Champions League last 16 first leg, Parc des Princes – PSG 1 (Mbappe 90+3′) Real Madrid 0
Kylian Mbappe struck a sensational last-gasp winner as Paris Saint-Germain claimed a 1-0 victory over Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League Last 16 tie.
The France star, who continues to be linked with a move to the Spanish giants, produced a moment of magic to skip beyond two and flash home his 22nd goal of the campaign.
It came after Real had threatened to hang on for an unlikely stalemate with the impressive Thibaut Courtois keeping out Lionel Messi’s 62nd minute penalty.
The hosts dictated from the start with Mbappe the most dangerous of the French outfit’s all-star forward line.
The 23-year-old created an early chance that Angel Di Maria blazed over before seeing his own shot brilliantly blocked by Courtois.
Real rarely attacked and were forced to defend deep for long spells.
The hosts turned to Neymar 17 minutes from the end as he came off the bench to feature for the first time since injuring an ankle in November. The Brazilian showed glimpses of inspiration and it was his back heel that released Mbappe to surge in from the left and claim a crucial victory deep into stoppage time.
The teams will now reconvene for the second leg at the Bernabeu on March 9 with the tie still finely poised.
Mbappe spares Messi’s blushes. The France international has so often been hailed as the heir to Messi’s throne and this game was perhaps a sign of things to come. It was the younger star who looked the more threatening with Messi struggling to have the impact that has seen him shine on so many big Champions League occasions in the past. Indeed, Messi has made a habit of terrorising Real throughout his career but it looked like being a night for him to forget until Mbappe took centre stage
As for the tie overall, Real will be disappointed to concede so late in the day after somehow surviving while PSG may rue not making the most of their utter dominance. It’s still all to play for in the second leg with Madrid needing to offer much more in attack if they want to turn it around.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Kylian Mbappe (PSG). The striker set the tone by giving Carvajal a torrid time early in the contest and he won the penalty that Messi failed to convert. He was also denied by Courtois on a couple of occasions before stepping up and producing a moment of brilliance to give his side a deserved advantage heading to the Bernabeu.
PSG: Donnarumma 6, Hakimi 7, Marquinhos 7, Kimpembe 7, Nuno Mendes 7, Danilo Pereira 7, Paredes 8, Verratti 8, Di Maria 7, Messi 6, Mbappe 9. Subs: Neymar 7, Gueye n/a.
REAL MADRID: Courtois 8, Carvajal 6, Eder Militao 7, Alaba 7, Mendy 7, Modric 7, Casemiro 7, Kroos 6, Asensio 6, Benzema 6, Vinicius Junior 6. Subs: Rodrygo 6, Lucas 6, Hazard n/a, Valverde n/a, Bale n/a.
06’ – PSG CHANCE! Mbappe turns beautifully on the left and sends in a wonderful low ball towards Di Maria. A goal seems certain but the Argentine gets right under the ball and skies it over the top from eight yards out.
18’ – PSG CHANCE! Mbappe gets in-behind Carvajal and is one-on-one with Courtois but he can’t squeeze a bouncing ball beyond the keeper.
50’ – PSG CHANCE! A slick flurry of one-twos just outside the Real area ends with Mbappe unleashing a low drive towards the bottom corner that Courtois does so well to parry away.
62’ – PSG PENALTY SAVED! Messi steps up but sees his hard, low spot kick brilliantly kept out by Courtois. The penalty was awarded after Mbappe was brought down by Carvajal.
87’ – PSG CHANCE! That’s close! Neymar races after Messi’s flicked pass on the right of the area but can’t guide his dinked effort into the net from a tight angle.
90+3’ – GOAL! – PSG 1-0 Real Madrid. Mbappe takes Neymar’s back heel on the left, cuts past two and flashes a low shot between the legs of Courtois.