PSG: Lionel Messi’s Champions League debut for French giants falls flat against Club Brugge


Messi was playing the 150th Champions League game of his career – and his first for PSG – but the Ligue 1 side failed to click in what turned out to be a tricky away game in Belgium.

With his trio of electric attacking stars, the Parisians were the big favorites before the draw and took an expected lead thanks to Ander Herrera after 15 minutes.

But the hosts fought back before the half hour mark, with Hans Vanaken scoring a deserved equalizer.

Brugge then had chances to win the game and managed to keep Messi and his fellow stars silent for most of the game – although the Argentinian hit the crossbar with a trademark shot from a distance.

“No one in the squad can be happy with their performance and no one can be happy with this result,” PSG head coach Mauricio Pochettino told reporters after the match.

“We came here to take points. All points. Hats off to Club Brugge. They wanted it more than us tonight and they deserve the point.”

Many at the club were hoping Messi would be the missing piece of the puzzle in PSG’s search for a Champions League trophy, but it looks like the squad is still in development.

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner showed glimpses of magic, but the team looked like a team of individuals rather than a cohesive unit.

“We need time to work so that they understand each other,” said Pochettino, speaking of Messi, Neymar and Mbappé.

“It is clear and we have said it in the last few days. We still have to build a team.”

The evening became even more disappointing for PSG when Mbappé limped out, injured just six minutes after the start of the second half.

The 22-year-old was treated by medics before hobbling the pitch with what appeared to be an ankle injury.

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Manchester City excels

As PSG struggled, Manchester City excelled in a classic Champions League encounter against RB Leipzig.

Pep Guardiola’s side won 6-3 in a scintillating performance, but he may be concerned about the number of goals disclosed by the defense at the Etihad Stadium.

Christopher Nkunku scored a hat-trick for the German squad, but City forwards made amends with goals from Nathan Ake, Jack Grealish, Riyad Mahrez, João Cancelo and Gabriel Jesus all adding up to an own goal. scored by Nordi Mukiele.

“Leipzig never gives up. They have a special way of attacking. They play all or nothing,” Guardiola told BT Sport after the game.

“You never feel like it’s over. We scored a few minutes after they scored and that helped a lot.

“They have a young team, so aggressive, so strong. A fantastic team. Leipzig gives football a good message. The quality of [our] the players were better today and that’s why we won. “

Grealish, the summer signing of $ 138million, appeared to be the best of City’s attacking talent as the Englishman showed why the club had invested so much in him.

His creativity from the outside has been a big part of his side’s success and auspicious with Guardiola bidding to finally win the Champions League trophy at City.


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