Messi shows off Ballon d’Or as PSG held by Nice

Lionel Messi had a night to forget as Paris St Germain was held to a goalless stalemate at the Parc des Princes by Nice in a dull Ligue 1 encounter on Wednesday.

Argentine forward Messi, who skipped training on Tuesday with a bout of gastro-enteritis a day after claiming a record-extending seventh Ballon d’Or, was on par with an uninspired PSG who stayed top of the standings with 41 points from 16 games.

Olympique de Marseille leapfrogged Stade Rennais into second place with a 1-0 win at Nantes as the Rennes side slumped to a 2-1 home defeat against champions Lille.

Marseille, who has a game in hand, has 29 points, with Rennes on 28 and Nice in fourth place on 27.

RC Lens, who have not won any of their last three games, is fifth on 26 points after drawing 2-2 at promoted Clermont.

In Paris, Messi displayed his Ballon d’Or trophy and Gianluigi Donnarumma showed his Yashin trophy for the Best Goalkeeper of the Year before kickoff but PSG’s performance was far from glittering.

They enjoyed possession but Nice was looking to hit them on the break and they had a huge opportunity just before the hour when Kasper Dolberg’s header crashed onto Donnarumma’s post.

It was the highlight of a dismal, wet evening in Paris where Mauricio Pochettino’s side continued to struggle.

Marseille is now 12 points behind with a game in hand after being in control throughout at Nantes.

Gerson scored in the 30th minute with a fine shot on the turn, two minutes before Nantes were reduced to 10 men when defender Nicolas Pallois picked up a second yellow card.

Lille, who have been on and off form since the beginning of the season, looked like their 2020-21 selves in a dominant display at Rennes with Xeka and Renato Sanches scoring before the break, a week before the side travel to Wolfsburg in a key Champions League game.