HomeChampions LeagueMbappe shines as PSG claim first win against Juventus

Mbappe shines as PSG claim first win against Juventus

Soccer Football – Champions League – Group H – Paris St Germain v Juventus – Parc des Princes, Paris, France – September 6, 2022 Paris St Germain’s Kylian Mbappe celebrates scoring their second goal REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

PARIS (Reuters) – Kylian Mbappe played chief tormentor as Paris St Germain started their Champions League campaign by beating Juventus 2-1 at home on Tuesday, their first victory against the Italian side.

Mbappe opened the scoring with a stunning goal and added a second in the opening half before substitute Weston McKennie reduced the arrears after the break as the French champions’ level went down a notch.

Juve had chances to equalise but keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma made several good saves to make up for a blunder for the visitors’ goal, ensuring PSG beat the Italian side for the first time in nine meetings, having lost the last six.

Christophe Galtier’s team are level on three points in Group H with Benfica, who beat Maccabi Haifa 2-0.

The heavy smoke from the pre-game flares and firecrackers was still in the air when PSG took the lead in stunning fashion, as Mbappe volleyed home from Neymar’s brilliant flick over the Juve defence after five minutes.

Vitinha and Marco Verratti bossed the midfield, snuffing out counter-attacks as the home side made a strong start.

Juve struggled to handle PSG on the left flank but had a chance in the 18th minute when Donnarumma denied Arkadiusz Milik with a superb save.

PSG, however, doubled their advantage four minutes later, with Mbappe finishing from just inside the area after a quick one-two with Achraf Hakimi for his eighth goal in his last seven Champions League matches.

In just 22 minutes, Juve had conceded as many goals as in their first five Serie A games.

The hosts soaked up some mild pressure from the Italian side before pressing forward again after the break with Neymar forcing Mattia Perin to a save in the 49th.

Lionel Messi then set up Mbappe down the right flank but the France forward, instead of sending the ball across to the unmarked Neymar, took his chance with a shot that went well wide.

What should have been a 3-0 turned into 2-1 when McKennie headed home from Filip Kostic’s cross, benefiting from Donnarumma’s ill-timed intervention, as the keeper came out but got nowhere near the ball, leaving the goal unguarded.

The Italy international, however, pulled off a brilliant save shortly afterwards to deny Dusan Vlahovic and was at it again later to block Manuel Locatelli’s attempt.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Toby Davis)