PSG will not sign a flawless contract this Champions League season. Christophe Galtier’s men only managed to recover a draw from the away match against Benfica Lisbon, when there was room to win after a much better controlled second half (1-1). Broken before half-time, the Parisians had found the net thanks to Lionel Messi, but poor Danilo Pereira put the Portuguese back in the game with an own goal. Upon arrival, nothing has yet been done in this Champions League group H, where first place should be played next week, at the Parc des Princes.
The cheat sheet: Not that bad
5 HOURS AGO
It was hot. In this unexpected clash between two teams that haven’t given up much this season yet, the Parisians could have won. But they could also have lost. Because it is an understatement to say that Benfica arrived at this meeting much better, exerting high pressure that stood in the way of the capital’s club for several minutes. Cut in two, the Parisian team gave clear chances, relying on the exploits of Gianluigi Donnarumma not to sink (8th, 14th, 18th). The Italian goalkeeper on Wednesday night was flawless and no one can blame him.
The jewel of Messi
Catastrophic at first, PSG nevertheless had the good idea of flooding an entire stadium on the first inspiration of their magical trio. After an almost one-touch combination, Neymar threw Lionel Messi for an unstoppable curling shot (0-1, 22). This open result had the desired effect: Benfica took a nice header and were much less enterprising afterwards.
Christophe Galtier players took the opportunity to gradually increase their mastery, despite a new save by Donnarumma against Antonio Silva (37th). PSG’s last bastion was finally betrayed by Danilo Pereira, who came close to an excellent cross from Enzo Fernandez to bring the two teams back on par just before half-time (1-1, 42nd).
Vlachodimos frustrated Paris
It was then believed that Benfica were back on the pitch at their best moment, just before entering the locker room. But the Parisians are back on the pitch with a mood much more in line with their ambitions. Higher up, finally at ease in midfield, PSG created frank situations, and it was Odysséas Vlachodimos’ turn to take out the warm-up blues.
Lionel Messi (PSG) in defense of Benfica Lisbon
Credit: Getty Images
The Lisbon goalkeeper made decisive saves (49th, 55th, 61st, 69th) to respond to Donnarumma from distance. He was also successful when Neymar found the bar on a very inspired scissor (49th). In addition to falling on a wall, Parisian strikers were sometimes sloppy, like a clumsy Kylian Mbappé and a very nervous Neymar. Messi has shown himself to his advantage and, paradoxically, is the only one of the three to have been replaced.
Benfica will have existed very little in the second act, even if Donnarumma had one last stop to go out against Rafa Silva (81st). It would not have been a hindrance given the general physiognomy of the match, and we will therefore have to wait to find out more about the fate of this group H. We will be able to see the glass half empty, saying that PSG signs a second draw this season, while a success it wasn’t far. We can see it just as easily half full, as the capital club will have the advantage of receiving the rematch next week. And another shock that promises to be even hotter.
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