PARIS, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Paris St Germain continued their march to the Ligue 1 title on Sunday with a 4-0 home win against Stade Reims, in the match in which Lionel Messi made his first appearance of the year.
Italian midfielder Marco Verratti, the star of the game, opened the scoring for PSG, who won with goals from Sergio Ramos, Wout Faes own goal and Danilo Pereira. With the victory, the team from the capital adds 53 points in 22 games.
PSG leads Nice by 11 points, which beat Metz 2-0 on Sunday as a visitor.
With Messi on the bench and back in the squad for the first time in 2022 after contracting COVID-19 during the year-end break, PSG started with Kylian Mbappé, Mauro Icardi and Ángel Di María up front.
Mbappé had two clear chances after half an hour, but it was Verratti who opened the scoring just before the end of the first half.
From then on, things were easier for the locals and Ramos increased the lead in the 63rd minute to score his first goal with PSG.
A shot by Verratti from Messi’s pass was deflected by Faes into his own goal shortly after the Argentine came on to replace Di María in the 64th minute. And Pereira made it 4-0 in the 76th minute.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing in Spanish by Javier Leira)