Phil Foden became the youngest player to hit 50 goals in a Pep Guardiola team as he scored two in a first-half rampage by Manchester City in Sunday's derby.

The England international scored City's opener and added their fourth as the home side led Manchester United 4-0 at the break. They were his first goals in Manchester derbies, with this his eighth appearance in such a game.

Between those goals, Erling Haaland delivered another masterclass of finishing with a clinical double strike, and it was Haaland's cross that Foden fired in to reach his half-century.

It meant Foden got to 50 goals in all competitions for City at the age of 22 years and 127 days.

Lionel Messi was 22 years and 164 days old when he reached 50 under Guardiola at Barcelona.

To give that some context, it is important to remember Messi had played four seasons for Barcelona before Guardiola took charge ahead of the 2008-09 season, while Foden has only ever played for Guardiola in City's first team.

Messi reached 50 for Guardiola in just his second season under the Spanish boss, while Foden made his City debut almost five years ago, in a Champions League game against Feyenoord.

Lionel Messi showed against Nice he has the quality to become the world's best player again, according to Paris Saint-Germain boss Christophe Galtier.

The Argentina international opened the scoring in PSG's 2-1 Ligue 1 win at Parc des Princes on Saturday with a lofted free-kick from 22 yards that he had won himself.

That was Messi's first direct free-kick goal for PSG since joining from Barcelona in August 2021 and the 60th of his career overall for club and country.

On the back of an underwhelming first campaign in the French capital, Messi has five goals and seven assists in his first nine Ligue 1 outings this season.

And after registering a goal in successive league games for the first time as a PSG player, Galtier has backed the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner to maintain his consistency.

"I have an incredible pleasure to see him every morning in training," Galtier said in his post-match press conference. "He is playing well and is happy every day when he trains.

"He is a player who has always had a habit of scoring a lot of goals in a season. This year he's regaining a taste for scoring and is becoming decisive for us.

"Whether he can be the best player in the world again, I'd say yes because he's in incredible shape and he's well prepared.

"He has a relationship with his team-mates that makes him happy. When he's happy, he performs; when he performs, he can reach the standards seen throughout his career."

 

Messi's sublime effort was cancelled out by Gaetan Laborde two minutes into the second half and PSG were then largely frustrated by Nice, the side Galtier left to join PSG in July.

But Kylian Mbappe proved to be the match-winner from the bench with his 83rd-minute strike, coming from his only shot on target, as PSG leapfrogged Marseille at the summit.

Asked about his decision to start with Mbappe on the bench following his return from France duty, Galtier said: "He picked up a knock to the hip against Denmark.

"He returned on Wednesday and only had 48 hours to rest. He still had a hip hematoma today. He had this apprehension but still remained available to the team.

"I had the same discussion with Lionel when he returned to the group [from Argentina action]. Unlike Kylian, he didn't pick up an injury during his time away."

PSG now have 25 points after nine unbeaten matches to start the campaign, matching their previous best starts from the 2017-18 and 2018-19 campaigns.

However, it was not all good news for the Parisians as Renato Sanches lasted only 16 minutes after being brought off the bench, aggravating an injury problem.

"Renato felt a little stretch of his left leg as he slid," Galtier said. "It's his left leg, so on the side where he was previously injured.

"He was returning from injury and preferred to come off rather than stay on. Regarding the seriousness of the injury, it is still far too early to know."

Kylian Mbappe was brought off the substitutes' bench to rescue a late 2-1 win for Paris Saint-Germain against Nice in Ligue 1 on Saturday.

Former Nice coach Christophe Galtier decided against starting Mbappe, but it did not appear to matter when Lionel Messi opened the scoring from a free-kick he had won himself.

That was Messi's first direct free-kick goal for PSG – and the 60th of his career – yet Gaetan Laborde equalised two minutes into the second half for Nice.

Although Mbappe's introduction on the hour did not initially make much difference, the France forward's quality told as he swept in an 83rd-minute winner at the Parc des Princes.

