate headed home from a corner six minutes before the break.

– Visiting goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma had to make a good save to deny Lamine Gueye a goal on the stroke of half-time, while Metz appeals for a penalty for handball against Hakimi early in the second period were turned down.

– The real drama came after the clock had ticked past the 90 minutes, though, as Metz defender Dylan Bronn was shown a second yellow card for kicking the ball away.

– Coach Antonetti was then promptly dismissed.

– PSG made the most of their brief man advantage as Hakimi latched onto Neymar’s excellent pass, cut inside and fired into the bottom corner left-footed.

– Paris, champions in seven of the last nine seasons, celebrated wildly, with Neymar booked in the aftermath.