Mbappé became the first player since Just Fontaine in 1958 to score four goals in one game when he fired France to victory over Kazakhstan during the international break, and he wasted little time in securing another record here, deflecting Leandro Paredes’ effort beyond Alban Lafont for the fastest goal of his career (2′).
Mbappé was joined in the front three by Neymar Jr. and Messi – rather surprisingly given the latter pair were on international duty with Brazil and Argentina in the western hemisphere over the break – but the South Americans combined well soon after, Messi then forcing a good save from Lafont (18′). Mbappé then tried his luck after winning a footrace with Jean-Charles Castelletto before Lafont stuck out a leg to deny him (22′).
Lafont proved to be in miserly mood and did well to reach his top corner to keep another Mbappé effort out soon after (29′). The former France under-21 goalkeeper then denied Messi from point-blank range (38′) to keep the score down to 1-0 at the break.
Nantes were brighter after the restart and might have drawn level had Thilo Kehrer not got a foot in after Kalifa Coulibaly’s throw-in had found Randal Kolo Muani unmarked in the box (54′).
Paris went down to 10 men just past the hour when Navas raced off his line to try and save Kehrer’s underhit backpass, but he only succeeded in fouling Ludovic Blas, and, as the last man, left referee Jérémy Stinat with little choice but to show him red (65′).
His replacement Sergio Rico then had to be on his toes to keep Quentin Merlin’s cross from going in through a sea of bodies (70′). Nantes finally made their numerical advantage tell when Kolo Muani connected with another magical Merlin cross (76′) but Paris had the final say.
Messi’s attempted pass for Juan Bernat deflected beyond Lafont by Appiah (81′) for 2-1 and the former Barcelona man secured his first league goal at the death with a signature strike (87′).