In what was a heavyweight showdown on Tuesday night, PSG opened their Champions League adventure with a 2-1 victory against Juventus in the French capital.
While Les Parisiens might have faced a tough opening test at the Parc des Princes here, Kylian Mbappe’s empathic first-half brace wrapped up an eye-catching win for the defending Ligue 1 champions.
Although second-half substitute Weston McKennie might have halved the deficit just eight minutes after the restart, it is hard to argue that Christophe Galtier’s side were not a worthy winner in their Group H opener.
With their sights now firmly set on making real history in Paris this season, what did we learn from Tuesday’s stacked Champions League showdown?
Mbappe is the man
While there might have been much speculation over recent months regarding the off-field relationship between PSG’s iconic attacking trio, those potential issues don’t appear to have impacted their chemistry on the pitch.
With Mbappe opening the scoring after just five minutes thanks to a sublime volley following Neymar’s smart flick, the French international has only underlined his status as one of Europe’s real superstars.
Handing PSG a 2-0 lead heading into the break after producing another moment of brilliance midway through the first-half, Mbappe finds himself in the midst of another remarkable purple patch.
Although it might have appeared all but certain that the 23-year-old would be making the blockbuster move to Real Madrid this summer, the World Cup-winner has opened the 2022/23 campaign with a flurry.
Heading into Tuesday’s showdown at the Parc des Princes by bagging another brace in PSG’s 3-0 romp away at Nantes last weekend, Mbappe has now notched up nine strikes in just his opening six appearances.
PSG are a force to be reckoned with
While defending Premier League champions Manchester City might have opened their own Champions League run with a thumping 4-0 victory away at Sevilla, PSG also find themselves tipped as a leading pick by many.
Failing to make it past the round of 16 last season after falling to a 3-2 aggregate defeat against eventual winners Real Madrid, Galtier knows that his side must mount a real charge this time around.
Mustering 16 points from their opening six Ligue 1 appearances and quickly gaining a fearsome reputation for their free-scoring displays in the final third, the former Nice boss has gained plenty of plaudits.
With the attacking trio of Mbappe, Neymar and seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi already notching 17 domestic strikes between them, Les Parisiens have proven that they’re a force to be reckoned with.
Sharing Group H with Juve, Benfica and Israeli-based giants Maccabi Haifa, PSG should be looking to cruise their way to the knockout stage without suffering too much drama.
Pressure grows on Allegri
Although Juventus might have attempted to mount a second-half comeback in Paris after McKennie’s header halved the deficit eight minutes after the restart, it was another disappointing night for the Old Lady.
While the Italian heavyweights might have managed to drag themselves to a top-four finish last season, it appears that there is some growing pressure on Massimiliano Allegri’s
Despite missing some key first-team players on their trip to the Parc des Princes here, some fans around Turin have grown frustrated by the 55-year-old’s approach.
Making the trip to France on Tuesday night coming off the back of another 1-1 draw away at Fiorentina, Juve have struggled to find top gear since opening up the 2022/23 campaign.
In fact, along with having to settle for a single point in three of their previous four Serie A appearances, their midweek defeat here also means that the former Italian champions have won just one of their last five matchups across all competitions.
PSG: Donnarumma, Ramos, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Hakimi, Verratti, Vitinha, Mendes, Messi, Neymar, Mbappe
Subs: Mukiele, Sanches, Danilo, Soler
Juventus: Perin, Nascimento, Bonucci, Danilo, Cuadrado, Rabiot, Paredes, Miretti, Kostic, Vlahovic, Milik
Subs: Kean, McKennie, De Sciglio, Locatelli
Goals: PSG: Mbappe (5′, 22′) – Juventus: McKennie (53′)
Yellow Cards: PSG: Verratti, Ramos – Juventus: Danilo, Nascimento, Miretti
Red Cards: N/A
Referee: Anthony Taylor
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