Jamaica Reggae Boyz goalkeeper Andre Blake admits to enjoying the encounter against top team Argentina and football great Lionel Messi, despite coming away on the other side of a 3-0 defeat.

After starting the game on the bench, Messi's introduction blew things wide open for La Albiceleste who had already taken a 1-0 lead in the first half courtesy of Julian Alvarez’s 13th-minute strike.

With only 10-minutes to go the Jamaicans seemed set to end their third straight encounter against the South Americans within a one-goal margin, but Messi had other ideas.

Blake initially foiled Messi twice but could not do much against the Paris Saint Germain midfielder’s blast from the top of the area in the 86th minute or his crafty free-kick three minutes later.

It’s a world-class team that’s the easiest way to put it.  It’s a different ballgame. The quality of play and the speed of play, everything is a different level. But I enjoyed every moment of it, and it was a great experience,” Blake told the Philadelphia Enquirer.

“He’s the best in the world,” Blake said in his assessment of Messi.

“I wish I was able to make those saves, but world-class players do world-class things. … it was definitely an honour and a moment I’ll cherish forever — not the moment that he scored, but being able to play against him and save a few of his shots.”

Kylian Mbappe is a smart enough player to create space and play with freedom alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar, according to Paris Saint-Germain coach Christophe Galtier.

France international Mbappe appeared to question the tactics used at PSG when admitting last week he has "a lot more freedom" when playing for his country.

The 23-year-old was speaking on the back a 2-0 win over Austria in which he and strike partner Olivier Giroud linked up throughout, with both players on the scoresheet.

But while Galtier agrees that PSG could do with a Giroud-type player in their squad, he does not believe his side have a problem getting the most out of Mbappe in attack.

"I don't think he has less freedom," Galtier said ahead of Saturday's Ligue 1 clash with his former club Nice. "With Giroud, he has someone who opens up spaces for him.

"We don't have that player profile but he's just as smart to find other moves with Leo and Neymar giving him the ball in his preferred space.

"Kylian's analysis is correct. He's not in the same system for his club and national team. This is a discussion I've had with the president and Luis Campos about our attack.

"We were all convinced we needed a fourth player in that position with a different profile, but that player did not come [in the transfer window]. It's a shame but that's how it is.

"The technical relationship between Neymar, Leo and Kylian is different to what he has with the national team."

The relationship between PSG's star-studded front three was again in the spotlight this week when Neymar declined to comment on his relationship with Mbappe.

Speaking earlier this month, Mbappe admitted he has "hotter and colder moments" with the Brazil international, though added they have a strong mutual respect.

But when probed on the pair's relationship on Thursday, Galtier insisted he is more than happy with the chemistry in the dressing room.

"I am surprised I have to always repeat the same thing," he said. "Since I arrived here, to the current day, all I've experienced is normal things in the life of a locker room.

"There is nothing that's surprised me, nothing that has challenged me. The players here want to win together and they are also in competition [for a place in the side].

"They are all great champions with competitiveness, with egos. We have a pleasant dressing room. There is a discrepancy between what you hear and the reality."

 

The Parisians enter the contest with Nice top of Ligue 1 with seven wins and a draw from the opening eight matches of their latest title defence.

However, PSG have scored only one goal in both of their past two league outings – not since September 2020 have they failed to score more than once in three straight games.

Galtier said during the international break that his side need to show more of a "killer" instinct in front of goal, having managed 12 shots on target across the two matches.

"I want to remind the players that it would be beneficial to us to hurt teams quickly," Galtier added at Thursday's press conference.

"It will help with the management of the squad and playing time. But it must be said that opposing goalkeepers have also performed well against us."

PSG are unbeaten in their past 17 Ligue 1 games ahead of their return to action this weekend, which is the longest current run in the division.

Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland can reach the levels of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, according to former Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Mohamed Sissoko.

