Friday, October 15, 2021

Champions League Football: Messi, Neymar, Mbappe Debut; PSG, Club Brugge draw

16 September (WNN) — Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe appeared in the same starting lineup for the first time, but the elite front line could not lead PSG to victory, a draw with Club Brugge in the Champions League group stage game.

French Ligue 1 power drew their Belgian Pro League foe to a 1-1 draw in a Group A match in Bruges, Belgium on Wednesday. Club Brugge beat PSG 16-9.

“We know these matches are difficult,” PSG goalkeeper Keeler Navas told reporters. “It’s a tournament in which all the teams know how to win and do their best.

“we see that [Wednesday]And it’s never easy, but we have to keep our heads up because we’re a good team and we can keep going. I try to help all my teammates and team. Of course, we would love to win this game, but we all need to improve individually in our areas and become more solid as a team to get better.”

Mbappe was ruled out of the field in the 51st minute with an ankle injury. He assisted PSG’s goal in the 15th minute. Messi made several close attempts, but will have to wait longer to register his first score with his new team.

Right wing Ander Herrera put PSG ahead at the start of the first half. Mbappe dribbled around a defender in the left side of the Club Brugge box at the start of that sequence.

Then he fired a cross in the middle of the box. Herrera ran into the area and used his first touch to fire a shot in front of Club Brugge goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.

Mbappe scored about 10 minutes later with a pass from Messi, but Mignolet blocked that effort.

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Club Brugge’s Hans Vancken equalized in the 27th minute. Left back Eduard Sobol scored a run towards the flag of the left corner to spark that score. He received a pass and sent another feed to the box. Wanken ran to the ball and hit a shot in the top left of the PSG goal.

Messi hit the crossbar in the 29th minute with another PSG shot in the net. Navas saved a free kick and a close breakaway effort in the first half.

Messi got the yellow card in the 72nd minute when he came late on a challenge. Each team fired close-by chances down the stretch, but could not make ends meet.

PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino told reporters that Mbappe “twisted” his ankle in the draw.

“It’s nice to have this squad together for the first time,” Pochettino said. “Players need to play together and get to know each other. Of course, it takes time to be solid and find the right balance to win the game.

“We are disappointed with the result and we need to improve performance, but there is still time to improve.”

PSG host Lyon in Paris on Sunday at 2:45pm EDT. They host Manchester City in another Champions League group stage game at the Parc des Princes stadium at 3 pm EDT 28.

Club Brugge battles Charleroi in the Belgian Pro League at 2:45 p.m. EDT on Saturday in Charleroi, Belgium. They will face RB Leipzig of the German Bundesliga in their next Champions League match at 3pm EDT on September 28 in Leipzig, Germany.

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