Monday, October 18, 2021

Messi’s Champions League debut with PSG ends in disaster after draw and Mbappe injury

Paris Saint-Germain slumped to a disappointing 1-1 draw with Club Brugge in their first Champions League game this season, with several match-winning players underperforming.

Lionel Messi arrived at PSG this summer in one of the craziest quickfire transfers of the transfer window, leaving boyhood club Barcelona, who could not afford to keep him due to his astronomical wages and their dire financial status.

After making 520 appearances for the Catalan giants, scoring 474 times and winning numerous titles and individual accolades, he moved to the Ligue 1 to linkup with Kylian Mbappe and former teammate Neymar.

However, the trio were bitterly disappointing on Wednesday night in the Champions League group stage as they failed to break down Belgian side Club Brugge, with Messi making his European debut for his new club.

The front three, who are undoubtedly one of the scariest attacks in the world, collectively only accumulated an xG of 0.67, showcasing how poor the half-chances they created were.

Messi did hit the woodwork with a curling effort, and also skied a volley so high that it may have landed back at the Camp Nou.

What will worry PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino more so than the point gained is that French forward Mbappe hobbled off of the pitch in the 61st minute with an injury.

The 22-year-old set up Ander Herrera’s goal earlier in the match and had started the new Ligue One campaign in flying form with four goals and two assists in five appearances.

There was uncertainty over the summer as to whether Mbappe would even be playing at Le Parc Des Princes this season after strong interest from Real Madrid, offering £170million for his services, but PSG were keen to keep the ex-Monaco striker at the club despite his contract expiring next year.

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Speaking after the match about the injury, Pochettino said: “We don’t know how serious it is. Tests are going to have to clarify that so we hope to bring an update as soon as possible,

“Nobody in the team can be happy with their performance and nobody can be happy with this result. We came here to take points. All the points. Hats off to Club Bruges. They wanted it more than us tonight and they deserved the point.”
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