Both PSG forward Mbappe and Manchester City striker Haaland have proven to be highly talented players with phenomenal goalscoring records in recent seasons. 

Haaland scored 67 goals in his two and a half seasons in the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund, and has subsequently lit up the Premier League since his transfer to City – scoring 14 goals in 10 outings in all competitions for Pep Guardiola's side. 

Meanwhile, PSG's main man Mbappe has not been shy of scoring goals for some years now and on the biggest of stages, not least in the 2018 World Cup final with France.

With Messi and Ronaldo approaching the twilight of their respective careers, questions over who is to replace them have inevitably arisen. 

Sissoko believes Mbappe and Haaland can reach those levels, telling Stats Perform: "They are scoring a lot of goals. They are different players also.

"I think Mbappe is a top player, Haaland also. I think they can reach Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi, for sure."

Much was made of PSG's transfer window, with Mbappe initially linked with a move away before he decided to stay under new head coach Christophe Galtier, who was brought in as Mauricio Pochettino's replacement.

Sissoko commented: "I think [Galtier] is the right appointment. He knows French culture. He worked with a lot of Portuguese people so he knows how to manage this type of player.

"He has a sporting director [who is] very good and very respectful. So I think they are doing everything well to win, one day, the Champions League."

When pressed further of PSG's chances of winning that illustrious first Champions League, Sissoko said: "I don't know because the teams are very strong, like Bayern Munich and Manchester City. All of them are very good. We will see."

Barcelona's economic vice president Eduard Romeu has insisted the club can afford to bring Lionel Messi back to Camp Nou next year.

The 35-year-old sees his contract with Paris Saint-Germain conclude at the end of the season and will reportedly decide his future after the World Cup in Qatar.

Should Messi become available on a free transfer, a host of clubs would likely be attributed with an interest in the Argentina international, and Romeu has made it clear Barca could afford a deal.

"As it would be on a free, surely it is something that we can do. But it'd be a technical decision, anyways," he told Mundo Deportivo.

While Messi would not require a transfer fee if his deal with PSG reaches its conclusion, significant funds would be required on his wages.

He spent 21 years with Barcelona, scoring a record 672 goals in 778 appearances for the senior side, prior to departing to PSG on a shock free transfer in August 2021.

After heavily investing in the squad in the transfer window, Romeu added further additions could be made in January.

"There is margin but we have made a very important effort this summer and if any complement was needed, we would have to study it," he added.

Lionel Scaloni is "excited and grateful" at the prospect of continuing as Argentina coach through to the 2026 World Cup.

Chiqui Tapia, president of the Argentine Football Association, stated an agreement had been reached between both parties for Scaloni to remain in his post for the next four years.

A new deal would be a fine reward for Scaloni, who replaced Jorge Sampaoli after the 2018 World Cup, where Argentina were beaten by eventual champions France in the last 16.

Under Scaloni, Argentina won the Copa America last year to end a drought at major tournaments dating back to the 1993 Copa.

A routine 3-0 win over Jamaica on Tuesday, in which Lionel Messi scored twice off the bench, also saw Argentina stretch their unbeaten run to 35 matches.

Scaloni is now focused on continuing his work with the national team.

"I'm excited and grateful," Scaloni said about Tapia's announcement.

"I want to continue, who wouldn't want to do it with the Argentine national team?

"I have the best relationship with the president, we met today, everything is on track."

The fixture against Jamaica was Argentina's penultimate game before the World Cup with a friendly against the United Arab Emirates to come before the tournament in Qatar.

Earlier this year, Argentina's planned friendly against Brazil – scheduled to take place in Australia – was cancelled.

Scaloni spoke about a lack of preparation against the more elite sides of international football but is confident his team will be ready based on their performances in the build-up to the tournament.

"The result is positive, not for the results, but because the players gave themselves to the maximum," he added.

"Sometimes things don't go well but this team knows that sometimes you can suffer, the rival can be better, and you have to stay entrenched and work.

