Mbappé's double takes PSG past Juventus in Champions League opener

·2-min read
© FMM/Pierre René-Worms

Paris Saint-Germain withstood a second-half fightback from Juventus on Tuesday night to claim the first Champions League victory of the Christophe Galtier era at the club.

Galtier's last adventure in European football's most prestigious tournament ended three years ago with one point after six games in the group stages.

In truth though his Lille side harboured yeoman solids rather than talents royal such as Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappé and Neymar.

The latter two were unfurling their gifts within seven minutes of the start of the Group H tie at the Parc des Princes.

Little menace appeared as Neymar advanced towards two defenders but his lobbed a pass eliminated them, Mbappé's speed running in from the left accounted for three more and the Frenchman's volley flew across the Juventus goalkeeper Mattia Perin into the left hand corner.

The faithful roared the beauty of the exploit. And it was no more than Galtier's men deserved for a bright and determined start to their Champions League campaign.

Fragility

Despite PSG's early dominance and intricate play, the visitors should have levelled in the 20th minute.

Juan Cuadrado swung over a cross from the right and Arkadiusz Milik met it with a powerful header but the ball was too close to the PSG goalkeeper Gigi Donnarumma who parried it before it was scrambled away.

Three minutes later Mbappé doubled the score following a slick one-two on the right hand side of the penalty area with Achraf Hakimi.

It was ominously easy.

Just after the pause, the industrious Nuno Mendes teed up Neymar but the Brazilian failed to deceive Perin.

And on 53 minutes, Juve got a foothold. Having failed to pass their way through PSG, they went aerial. Leandro Paredes slipped his corner kick to Filip Kostic who floated the ball over from the right for Weston Mckennie to nod gleefully past Donnarumma's botched attempt to catch the ball.

Mbappé should have wrapped up his hat trick and detonated Juve's spirit seven minutes later but he scuffed his shot just wide of Perin's left hand post.

His team suddenly barren after the initial brio, Galtier added steel in the shape of Danilo to secure the victory and his Juve counterpart Massimo Allegri added Moise Kean's goal threat to salvage a draw.

It offered up a frantic finale after what had been shaping up for a waltz.

Elsewhere in Group H, Rafa Silva and Alex Grimaldo struck in the second-half at the Stadio da Luz in Lisbon to steer Benfica to a 2-0 victory over Maccabi Haifa.