Messi returns to PSG lineup but Mbappé grabs spotlight as Ajaccio routed

Lionel Messi returned to the Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) lineup after a brief suspension and Kylian Mbappe grabbed the headlines with two goals as Ajaccio were thrashed 5-0.

PSG move closer to a record 11th French league title with a six-point lead over second-placed Lens with three games remaining.

The defeat left Ajaccio behind for 18th.

Embappé's second-half brace took him to a league-leading 26 goals and two ahead of Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette, whose side plays on Sunday.

World Cup winner Messi missed PSG's last game after the club suspended him for traveling to Saudi Arabia for business reasons without authorisation. He apologized and the suspension was lifted this week.

Messi received mixed reception. Some fans jeered the superstar, but the absence of PSG's staunch "ultra" fans created a largely subdued atmosphere at the Parc des Princes.

The Paris Ultra Collective - who normally stand behind one of the goals - are boycotting matches until further notice amid rising tensions with PSG president Nasser Al-Khelafi.

Midfielder Fabian Ruiz and right back Achraf Hakimi put PSG up 2–0 at halftime. Embappé made it 3-0 in the 47th minute and scored a superb volley from the edge of the area in the 54th minute. Central defender Marquinhos fired in a deflected shot which led to an own goal.

Hakimi was sent off for the second straight home game when he was red carded in the 77th after a brief scuffle with Ajaccio midfielder Thomas Mangani.