"Don't forget that our idea of the game could be different from what was seen today You have to know what to do in the game and this team knows it."

Asked about his team's chances in Qatar, Scaloni added: "I do not go to Qatar with an inflated chest, there are great teams and it is very difficult to say who can win the World Cup.

"Whatever it has to be in the World Cup [it will be], but we are going to leave every last drop of sweat [out there]."

Argentina's first group-stage match takes place on November 22nd against Saudi Arabia.

 

Lionel Messi should be appreciated by fans of all countries at the World Cup as he will be missed like Roger Federer "and more" when he retires, says Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni.

Messi scored twice from the bench in Argentina's 3-0 win over Jamaica on Tuesday, their penultimate friendly before Qatar 2022.

The Albiceleste head to the finals as one of the favourites, having won the Copa America last year.

That was Messi's long-awaited first major international honour, and this could be the 35-year-old's last chance to win a World Cup, having lost in the 2014 final.

Although the Paris Saint-Germain superstar remains on top of his game, scoring six goals across his past four matches for club and country, Scaloni knows he cannot go on forever.

And the Argentina boss expects Messi's eventual retirement will be received with the same outpouring that met tennis legend Federer's decision to quit the sport last week.

"[Messi] is like Federer," Scaloni said after the Jamaica game.

"He retired and what happened when he retired? Everybody [was] excited, everybody is thinking, 'he won't be here anymore, he's not going to play anymore'.

"How many of us would like to see Federer play tennis? Because it was wonderful to watch him play. The same will happen with [Messi] and more, because football is a sport that moves much more.

"So, let's enjoy him. Everyone enjoys him regardless of the country, it's wonderful to see him.

"I have the possibility of training him, but I would be a fan, I would pay a ticket to see him and I would buy his shirt, regardless of the country.

"So, the only thing left is to enjoy him, because I don't know if something like this will ever be repeated. So, you have to enjoy him and nothing else."

Newly appointed Jamaica Reggae Boyz head coach Heimir Hallgrimsson believes a 3-0 scoreline might have flattered Argentina, insisting his team was made to pay for a loss in concentration in the defeat at the Red Bull stadium on Tuesday.

Argentinean superstar Lionel Messi came off the bench to score twice as the Albiceleste, who, in truth, looked comfortable despite holding a slim 1-0 lead, blew the game wide open in the last 10 minutes.

By the time the world-famous number 10 entered the fray, in the 56th minute, Argentina were already 1-0 up courtesy of Julian Alvarez’s tidy finish in the 13th minute. from there they had struggled to find real goalscoring momentum, that is until Messi entered the pitch.

After stinging the palms of Jamaica goalkeeper Andre Blake with an early attempt, the forward made no mistake blasting his shot well to the left of the keeper, when he got another opportunity, to double the lead in the 86th minute.  However, sloppy play in midfield led to the dangerous player taking possession at the edge of the area.

Three minutes later, there was real anxiety when the wily forward was brought down just at the top of the 18-yard box.  Those concerns were proven valid when Messi picked himself up and scored the resulting free-kick.  Again the Jamaicans might well feel dissatisfied with their defensive play, as Messi found space through a somewhat disheveled wall to beat Blake again.  The match was the first for Hallgrimsson and he believes despite the errors they were a few positives.

“We lost 3-0 and you are never happy to lose.  Three, zero is a big number but I don’t think it reflects the game on a whole,” Hallgrimsson said.

“It does not reflect the performance of our players, I think we showed an excellent team performance for 80 minutes and we lost a little focus in possession that led to the first and the second goal and then from that lost more focus for the third goal and that cannot happen,” he added.

“Those were the negatives from the match.  We kept them from creating goal-scoring chances, more or less, until the 80th minute.  After 10 minutes we were finding our feet but after that, we were comfortable with how we played our defensive game.”

Newcastle United are reportedly prepared to launch a third bid for Leicester City midfielder James Maddison in the January window.

