The capital club expected to experience a complicated evening in the boiling enclosure of Benfica Lisbon. And he was served, conceding his first points in C1 after two successes in two matches in Pool H. This trip to a team in full confidence after a start to the season without frills was a trap for the Parisian stars, certainly undefeated but still looking for balance, especially defensively. The scenario of the meeting only confirmed these fears.
Despite a magnificent opener, after a combination of the three stars Messi-Neymar-Mbappé concluded by Argentinian “La Pulga” (21st), Paris folded on a cross from Enzo Fernandez deflected into his own goal by the unfortunate Danilo Pereira ( 42nd). With this draw, PSG remain in very good position to climb to the round of 16, a stage of the competition with which they have been familiar since 2013. But the result is a new warning at no cost for the club under the Qatari flag which wants to be a natural candidate for the European coronation.
Donnarumma on top, Mbappé flop
One would have thought that the return of Marco Verratti, absent since September 18 for a calf injury, would change the face of Christophe Galtier’s training and strengthen the midfield. The Italian was valuable, as usual, but Paris suffered too many Portuguese waves to emerge unscathed from this first shock against Benfica, before the revenge scheduled for the Parc des Princes on Tuesday. It thus took several decisive interventions by Gianluigi Donnarumma to avoid catastrophe for the Parisians. The Italian goalkeeper seems to have regained his solidity.
Veteran Sergio Ramos (36) no longer exudes serenity. But beyond the defensive mistakes, it was above all the lack of opportunities on the Parisian side that was problematic. Apart from Messi’s goal, the “MNM” proved to be too little dangerous.
If Neymar executed a nice distant free kick (54th), Kylian Mbappé was not in a great evening. The world champion could have once again turned into a hero for PSG but he saw his curled shot deflected for a corner by Vlachodimos (69th). If they want to keep their provisional first place in the group, the Parisians will have to show another face next Tuesday, against this same team from Benfica, on behalf of the 4th day of the Champions League.