It was predictable. For Paris SG’s entry into the Champions League this season, Wednesday evening, all eyes were on this flashy association, this unprecedented triplet, never before experienced and which has fueled debates and conversations for several weeks: Messi-Neymar- Mbappé.
What was less predictable was that the courage and bravery of their evening opponent, Brugge, hit the screen more than the “MNM”. Values that allowed the Belgians, yet considered to be the weakest team in the group, to keep Marquinhos’ teammates in check (1-1). Faced with a united and exalted defensive animation, the trio, which we expected powerful and devastating, was not. And even came to a head when Mbappé came out on injury, hit in the foot, at the start of the second half (50 ‘).
And it was not the quick goal of the Parisians that cooled Belgian enthusiasm. We could, however, have thought that Mbappé’s feints on the left side and his precise pass for a Herrera still scorer after his double against Clermont, last Saturday (0-1, 15 ‘), would have facilitated the rest of the meeting. for men from Pochettino. On the contrary, the opening of the scoring liberated the Bleu et Noir, full of good intentions and desire to thwart the plans of the Parisians.
Despite Messi, who played with the defense to offer a shot to Mbappé, stopped by Mignolet (23 ‘). Despite the Argentine, still, who found the bar on his special shot, with his left foot (29 ‘). Despite, the six-fold Golden Ball, always, while Neymar showed little inspiration, which forced Mignolet to be vigilant after having bypassed the defense (70 ‘).
In addition to these occasions, it was the people of Bruges who, most of the time, dominated the meeting. And it was Vanaken who logically equalized, arrived launched at the penalty spot after a good job from Sobol (1-1, 27 ‘). Caught in the back, overtaken in the middle of the field, the men of the capital suffered the repeated assaults of a raging opponent. An unexpected scenario when PSG could very well have lost this meeting.
Navas had to pull out all the stops
The only one on the side of PSG who has won points, certainly, is called Keylor Navas, while the goalkeeper position is subject to stiff competition in the capital club. Preferred to the Italian European champion Donnarumma, Navas had to use his great C1 experience to deliver a perfect copy. What he achieved, despite an uneasy first intervention on a corner (10 ‘).
Because, then, the Costa Rican, like last season, kept his team afloat by interposing on a well-kicked free kick (33 ‘) then pushing back, with a firm hand, the dangerous attempt of the young poison De Ketelaere (39 ‘).
PSG finished better
Diallo’s torso was then needed to save, in extremis, the strike of Hendry, still served by De Ketelaere (49 ‘). Nobody expected to see the club in the capital, after its amazing summer recruitment, in such difficulty. So Messi, twenty minutes from time, realigned himself and tried to raise his voice, while his teammate Neymar still could not make a difference. Despite his grip, Messi ultimately failed to give victory to his people. He could have, especially on a recovery that was finally too far-flung after a good cross from Nuno Mendes (79 ‘). The Portuguese left side, very leggy after coming into play, started his number again but Icardi lacked lucidity to conclude (81 ‘).
This checkout remains however a perfect appetizer of what will be each opponent of Paris SG this season: galvanized teams to bring down this aggregate of stars which do not yet shine completely.
Referee: M. Schärer (SUI).
GOALS. Bruges: Vanaken (27 ‘); PSG: Herrera (15 ‘).
Warnings. Bruges: Lang (62 ‘), Balanta (76’); PSG: Paredes (13 ‘), Messi (72’).
BRUGES: Mignolet – Madra, Hendry, Nsoki – Sowah (Maouassa (90 ‘+ 2), Rits, Vanaken (cap), Balanta, Sobol – De Ketelaere, Lang. Coach: P. Clément.
PSG: Navas – Hakimi, Marquinhos (cap), Kimpembe, Diallo (Mendes (75 ‘) – Herrera, Paredes (Danilo 46’), Wijnaldum (Draxler 46 ‘) – Messi, Mbappé (Icardi 51’), Neymar. Coach: Mr. Pochettino.
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