PSG 7-2 Maccabi Haifa: Player Rating as Mbappe and Messi at the double as PSG secure last-16 place


Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Neymar were all on target as PSG sealed their place in the Champions League last 16 with a match to spare.

Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi scored twice as Paris Saint-Germain marched through to the UEFA Champions League knockout stages with a 7-2 win over Maccabi Haifa.

Neymar was also on target to help Christophe Galtier’s side book their place in the last 16 with a game to spare.

Sean Goldberg’s own goal and a late Carlos Soler strike completed a commanding victory at Parc des Princes, where PSG remain unbeaten after 90 minutes since their 2-1 defeat by Manchester City in the 2020-21 semi-finals.

Abdoulaye Seck’s brace of headers proved academic for Maccabi, whose attentions now turn to fighting for the UEFA Europa League after confirming their exit from Group H.

PSG broke the deadlock in the 19th minute when the persistent Mbappe poked the ball to Messi, who beautifully slotted past Josh Cohen with the outside boot from 12 yards.

Mbappe doubled the lead 13 minutes later from a similar position; the French forward curled brilliantly into the far corner after the ball took a kindly deflection and Neymar made it 3-0 when he tucked Messi’s through ball after a devastating counter-attack.

The visitors pulled one back when Seck headed in Omer Atzili’s free-kick, but the hosts quickly restored their three-goal cushion as Messi swept home a trademark 20-yard effort.

Seck grabbed his second by looping a header over Gianluigi Donnarumma five minutes after the restart, becoming the first defender to score twice against PSG since Julian Palmieri for Bastia in January 2015.

The hosts soon regained control, however, as Mbappe superbly curled past Cohen from Achraf Hakimi’s deep cross, before Goldberg turned Neymar’s centre beyond his own goalkeeper.

The crossbar denied Messi a hat-trick, but the Argentina star provided a neat lay-off for Soler to round off a dominant display six minutes from time.

Paris Saint-Germain ratings vs Maccabi Haifa – Champions League

1. PSG (4-3-3)

Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos
Still strange, isn’t it? / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

GK: Gianluigi Donnarumma – 5/10 – Made a mess of the free-kick that allowed Maccabi to score; too indecisive.

RB: Achraf Hakimi – 5/10 – Lost his balance when bursting into the box to latch onto Neymar pass after the break. A chance you’d have expected him to do better with.

CB: Sergio Ramos – 5/10 – Still dusting off the cobwebs. An important presence, but not his best performance.

CB: Marquinhos – 6/10 – Improved as the game went on and showed his athleticism.

LB: Juan Bernat – 6/10 – Fired a handful of nice passes into midfield and linked up well with Mbappe.

CM: Fabian Ruiz – 7/10 – A confident performance. Ruiz burst forward to join attacks efficiently and caused havoc in the penalty area with his runs from deep.

CM: Vitinha – 6/10 – Continues to grow in confidence after a slow start in Paris.

CM: Renato Sanches – 6/10 – Perhaps playing him and Vitinha in the same game isn’t the brightest idea, particularly without Marco Verratti behind them. The midfield lacked defensive security.

RW: Lionel Messi – 10/10 – Genius finish to open the scoring, which set the tone for an unforgettable night. Regardless of the opposition, Messi was at his unplayable best. Absolutely immense. Perhaps his best performance in a PSG shirt to date.

ST: Kylian Mbappe – 8/10 – Supreme composure to settle a tricky ball and pick out Messi for the opener. Had to get on the scoresheet himself, though, and did it in majestic style.

LW: Neymar – 9/10 – The glue that knits PSG together right now. Exerted passion and an incredible vision, but also threw in a few touches of his signature flair. Joyous.

SUB: Carlos Soler (68′ for Sanches) – 7/10 – Bagged his first goal for the club off the bench.

SUB: Warren Zaire-Emery (79′ for Vitinha) – N/A

SUB: Hugo Ekitike (79′ for Mbappe) – N/A

SUB: Presnel Kimpembe (79′ for Marquinhos) – N/A

SUB: Pablo Sarabia (83′ for Ruiz) – N/A

Manager: Christophe Galtier – 9/10 – Respected the opponents who didn’t go down without a fight, but what’s more impressive is how Galtier has got his front three firing. It’s electric, and that’s with all the Mbappe drama that won’t go away.

Player of the Match – Lionel Messi

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