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Messi sets up 2 as leader PSG wins 3-0; Lens, Marseille win





PARIS (AP) — Lionel Messi’s vision was too much for Toulouse as he set up goals for Neymar and Kylian Mbappé in French league leader Paris Saint-Germain’s 3-0 win at Toulouse on Wednesday.

Four touches were enough for PSG to open up Toulouse’s defense for the first goal in the 37th minute, with Messi applying the final pass to give Neymar his league-leading seventh goal in just five games.

After being denied four times by goalkeeper Maxime Dupé, Messi grabbed his fourth assist this season when he set up Kylian Mbappé’s fifth goal.

PSG’s MNM attack of Messi-Neymar-Mbappé has combined for 15 of PSG’s 21 goals in five games. It would have been more but Dupé made nine saves.

Promoted Toulouse held out until the 39th minute.

The goal was slick one-touch soccer with midfielder Marco Verratti and Mbappé exchanging passes before Messi’s first-time pass behind the defense allowed Neymar space to guide the ball under Dupé.

The goal was given following a video review when replays showed Neymar was onside as the in-form Brazil star took his tally to nine goals in six games, including the preseason French Champions Trophy.

Dupé denied Messi three times in the first half, then palmed away Messi’s free kick at the start of the second.

But Messi latched onto Verratti’s pass over the top and expertly controlled the ball, before squaring it to Mbappé to fire through Dupé’s legs in the 50th.

Left back Juan Bernat wrapped it up after Mbappe’s shot hit the post and fell to him.

PSG leads on goal difference from Lens and Marseille with all three on 13 points.

Lens beat Lorient 5-2 and Marseille scraped a 1-0 home win against Clermont.

Northern side Lens led 2-0 after 30 minutes with goals from forwards Florian Sotoca and Wesley Said, but Nigeria forward Terem Moffi scored twice to equalize before Salis Abdul Samed, Sotoca again, and Loïs Openda scored for Lens.

At Stade Velodrome, midfielder Pape Gueye headed in Dimitri Payet’s corner early in the second half.

In earlier games, Monaco followed up a stellar performance against PSG with a humiliating 4-2 loss to modest Troyes.

Although Monaco coach Philippe Clement wants to play attacking soccer his side has now conceded eight goals in two home games.

After securing a 1-1 draw at league leader PSG on Sunday night with a fine tactical display, Monaco led early on through central defender Guillermo Maripan, but then collapsed after he was sent off late in the first half.

Maripan put Monaco ahead in the 10th minute against Troyes but, after forward Florian Tardieu equalized for Troyes from the penalty spot, Maripan received a second caution for fouling Tardieu.

Monaco was soon punished when forward Wilson Odobert struck in first-half injury time and striker Mama Baldé scored shortly after the break for 3-1. Midfielder Youssouf Fofana pulled one back for Monaco midway through the second half but left back Yoann Salmier sealed it for a Troyes side coached by former Monaco defender Bruno Irles.

Elsewhere, fourth-place Lyon remains unbeaten after winning 2-1 at home against Auxerre, with goals from wide forwards Tetê and Karl Toko Ekambi. Lyon has 10 points but has played a game less than the top three.

After netting two goals in a 7-0 win at Brest last weekend, 19-year-old forward Elye Wahi scored again as fifth-place Montpellier beat promoted Ajaccio 2-0. Each side had a player sent off.

Sixth-place Rennes beat Brest 3-1 and struggling Nice secured its first win of the season by winning 2-1 at Lille.

Jonathan Bamba put Lille ahead in the 20th only for Nice striker Andy Delort to equalize two minutes later with a penalty. New signing Nicolas Pépé, on a season’s loan from Premier League Arsenal, scored Nice’s second penalty.

Reims went 2-0 ahead and got pegged back to 2-2 before winning 4-2 at Angers and Nantes grabbed a 1-1 draw at Strasbourg.

Habib Diallo put Strasbourg ahead in the 28th only for fellow striker Mostafa Mohamed to equalize in the 85th.




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