Benfica 1-1 Paris Saint-Germain: PSG Held By Benfica Player ratings as Despite Lionel Messi Stunner


Paris Saint-Germain remain top of Group H, but only on goals scored after they could not find a winner against Benfica.

Lionel Messi set another UEFA Champions League record but it was not enough for Paris Saint-Germain to beat Benfica, who clinched a 1-1 draw.

Neymar and Kylian Mbappe combined smartly in the 22nd minute to allow Messi to curl in and become the first player to score against 40 teams in the Champions League.

However, Danilo Pereira clumsily headed Enzo Fernandez’s cross into his own net to restore parity at the Estadio da Luz.

Although PSG had more chances in the second half, boss Christophe Galtier missed out on becoming the third manager in the club’s history to win his first three Champions League games, even as his side remain top of Group H on goals scored.

Gianluigi Donnarumma was the busier of the two goalkeepers early on and made important stops to deny Goncalo Ramos and David Neres as Benfica eclipsed the first changes.

Yet it was PSG who took the lead, their fearsome attacking trident combing before Messi combined with a sublime finish into the left corner to make it 1-0 and become the first player to score against 40 different teams in the Champions League. process.

Just before half-time, however, Benfica equalized when Fernandez’s teasing cross was headed into Pereira’s own net.

PSG hit the woodwork just after the break, Neymar curling a header off the top of the bar after Odisseas Vlachodimos parried Achraf Hakimi’s shot.

The Benfica goalkeeper again denied Neymar and Hakimi but saved his best stop for last when he kept Kylian Mbappe’s long-range effort from finding the top corner.

Player ratings Benfica  vs PSG – Champions League

Benfica – 1

Odysseas Vlachodimos – 7 – Like his opposite number, he was called into action on multiple occasions, most notably from Hakimi and Mbappé. His finger-tip save from the latter was the perfect blend of thatetricality and practicality. There was nothing he could have done about Messi’s brilliant opener, which was way out of his reach.

Álex Grimaldo – 5

António Silva – 7

Nicólas Otamendi – 7 – Along with his centre-back partner, the former Manchester City man did an excellent job at keeping PSG’s dangerous front line relatively quiet. Apart from one mishit backpass, it was a largely flawless and experienced performance from the veteran.

Alexander Bah – 6

Florentino Luís – 6

Enzo Fernández – 6 – Perhaps lucky to have stayed on the pitch following a clumsy late challenge on Verratti. Had that challenge been made in Ligue 1 rather than the Champions League, the consequences would likely have been more severe.

Joao Mário – 5

Rafa Silva – 6

David Neres – 6

Gonçalo Ramos – 5

Others:Draxler (5), Aursnes (5), Pinho (N/A)

Paris Saint-Germain – 1

Gianluigi Donnarumma – 7 – A fine shot-stopping performance from the Italian ‘keeper. WIth his defence repeatedly being cut open, he was called upon more than Christophe Galtier would have liked. On four occasions, he pulled out important stops, the most impressive of which was from Neres mid-way through the first-half.

Danilo Pereira – 3 – Like all of PSG’s back-line Danilo endured a difficut first half. Troubled by the intense high-press deployed by Benfica, he was forced into minor errors as the away side struggled to build from the back and maintain possession. He was responsible for gifting Benfica the equaliser towards the end of the first-half, deflecting a sumptuous in-swinging cross past a helpless Donnarumma.

Marquinhos – 4

Sergio Ramos – 4

Nuno Mendes – 6

Marco Verratti – 5 – He, like his midfield partner, failed to exert the level of control that they often do on the game. Especially during the first quarter of the encounter, the game seemed to pass both of them by. Whilst things improved, and he did show some nice touches that allowed PSG to break through the lines, he didn’t reach his usual high levels, and the rest of the team suffered as a result.

Vitinha – 5

Achraf Hakimi – 5

Lionel Messi – 7 – A good performance from the Argentinian, who opened the scoring with a sumptuous curling effort from a move which he himself breathed life into. He looked the most creative and involved of PSG’s front there, although like all of PSG’s players on the night, he was also susceptible to lapses of concentration. One such lapse came at a key moment when, having been played through, he failed to sufficiently control a simple pass, with the ball running through to the goalkeeper.

Neymar – 6

Kylian Mbappé – 4 – The worst of PSG’s famous MNM on the night. He failed to have a large impact on the game and was culpable of some dangerous stray passes in the first half in particular. Given how open the game was during that period, he was lucky not to have been punished further for those mistakes. A clumsy first touch in the dying stages of the match characterised the Frenchman’s unmemorable return to the starting line-up.

Others: Bernat (5), Sarabia (N/A), Ruiz (N/A)

Player of the Match – MESSI

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