Maddison, 24, has had a strong start to the season despite Leicester sitting bottom of the table through seven games, with the midfielder registering three goals and an assist.

Newcastle reportedly placed bids of £40million and £45m in the last window – which prompted manager Brendan Rodgers to say "that might just cover three-quarters of his left leg" – but January will mark 18 months remaining on his contract, with a voluntary extension looking extremely unlikely.

 

TOP STORY – MADDISON OPEN TO NEWCASTLE UNITED MOVE

Maddison is said to be more open to the idea of leaving Leicester after failing to break back into the England setup for the World Cup, with his only international cap coming as a substitute during a win against Montenegro in 2020.

With Newcastle players Nick Pope and Kieran Trippier both being involved with the Three Lions, it is viewed as a more favourable situation to capture the attention of Gareth Southgate.

The report from The Times indicates Leicester do have the option to extend Maddison's contract by one extra season, which could give them the freedom to see out the remainder of the campaign.

However, if Newcastle are willing to move into the £60m range, that kind of spending power could fund some significant moves to address the Foxes' problems, and there is no guarantee his value will remain this high if they delay.

 

ROUND-UP

– According to Spanish publication Beteve, Lionel Messi will refuse any contract extension and will leave Paris Saint-Germain at the end of this season.

– Kicker is reporting Tottenham's Harry Kane remains Bayern Munich's top target, and with only one more season left on his deal after this campaign, Tottenham could be forced to cash-in if he indicates he is ready to leave.

– Juventus will not renew the contracts of Angel Di Maria, Juan Cuadrado and Adrien Rabiot in order to reduce their wage bill, per La Gazzetta dello Sport.

– Calciomercato is reporting Roma will join Bayern Munich and Manchester United with interest in €30m Ajax centre-back Jurrien Timber.

– According to Fabrizio Romano, Newcastle United are monitoring highly regarded Vasco da Gama 18-year-old Andrey Santos.

Argentina were never in any danger during their 3-0 friendly win against Jamaica on Tuesday, played at a neutral site in the United States' Red Bull Arena.

Alvarez opened the scoring in the 13th minute thanks to some terrific work from Lautaro Martinez, who was able to snake his way into the box, beating multiple defenders to get to the touchline and drag one back along the edge of the six-yard box for a simple tap-in.

Argentina continued to create half-chances throughout the remainder of the first half, and it was more of the same to begin the second 45, with Martinez going close after a slick one-touch pass from Alexis Mac Allister gave him some space inside the box, but he pushed his shot wide of the far-post.

Lionel Messi was subbed on in the 56th minute, and just 10 minutes later he had his first chance after a one-two on the edge of the area allowed him to break into the left-hand side of the box, but his shot from a sharp angle was easily thwarted at the near post.

But fans in attendance would get what they came for in the 87th minute, when Messi picked up a deflected pass just outside the penalty area and fired his left-foot shot hard and low across his body into the bottom-right corner.

Just two minutes later Argentina were awarded a free kick in the same spot, and Messi again converted, this time around the wall into the bottom-left corner.

What does it mean? Argentina now two games away from history

With this result, Argentina are now unbeaten in their past 35 games dating back to their loss in the 2019 Copa America semi-final against Brazil. 

Italy holds the record at 37 games without a loss – which they set just last year. Argentina's next two games will be in the World Cup against Saudi Arabia and Mexico, and if they make it through unscathed, they will play Poland for the new record.

Messi the super sub

Despite only playing 35 minutes, Messi led all players with five shots, four shots on target and three successful dribbles. Only Alvarez (three) created more chances than Messi's two, and he scored two goals for his second consecutive international fixture after also netting a double against Honduras this past weekend.

Reid struggles with Argentinian physicality

Bobby Reid had a difficult outing down the left-hand side, being credited with only two duels won from 11 tries – the lowest percentage on the pitch. He also had a passing accuracy of 77 per cent, which was one of the lowest marks from either side, while attempting no shots and creating no chances.

