Lionel Messi scored a world-class goal and assisted another for Neymar as Paris Saint-Germain twice came from behind to beat Troyes 4-3 and go five points clear at the top of Lige 1.
PSG were behind with just 134 seconds played – the earliest they have trailed at home in the league since September 2018 – after Mama Balde thumped in from close range.
Neymar played in Carlos Soler to equalise after 24 minutes, only for Balde to restore Troyes’ lead early in the second half and leave the champions in need of some inspiration, which arrived in the form of Messi.
The forward blasted home a vicious strike from 30 yards and then set up Neymar, before Kylian Mbappe gave PSG some breathing space that was required when Ante Palaversa pulled one back for what proved to be nothing more than a late consolation.
Balde fired Troyes into an early lead after PSG failed to cut out Abdu Conte’s left-sided cross and Rony Lopes flicked the ball into his team-mate’s path to volley in.
Recalled PSG midfielder Soler had the hosts back on level terms before long when rounding Gauthier Gallon and converting after being played in by a chipped Neymar pass.
Gallon made a string of saves and more frustration followed for PSG as Balde clinically finished past Gianluigi Donnarumma after smartly turning his man.
But Messi restored parity with a powerful shot that Gallon could not get to and then spotted the run of Neymar for the Brazil international to lift the ball over the Troyes goalkeeper.
Soler took advantage of some hesitancy at the back to win a late penalty, which Mbappe emphatically converted, and although Palaversa headed in a third for Troyes to set up a nervy finish, PSG held on.
What does it mean? Sloppy PSG are not made to pay
PSG have now won four games in a row in all competitions, scoring 15 goals in the process, and are 19 matches unbeaten under Galtier.
This victory was far from straightforward, however, with mid-table Troyes twice taking the lead and then pulling one back late on after PSG thought they were over the line.
It was an uncharacteristically sloppy match from Galtier’s men, having kept a clean sheet in eight of their previous 12 league matches this term, but they got over the line to restore a five-point advantage at the top.
Messi scored his 12th goal of the campaign with arguably his best strike of the lot and also added another assist, taking him to 13 for the season in just 17 matches.
Only Manchester City striker Erling Haaland has been involved in as many goals among players across Europe’s top five leagues in all competitions, with Neymar (24) close behind.
Mixed bag for Galtier
PSG managed 11 shots on target, a tally they have only bettered twice in all competitions this season, with four of those ending in the back of the net.
Galtier will be pleased with his side’s attacking display, but they were poor at the back and conceded three goals from an expected goals (xG) against value of 1.59.
PSG travel to Juventus in the Champions League on Wednesday ahead of facing Lorient in their next league outing. Troyes host Auxerre in six days’ time.