Paris St-Germain Came From 2-0 Down To Hold Real Madrid In A Hugely Entertaining Champions League Game With Both Sides Already Assured Of Their Place In The Last 16.


Paris St-Germain Came From 2-0 Down To Hold Real Madrid In A Hugely Entertaining Champions League Game With Both Sides Already Assured Of Their Place In The Last 16.

Real’s place was booked shortly before kick-off after Club Bruges’ 1-1 draw with Galatasaray.

Karim Benzema put Real 2-0 up with a close-range finish and a header.

But Kylian Mbappe scored after a defensive mix-up and Pablo Sarabia fired a brilliant equaliser.

Gareth Bale, a replacement for Eden Hazard, who suffered a twisted ankle, almost won the game for Real Madrid deep into injury time but his free-kick hit the post.

The French champions will finish top of Group A as a result.

This was among Real’s best performances since the return of Zinedine Zidane as manager in March.

Only a fine performance by PSG keeper Keylor Navas, a summer signing from Real, stopped this from being a thrashing – the Costa Rican making 10 saves in total.

Benzema tapped them into a deserved lead after Isco’s shot had hit the post.

Navas held out again and again, including three stops to deny Dani Carvajal and two to keep out long-range Toni Kroos strikes.

The hosts did escape a Thibaut Courtois red card and potential PSG penalty thanks to a video assistant referee reprieve at the end of the first half.

PSG were given a free-kick just outside the box after Courtois fouled Mauro Icardi – with the goalkeeper shown a red card.

The foul appeared to be inside the box so referee Artur Soares Dias consulted with VAR to see whether it should be a penalty. However they instead spotted an Idrissa Gueye foul on Marcelo near the halfway line earlier on in the move – and the red card and potential penalty were wiped out.

Real were dominant again after the restart but lost Hazard – who had a role in Benzema’s opener – to a second-half injury when he was fouled by Belgium team-mate Thomas Meunier. Bale came on to a round of applause from the home fans.

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The game looked done and dusted when Benzema headed home Marcelo’s cross. That was the Frenchman’s 64th Champions League goal, which puts him fourth on the all-time list.

After their implosion, Real almost won it right at the end, with Bale’s wonderful free-kick beating Navas but hitting the far post.

PSG leave it late

PSG tore Real apart in their first meeting in the group with a 3-0 win at the Parc des Princes in September. They showed at the Bernabeu they can get a result without even playing well.

Paris St-Germain Came From 2-0 Down To Hold Real Madrid In A Hugely Entertaining Champions League Game With Both Sides Already Assured Of Their Place In The Last 16.

They should have been long out of the game by the time they pulled a goal back – even though they played most of the second half with Neymar, Mbappe, Mauro Icardi and Angel di Maria.

France youngster Mbappe – a long-term Real target – had dominated the pre-match headlines. Madrid boss Zidane said he was “in love with him” before the game, with PSG boss Thomas Tuchel replying: “Sometimes the players you love the most are the ones you cannot have.”

As brilliant as Mbappe is, his goal was as easy as they come – he was gifted it by some shocking Real Madrid defending. Raphael Varane and goalkeeper Courtois got in a mix-up with Mbappe tapping into an empty net on his 100th PSG appearance.

If that goal came from someone Real hope to sign some day, the equaliser came from a former Madrid youngster two minutes later.

Juan Bernat’s cross was stepped over by Mbappe and half-time substitute Neymar. Julian Draxler’s shot was blocked and Sarabia – who was at Real from the age of 12 to 19 – blasted the loose ball into the top corner.

Both sides had chances to win with Mbappe blasting the ball into the side netting before Bale hit the post. PSG can now relax when they host Galatasaray in the final group game on 11 December.

“Real were better for long periods,” said Tuchel. “We were lucky but that’s not a crime.”

Paris St-Germain Came From 2-0 Down To Hold Real Madrid In A Hugely Entertaining Champions League Game With Both Sides Already Assured Of Their Place In The Last 16.


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