Imperious Mbappé scores twice as PSG beats Juventus 2-1

PARIS (AP) — Kylian Mbappé showed no respect to the Old Lady.

The PSG star striker scored two superb goals Tuesday as Paris Saint-Germain started its Champions League campaign with a dominant display in a 2-1 win over Juventus.

At 23 years and 260 days, Mbappé became the youngest player to score 35 goals in Europe’s top club competition, taking the record away from his teammate Lionel Messi, who was 47 days older when...

READ MORE

PARIS (AP) — Kylian Mbappé showed no respect to the Old Lady.

The PSG star striker scored two superb goals Tuesday as Paris Saint-Germain started its Champions League campaign with a dominant display in a 2-1 win over Juventus.

At 23 years and 260 days, Mbappé became the youngest player to score 35 goals in Europe’s top club competition, taking the record away from his teammate Lionel Messi, who was 47 days older when he reached that milestone.

PSG had never beaten Juventus in eight previous meetings.

But their last matchup dated back to 1997, and the tide has now turned in favor of the French league champions and their armada of world-class players.

Mbappé and his teammates were in total control throughout the first half, with Neymar and Messi putting on an exquisite show of dribbles and passes.

Juventus had a good 10-minute spell in the second half after American midfielder Weston McKennie pulled one back, ensuring a tense finale. PSG’s defense appeared nervous toward the end but resisted the pressure.

Benfica beat Maccabi Haifa 2-0 in Group H’s other match.

Amid a fiery atmosphere as PSG ultras let off flares, the hosts immediately dominated possession.

PSG threatened down the left side with Nuno Mendes’ pace and dribbles and broke the deadlock just five minutes into the game. An inspired Neymar delivered a flicked ball over the Juventus defense into the path of Mbappé’s run, who fired an instant right-footed volley into the back of the net.

Weakened by injuries, Juventus tried to respond on the break but Dusan Vlahovic and Arkadiusz Milik had only a few balls in the box.

Having joined from PSG bitter rival Marseille during the offseason, Milik had a great chance in the 19th minute when he connected with a cross, only to see his header from close range parried away by PSG ’keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

PSG doubled its lead soon after at the conclusion of a fine move of one-touch football ignited by Marco Verratti. Making the most of the spaces in Juventus’ backline, the Italy midfielder rolled the ball to Mbappé, who played a one-two with Achraf Hakimi in the box before firing past Mattia Perin with another precise volley.

Mbappé has now scored 29 Champions League goals in a PSG jersey which is just one short of Edinson Cavani’s club record.

“He played a great game with two great goals,” PSG coach Christophe Galtier said. “I’m very happy with his game, and when our three attacking players are connected like that, and with the wing backs, our play is lively and alert — and that’s very dangerous for our opponents.”

PSG continued its dominance after the interval, but Mbappé made a poor choice in the 51st when he raced into the penalty area and decided to try his luck — missing the target — instead of passing the ball to Neymar, who was free at the back post.

A mistake from Donnarumma then gave Juventus hope of snatching a point. The Italy goalkeeper misjudged a cross from the left and was too far away from his line and off balance when McKennie jumped higher than defenders to head the ball home.

The goal swung the momentum for a few minutes and the visitors came close to an equalizer as Vlahovic’s header forced Donnarumma into a diving save. PSG was under pressure in the final 10 minutes and Manuel Locatelli almost made the most of a mistake from Nordi Mukiele.

“We have things to work on. That’s normal, it’s the Champions League,” Mbappe said. “If it were easy, we would have already won it.”

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © 2022 . All rights reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.