This year’s Champions League group of death has taken another major step forward as PSG host AC Milan in the French capital on Wednesday.
As expected, the standings in Group F are unlucky as no team managed to win both of the first two matches of the stage. Newcastle United lead the standings with four points, PSG are a point back in second and Milan a further point in third, but plenty of jockeying is still to be done.
PSG struggled to start the season at home without Lionel Messi or Neymar, but have turned things around and are unbeaten in their last four games. Still, defeat at Newcastle in their last Champions League game is a reminder that the path to the knockout stages is fraught with peril.
Milan have also had their share of hiccups this season, falling to Juventus last time out to fall off the top of Serie A, and their two draws in European competition up to this point have proved both good and bad.
PSG Player Rating
Gianluigi Donnarumma (7/10): Almost embarrassed himself with an awkward headed clearance early in the second half. Made a couple of important saves.
Achraf Hakimi (6/10): Had trouble with the lively Leao in the first half, and wasn’t at his best going forward, either.
Marquinhos (8/10): Handled Olivier Giroud reasonably well, and progressed the ball effectively. A commanding presence at the back.
Milan Skriniar (7/10): A steady night. Won most of his aerial duels, and kept things tidy.
Lucas Hernandez (7/10): A solid showing at left-back. Kept Christian Pulisic quiet for long stretches, and supported Mbappe well on the wing.
Manuel Ugarte (6/10): Held down the middle effectively, even if a silly foul of his saw a goal ruled out. Got a deserved rest for the last 20 minutes or so.
Vitinha (7/10): Nearly had an assist, only to see a goal ruled out. Connected with the front line, and put in plenty of legwork, too. He’s been much improved this year.
Warren Zaire-Emery (8/10): His lung-busting run through the midfield helped create the first goal. Won the ball back regularly, and kept things ticking in the middle. Picked up three assists. Quickly becoming one of the world’s best young talents.
Ousmane Dembele (6/10): Thought he had his first PSG goal, but saw it ruled out. Was otherwise wasteful in the final third. It’s not quite working out for him in Paris — yet.
Randal Kolo Muani (7/10): Couldn’t really miss from close range to open his PSG Champions League account. Was otherwise full of movement and pace. Seems to have the centre-forward spot nailed down.
Kylian Mbappe (8/10): Scored a signature goal to give his side a 1-0 lead. Was a constant threat throughout, and could have easily added one or two more.