PSG cruised past Maccabi Haifa 7-2 on Tuesday at the Parc des Princes to advance easily to the Champions League quarterfinals with goals from Lionel Messi (2), Kylian Mbappe (2) and Neymar (1).
Three of the hosts’ top attackers scored in the first 35 minutes to give the home team a commanding 3-0 lead. The first half’s impressive offensive display was capped off by another sublime goal from Messi right before halftime.
Mbappe scored his second of the game with a curling shot in the second half, and own goals from Maccabi’s Sean Goldberg and Carlos Soler, who came on as a substitute, finished off the rout.
Already this season, Messi has matched his goal total from his disappointing first season in Paris, France, with 11 goals and 12 assists for PSG across all competitions.
PSG won the corresponding match, 3-1, in Israel last month, with goals from Messi, Mbappe, and Neymar. Up until Goldberg’s own goal on Tuesday, a member of the “MNM” had scored all 19 of PSG’s Champions League goals in a row dating back to last season. If you are football sports fan then you may be also interested in Manchester City vs. Brighton match details.
“I watched the guys enjoy themselves, and that’s very essential,” PSG coach Christophe Galtier said of his team’s 4-3-3 formation. I had to consider how the system could be crucial, given that we had three great players up front, and how they should be given the most freedom to showcase their talents.
It’s great fun to watch them play every day while training them. Paradise, if you’re a coach. Maccabi Haifa defender Abdoulaye Seck scored twice with headers off corners, indicating a temporary defensive vulnerability.
However, the outcome was never in doubt, and PSG easily advanced to the final round of the Champions League. Despite being tied with Benfica on 11 points, Galtier’s squad has a comfortable lead thanks to their superior goal differential.
Next week, PSG will go to Juventus for the final round of group play knowing that a draw or better would be enough to tie Benfica for first place in the group ahead of Maccabi Haifa.
Maccabi suffered a crushing defeat, but they are still tied with Juve for third place and will enter their final game with Europa League hopes still intact. It took Paris Saint-Germain a bit on Tuesday to find their offensive groove, but once they did, they were unstoppable.
Messi opened the scoring with a beautiful outside-of-the-foot strike in the 19th minute after being set up by Mbappe on the left side of the penalty box. The French forward’s first goal was just as elegant, as Mbappe bent a right-footed shot past Maccabi goalie Josh Cohen in the 32nd minute.
Just three minutes later, things became really bad for Maccabi when Mbappe and Messi worked together to set up Neymar, whose shot hit the post and went in.
After Seck scored off a header off a free kick by Omer Atzili with no defenders on him, Messi made it 4-1 with a ball to Neymar, a drop of the shoulder, and a low effort into the corner with his left foot.
Seck scored for Maccabi after PSG failed to properly clear a corner and the Israeli side capitalized with a looping header over PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.
The away fans were ecstatic, but PSG quickly switched into high gear and caused havoc. In the 64th minute, Mbappe scored after receiving a diagonal pass from Achraf Hakimi and finishing with a precise touch. In a moment when Maccabi had given up hope, Neymar’s dribble and low cross resulted in an own goal by Goldberg. If you are interested you can also read about the Spurs vs. Timberwolves match details.
Messi who had his bid for a record-extending ninth Champions League hat trick blocked by the crossbar then set up Soler, who finished the scoring with a low shot.
The weather in Paris was perfect for our visit. A Maccabi defender Dylan Batubinsika said that even a momentary lapse in focus from the opposition would give the other team a good chance to score.
“We scored twice today, which is encouraging, and we still have a shot at third place in the group.”
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