PSG started their Ligue 1 season with a 2-1 win at newly promoted Troyes while awaiting the arrival of Lionel Messi, who appears to be joining the French giants.
Messi will hold a press conference at 11am on Sunday after Barcelona announced earlier this week that the 34-year-old Argentine would be leaving the club.
Messi will join Paris Saint-Germain after Barcelona President Joan Laporta said the club had been forced to part ways with the player because his high wages combined with La Liga’s strict financial rules could put their future at risk.
PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino remained silent about Messi’s signing following the hard-fought win against Troyes after saying on Friday his compatriot was “an option under scrutiny”.
“His name is associated with various clubs, there are a lot of rumors,” Pochettino was quoted by L’Equipe as saying.
“We’ll see what happens in the next few days. The players stayed focused. We didn’t start the game well and we lost too many chances for my liking.”
“But we have to acknowledge that Troyes made it difficult for us. They showed a lot of energy. We would have liked to have won 5-0 but we take what we have achieved.”
The speculation proved to be an unwanted distraction for PSG early on at Troyes, who took a shocking lead in the ninth minute when Oualid El Hajjam defeated visiting goalkeeper Kaylor Navas with a firm header from a Dylan Chambost corner.
But the guests, who had surrendered the French championship title to Lille last season, hit back with a quick one-two when new signing Achraf Hakimi equalized in the 19th minute before Mauro Icardi turned the tide in the 21st minute.
Hakimi, who joined PSG from Inter Milan during the summer break, shot a lavish volley from an acute angle before Icardi found the roof of the net with the outside of his foot thanks to a good job by Kylian Mbappe.
Mbappe came close twice in the second half, with one of his shots being cleared off the line and the other going over the bar before PSG were forced to hold out in the closing stages.
Navas, who prevented three goals from Renaud Ripart, denied Troyes part of the booty in stoppage time as he blocked the striker’s header at close range with PSG on his heel in the last 15 minutes.
In the early game of the day Lyon became a 1-1 home draw from Brest after substitute Islam Slimani scored a goal with his first contact with the ball at the start of Irvin Cardona for the guests.
Lille will begin their title defense in Metz on Sunday, while Marseille will head to Montpellier in the other standout game of the day.