Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 Juventus: Mbappe double downs Bianconeri

·4-min read

Paris Saint-Germain saw off a second-half fightback from Juventus to win their opening Champions League game 2-1 thanks to Kylian Mbappe's double.

Juve were no match for their hosts at the Parc des Princes in the first half, with Mbappe volleying home twice inside the first 22 minutes.

A defensive lapse from Christophe Galtier's side allowed Weston McKennie to drag Juve back into the contest eight minutes into the second half, however.

Dusan Vlahovic and Manuel Locatelli both went close to restoring parity, yet PSG had enough to see out a first competitive win over Juve.

Mbappe had denied there were any issues between himself and Neymar in the pre-match press conference, and the duo proved they were in sync in the fifth minute as the France striker volleyed in from his team-mate's exquisite chipped pass.

Gianluigi Donnarumma made a fine save from Arkadiusz Milik at the other end, but PSG were in full flow up front, and it was 2-0 when Mbappe volleyed in again – this time from Achraf Hakimi's cutback.

Neymar might have turned from provider to scorer had his finish been better in the 49th minute, but Mattia Perin was equal to the forward's tame effort.

Mbappe should have provided Neymar with a tap-in two minutes later, only to shoot selfishly from a tight angle, and PSG were made to pay.

It had seemed a matter of damage limitation for Juve, yet PSG switched off from a corner, enabling McKennie to head in at the back post.

With Donnarumma brilliantly keeping out Vlahovic's header, sensational combination play from Neymar and Lionel Messi resulted in a great chance for Mbappe to restore PSG's two-goal cushion, but he lashed wide.

Mbappe's profligacy could have proved costly again as Locatelli saw a goal-bound toe-poke blocked, but PSG held on to get the job done.

What does it mean? Familiar Champions League worries for PSG

Massimiliano Allegri suggested Juve had to view Benfica as their primary opponents in Group H, believing PSG were simply in a class of their own.

That forecast seemed a sound one based on a first half in which PSG had 62 per cent of the possession, recording 351 passes to Juve's 215.

Yet familiar slips in concentration turned what could have been a routine win into a nervy encounter, and Galtier will have to find a way to get that out of his team's system.

Neymar's touch of class

It has been some start to the season for Neymar, and he proved hugely influential again in a sparkling display that he nearly capped with an outstanding goal – Perin making a brilliant save from the 30-year-old's 89th-minute volley.

No player created more than the four chances crafted by Neymar, whose four shots trailed only Mbappe – the beneficiary of the Brazilian's sublime pass for PSG's opener, of course.

Mbappe's game of two halves

Mbappe's opener was his fifth goal inside the first five minutes of Champions League matches, with only team-mate Messi (six) netting more such goals. It paved the way for a brilliant first-half display from Mbappe, who had three touches in Juve's box and converted both of his shots to move within one goal of Edinson Cavani's club-record 30 in the Champions League.

Yet it was much different in the second half. First, Mbappe went for glory himself instead of putting Neymar in, allowing Juve to pull one back a few moments later. Then, he drilled wide when one-on-one and, in stoppage time, sent an effort straight at Perin when he had plenty of the goal to aim at.

Key Opta Facts

– Juventus have lost their opening match to a Champions League campaign for just the second time in their 23 seasons in the competition (W13 D8), also losing to Barcelona in September 2017 (3-0).
– PSG have won five consecutive home games in the Champions League for the first time since between November 2013 and November 2014 (a run of six).
– Mbappe has scored in five consecutive Champions League games for the first time, while he is the first to do so for PSG since Neymar in November 2017. Neymar assisted him for the goal.
– Neymar has assisted a goal in three consecutive Champions League games for the first time.

What's next?

PSG are back in Ligue 1 action with a home game against Brest on Saturday, while Juve face Salernitana a day later in Serie A.