Messi, Mbappe on target as PSG make Champions League comeback
- PSG played Israeli side Maccabi Haifa in the Champions League on Wednesday in Israel
- PSG had to come from behind as Maccabi scored the opening goal in the match
- Lionel Messi, Neymar and Mbappe were all on target to make sure PSG sealed the three points
PSG trio Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar Jr were all on the scoresheet as Paris Saint-Germain came from behind to beat Maccabi Haifa 3-1 in the Champions League on Wednesday night.
Tjaronn Chery gave the Israeli outfit hope of a famous victory when he shouldered home from close range in the 24th minute.
But the French champions responded well to that early setback and pulled level before the break when Messi stucked home following fine work by Mbappe.
Kylian Mbappe then put the visitors ahead and Neymar then sealed the three points late on as PSG made it two wins from two in Group H following last week’s victory over Juventus.
Josh Cohen denied a clean-through Mbappe after just 70 seconds, while at the other end Gianluigi Donnarumma got down well to keep out Mohammad Abu Fani’s attempt in the ninth minute.
Maccabi stunned the Ligue 1 giants shortly after the midway point of the first half when Chery stole in at the back post to volley home Dolev Haziza’s superb cross from six yards.
PSG restored parity eight minutes before the interval, though, when Messi clipped home from close range after Mbappe’s low cross from the left had been deflected into his path.
Frantzdy Pierrot squandered a golden opportunity to put Maccabi ahead again early in the second half, the forward narrowly directing Pierre Cornud’s cross past the post.
Messi was denied by a wonderful save from Cohen, but there was nothing the Maccabi goalkeeper could do to keep out Mbappe in the 69th minute as the 23-year-old curled past him after latching onto Messi’s pass.
Neymar then put the seal on the victory two minutes from full-time when he latched onto Marco Verratti’s ball over the top and fired a crisp finish past Cohen.
Neymar’s late goal gave the scoreline a PSG look, but Christophe Galtier’s side were pushed all the way by their less illustrious opponents.
The victory ended a run of five away games in the Champions League without success for the Ligue 1 champions, who have started their Group H campaign in good shape.
Messi’s goal saw him move clear of long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo as the player to have scored against the highest number of opponents in the Champions League – Maccabi Haifa becoming the 39th. It also meant he became the first player in history to score in 18 different Champions League seasons.
With the goal, Mbappe has now scored 30 goals in 46 Champions League games for PSG, taking him level with Edinson Cavani as the club’s highest scorer in the competition.
Both sides will be back in domestic action on Sunday, with PSG away to Lyon and Maccabi visiting Hapoel Jerusalem.