With the Champions League knockout stage getting underway on Tuesday night, PSG picked up an early advantage at the Parc des Princes as they snatched a last-gasp 1-0 win against Real Madrid.
In a showdown between two European heavyweights, it was Kylian Mbappe who saved the day for Mauricio Pochettino’s men as the French superstar produced a sublime finish in the 94th-minute to top off a stunning individual display.
Making the trip out to Spain in a fortnight’s time knowing that they’re sat in pole position, it is hard to argue that Les Parisiens were not a more than worthy winner on Tuesday night.
Coming past a Real Madrid team that boasted seven Champions League winners in their starting XI, we have taken a look at the key talking points from the Parc des Princes.
Mbappe steals the show
With continued links over recent months that Kylian Mbappe will be making the move to Real Madrid this summer, there is no doubt that all eyes were on the 23-year-old in midweek.
Bagging a late winner against Rennes on Ligue 1 duties last weekend as PSG landed another last-gasp 1-0 win on home soil, the French superstar put in a real Man of the Match display on Tuesday night.
Giving Dani Carvajal a roasting and forcing the Spanish defender to bring him down for Les Parisiens’ second-half penalty, Mbappe only underlined why Los Blancos are allegedly willing to break the bank on him this summer.
With Mbappe’s current deal in Paris expiring at the end of the season, the one-time Monaco starlet really sent the home support into overdrive with a fantastic solo effort seconds before the final whistle.
Cutting inside Éder Militão and Lucas Vázquez before slotting underneath the impressive Thibaut Courtois late in injury-time, the World Cup-winner finds himself enjoying another purple patch in front of goal.
Showing Los Blanos what they could get this summer, Mbappe has now racked up 22 goals across all competitions this season and is leading the chase for PSG’s Golden Boot.
Messi gets out of jail
While Mbappe might have been mopped by his teammates after slotting home his last-gasp winner, a certain Lionel Messi would have undoubtedly been the most relieved man in the Parc des Princes.
Claiming a seventh Ballon d’Or crown last year, many around Europe were expecting the former Barcelona icon to come back and once again haunt his old enemy on Tuesday night.
However, failing to get any real foothold in proceedings, the El Classico’s all-time goalscorer almost became public enemy number one in Paris after he wasted a golden opportunity from 12 yards out.
Watching Carvajal bring down Mbappe with a rash challenge on the hour mark, Messi’s weak spot-kick was palmed away by Courtois and almost epitomized a poor night from the south American superstar.
While the 34-year-old might still have his sights firmly set on guiding PSG to a maiden Champions League crown this season, it is fair to say that he has struggled to adjust to life away from the Nou Camp.
Aside from finding the net against Lille earlier in the month, that is the only strike that Messi has recorded in his last seven appearances across all competitions.
Late heartbreak for Los Blancos
Failing to pick up any real momentum last weekend and having to settle for a 0-0 stalemate away at Villarreal, Real Madrid made the trip out to Paris on Tuesday night as the feel of a side seeking a boost.
Watching their La Liga buffer get slashed down to four points, Los Blancos largely failed to impress on what was billed as a crucial night for returning Head Coach Carlo Ancelotti.
While Madrid might have shocked many as they welcomed attacking talisman Karim Benzema back from a hamstring injury here, the Spanish giants failed to ask any real questions of Gianluigi Donnarumma’s goal.
Despite having a stacked bench that included the likes of Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale, the former Everton boss could have had few complaints after watching Mbappe’s last-gasp winner.
Leaving the Parc des Princes without mustering a single shot on target, there is no doubt that Real Madrid will know that they need a far more clinical display when they welcome PSG to the Santiago Bernabéu in a fortnight’s time.
Sadly for Tuesday’s guests, they will be without both Ferland Mendy and Casemiro for their second-leg showdown in Madrid as both picked up costly bookings here.
PSG: Donnarumma, Hakimi, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Mendes, Pereira, Paredes, Verratti, Di Maria, Messi, Mbappe
Subs: Neymar, Gueye
Real Madrid: Courtois, Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy, Modric, Casemiro, Kroos, V. Junior, Benzema, Asensio
Subs: Bale, Hazard, Valverde, Lucas, Rodrygo
Goals: Mbappe 90+4′
Yellow Cards: PSG: Verratti, Danilo, Kimpembe, Paredes – Real Madrid: Rodrygo, Mendy, Militao, Casemiro
Red Cards: N/A
Referee: Daniele Orsato
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