What's next? 

Argentina will take their unbeaten streak into the World Cup, where they will play Saudi Arabia first up. Jamaica do not have any fixtures scheduled until March's CONCACAF Nations League.

Reggae Boyz central defender Damion Lowe said the team is in good spirits and looking forward to their friendly against two-time world champions Argentina in New Jersey on Tuesday.

Lionel Messi wishes he could have played alongside Neymar for longer at Barcelona but is loving being reunited with the Brazilian again at Paris Saint-Germain.

Neymar and Messi struck up a friendship and immense on-field relationship during their four years together at Camp Nou.

They were part of a Barca team that won two LaLiga titles, three Copa del Rey crowns and the Champions League, among other trophies, before PSG broke the world transfer record to bring Neymar to Paris for €222million.

Despite such a cash injection, Barca's financial issues eventually caught up with them and prevented the club from signing Messi to a new contract last year as their LaLiga salary limit was reduced significantly.

Messi followed Neymar to Paris, and while few would consider either to have enjoyed their best seasons last term, both have begun the 2022-23 campaign in electric fashion under Christophe Galtier.

Neymar's 19 goal involvements across all competitions is more than anyone in the top five leagues, while Messi's 14 has him ranked third, and the latter is relishing every minute.

"With Neymar, we have known each other for a long time, by heart, since Barcelona," he told TUDN.

"I would've like to have been able to enjoy him much more in Barcelona.

"But now I meet him again in Paris and we are happy to be together. I love playing with him."

Of course, Neymar is not the only superstar Messi is playing alongside at PSG.

Kylian Mbappe renewed his stay at PSG at the end of last season after flirting with Real Madrid, and Messi has no doubt the France star will be a leader of the next generation in the sport.

"Kylian, he's a different player," Messi added.

"He is a beast who is very strong, goes from space to space. He's fast, scores a lot of goals, is very complete and has been proving himself for years.

"In the coming years, he will be among the best, for sure."

Argentina star Lionel Messi believes he is beginning to find his feet at Paris Saint-Germain, having required a year to settle in after his move to France.

Messi scored just 11 goals in 34 appearances during his first season at PSG in 2021-22, but has already struck six times in 11 outings for the Ligue 1 giants this campaign.

The former Barcelona man is also enjoying himself on the international stage, scoring twice and adding an assist as Argentina extended their unbeaten run to 34 matches with a 3-0 friendly win over Honduras on Friday.

Messi led his team for shots on target (three), touches in the opposition box (nine), crosses (three) and successful dribbles (two) in Miami, completing the scoring with a sumptuous 20-yard chip in the second half.

Speaking to TyC Sports after the victory, Messi compared his current form favourably with that of last season.

"I feel good, different from last year and I knew it was going to be like that," Messi said.

"Last year, as I already said, I had a bad time, I never finished finding myself and this one is different.

"I arrived with a different head, more accommodated to the club, to the locker room, to the game, to my team-mates.

"The truth is that I feel very good and I have enjoyed myself again."

Friday's brace took Messi to 88 goals in 163 senior international caps, and he will join a select group of players to have appeared in five separate World Cups when Argentina begin their campaign against Saudi Arabia on November 22.

The PSG forward believes Lionel Scaloni's men are in a good place as their trip to Qatar approaches and is trying not to think about the possibility of his team suffering injuries before the event.

He added: "It is complicated - there are many games and little rest time, but you have to face it as always.

"If you are going to play matches thinking about the World Cup, taking care of yourself or not messing up, then in the end it can be worse. 

"I am one of those who think that things happen because they happen and if things have to happen they will happen. God willing nothing happens to anyone and we can all arrive at the World Cup as we are.

"We are enjoying every moment that we are together and seriously preparing ourselves when it is time to work, working on many things because it is the last time that we all have to be together, and there will not be much time before the first World Cup match.

"So, we took the opportunity to continue growing what we know and trying new things as well."

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