Mbappe’s first half brace proves decisive in Champions League opener
Football

Mbappe’s first half brace proves decisive in Champions League opener


Paris Saint-Germain held off a Juventus fightback to claim first blood in Champions League Group H, winning 2-1 courtesy of a first half brace from Kylian Mbappe.

Mbappe now has nine goals to his name in only six appearances so far this season and needed only five minutes to open his account in Europe for the season.

The PSG superstar, who admitted before the game to having a hot and cold relationship with Neymar, found his Brazilian teammate with an incisive pass infield and proceeded to surge into the box. Neymar returned the favour with a scooped through ball over the defenders and Mbappe gladly took the invitation by lashing a volley past Mattia Perin.

Mbappe’s second came midway through the first half, this time assisted by Achraf Hakimi and firing low to the left of the goal from just inside the penalty area.

The 23-year-old could have had a hat-trick early in the second half as he raced clear down the right and veered towards the goal. But the resultant shot could only find the side netting. His critics were given some ammo, though, as he declined to square it to Neymar in a better position to finish.

That was only a few minutes before Juventus got back into it through Weston McKennie. The American was a half-time substitute for the visitors and made a game of it when he connected with Filip Kostic’s swinging cross from the left to score a fine header.

But there was to be no comeback from Juventus. Ultimately neither side created enough clear cut chances to warrant scoring more goals and it ended up being decided by those first 22 minutes.

Elsewhere in Group H, Benfica began with a 2-0 win over Maccabi Haifa that puts them top of the standings at the end of matchday one. PSG go second, with Juventus third.



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