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Lionel Messi scores on Paris Saint-Germain return | Real Madrid beat Valencia to reach Spanish Super Cup final

PSG extended their Ligue 1 lead to six points with a 2-0 home win against Angers; Thibaut Courtois saved Jose Gaya's poorly-struck spot-kick to give Real Madrid a 4-3 penalty shootout win over Valencia in Spanish Super Cup semi-final; AC Milan crash out of Coppa Italia

PSG's Lionel Messi was on target on his return
Image: PSG's Lionel Messi was on target on his return

Lionel Messi scored on his return to club duty to help Paris Saint-Germain to a 2-0 victory over Angers in Ligue 1.

Messi was making his first appearance since he starred in the World Cup final for Argentina in Qatar on December 18 but initially it was Hugo Ekitike who stole the show at Parc des Princes.

Ekitike, 20, scored after only five minutes and, with basement outfit Angers holding their own, it seemed set to be the difference until Messi produced a classy finish with 18 minutes left.

The World Cup winner exchanged passes with Neymar, after the pair both put on t-shirts in tribute for the late Pele in the warm-up, before finding Sergio Ramos with the outside of his boot. Nordi Mukiele then threaded the ball into the path of Messi, who slotted home for his 13th goal of the season for PSG.

It was initially ruled out for offside but overturned after a VAR check and helped the leaders extend their advantage at the top of Ligue 1 to six points after Lens had to settle for a 2-2 draw at Strasbourg.

Second-placed Lens saw Alexis Claude-Maurice and Lois Openda net at Stade de la Meinau but goals by Sanjin Prcic and Kevin Gameiro for the hosts secured a draw.

Messi celebrates with Neymar after scoring
Image: Messi celebrates with Neymar after scoring

Marseille remain third in the table after they secured a fine 2-0 win at Troyes after goals from Chancel Mbemba and Jordan Veretout.

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Nine-man Rennes lost 2-1 away to Clermont after Johan Gastien's stoppage-time winner but stay fourth while Lorient leapfrogged Monaco to move up to fifth after a 2-1 win over Philippe Clement's men.

A brace by Ross Barkley helped Nice respond to Lucien Favre's sacking with a 6-1 thrashing of Montpellier. Arsenal loanee Nicolas Pepe also hit a double.

Nantes and Lyon could not be separated and had to settle for a 0-0 draw.

Elsewhere, Auxerre suffered a 5-0 home defeat to Toulouse, Brest and Lille played out a stalemate and Reims won 1-0 at Ajaccio.

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema celebrates his goal
Image: Real Madrid's Karim Benzema celebrates his goal

Thibaut Courtois was the hero for Real Madrid in Saudi Arabia after he helped them beat Valencia 4-3 on penalties to progress into the final of the Spanish Super Cup.

Karim Benzema's first-half spot-kick was cancelled out by Samuel Lino's effort early in the second half and, despite extra-time, penalties were required.

Benzema, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Marco Asensio all scored for Carlo Ancelotti's men and Courtois saved from Jose Gaya after Eray Comert had missed with Valencia's second kick to secure a semi-final victory.

In Italy, AC Milan crashed out of the Coppa Italia after a 1-0 home defeat to Torino. Koffi Djidji was shown a red card in the 70th minute but Michel Adopo struck in extra time for the 10 men.

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