PSG won’t sign a flawless player in the Champions League this season. Christophe Galtier’s side only managed to get a draw from their trip to Benfica Lisbon when there was room for victory after a much better controlled second half (1-1). Scolded before the break, the Parisians had found the goal thanks to Lionel Messi, but poor Danilo Pereira put the Portuguese back in the game with an own goal. There is nothing going on on arrival in this Champions League Group H, where first place is due to be played next week at the Parc des Princes.
The cheat sheet: Not so bad
2 HOURS AGO
It was hot. The Parisians could have won in this unexpected clash between two sides who haven’t given up much this season. But you could also have lost. Because it is an understatement to say that Benfica came into this encounter much better and exerted high pressure that hampered the capital club for minutes. The divided Parisians missed clear chances and relied on the exploits of Gianluigi Donnarumma to avoid going under (8th, 14th, 18th). The Italy keeper was flawless on Wednesday night and nobody can blame him.
Disastrous at the start, PSG nevertheless had the bright idea of showering an entire stadium with the first inspiration of their magical trio. After an almost one-touch combination, Neymar brought Lionel Messi to an untenable curling shot (0-1, 22nd). That open goal had the desired effect: Benfica took a big blow to the head and were a lot less upbeat after that.
Christophe Galtier’s players took the opportunity to gradually increase their championship despite another save by Donnarumma against Antonio Silva (37th). The last PSG bastion was finally betrayed by Danilo Pereira, who leveled an excellent cross from Enzo Fernandez just before the break (1-1, 42nd).
Vlachodimos frustrates Paris
At the time it was believed Benfica had come back into the game at the best moment, just before entering the dressing room. But the Parisians returned to the field with a mindset much better suited to their ambitions. Higher up, finally in midfield, PSG created open situations and it was Odysséas Vlachodimos turn to win the warm-up blue.
Lionel Messi (PSG) in Benfica defense
Photo credit: Getty Images
The Lisbon goalkeeper made crucial saves (49′, 55′, 61′, 69′) to answer Donnarumma from distance. He was also successful when Neymar found the crossbar with a very ingenious pair of scissors (49th). Aside from crashing into a wall, the Paris attackers were harmless at times, like a clumsy Kylian Mbappé and a very nervous Neymar. Messi, he has shown himself to his advantage and, paradoxically, he is the only one of the three who has been substituted.
Benfica will have passed very little in the second act, although Donnarumma had an end stop against Rafa Silva (81st) to get out. Given the general physiognomy of the game, it would not have been an impediment and we must therefore wait to learn a little more about the fate of this Group H. We will be able to see the glass half empty by saying that PSG are signing a second draw this season while success was not far away. We might as well see it half full as the capital club have the advantage of taking revenge next week. And another shock that promises to get even hotter.
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