Juventus 1-2 PSG: Signs of life from the Bianconeri but Benfica overtake lethargic Parisians


The much-improved Juventus side will at least play Europa League football after the World Cup despite losing to Paris Saint-Germain.

While that’s scant consolation in the midst of a dreadful season for the Old Lady, Massimiliano Allegri can at least reflect on a solid performance against one of Europe’s in-form sides.

Admittedly, it’s hard to expect PSG to play with anything approaching emergency even when they are desperate to win a game and their obvious lack of defensive effort needs to be taken into account. account, but Juve largely dominated the game, only undone by moments of individual magic.

The main thing came from Kylian Mbappe. In fine form this season, the French striker scored a brilliant goal after 12 minutes, prompting Federico Gatti to dare close it before rolling past both centre-back and Manuel Locatelli, cutting inside and curling a bottom left shot- hand corner just outside the box.

That, however, came against the run of play and Leandro Bonucci’s equalizer, bundled in the kind of close game that broke England’s hearts in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley, was nothing short of more than they deserved before the break.

The excellent Manuel Locatelli came close several times after the break as Juve posed problems for PSG, although Mbappe turned provider to seal an unconvincing victory.

Playing an incisive through ball to replace Nuno Mendes, the Portugal international finished well from a tight angle inside the box to ensure – at least in their minds – that the French champions would top Group H.

Benfica had other ideas. Much less lethargic than their group rivals, their late rally against Maccabi Haifa saw them propel PSG to the post.

Sports standard

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