PSG vs Juventus 2-1: Bianconeri Wake Up Late

Juventus left the Parc des Princes with a few regrets in their Champions League seasonal debut as they succumbed 1-2 to Paris Saint-Germain and their stars on Tuesday.

The Bianconeri were trailing by two goals at the end of the first half, courtesy of a brace from Kylian Mbappé. However, they managed to pull one back with Weston McKennie and even came close to get an equalizer.

Considering how the first half had ended, Massimiliano Allegri can be happy with his side’s reaction, even though the Old Lady continue to be far from their best possible version.

Allegri could not count on Angel Di Maria as the former PSG player picked up an injury last Friday against Fiorentina. Wojciech Szczesny, Paul Pogba, and Federico Chiesa were not available either – but that is not recent news.

The Bianconeri coach lined up his side with a back three for the first time this season with Bremer, Leonardo Bonucci, and Danilo playing in defense. Juan Cuadrado and Filip Kostic covered the wingback positions, while Adrien Rabiot, Leandro Paredes (another ex-PSG…), and the young Fabio Miretti featured in the middle of the park. Upfront, Dusan Vlahovic and Arek Milik started together for the first time.

Christophe Galtier’s answer to that consisted of three names: Neymar, Leo Messi, and Kylian Mbappé. Enough said.

Neymar and Mbappé cooperated on five minutes already to put the French in the driving seat. The Brazilian’s chip pass for KM was brilliant, and so was the Frenchman’s right-foot volley. Poor Mattia Perin had no answer.

Juventus attempted a reaction but their good intentions ended with a Milik header that called Gianluigi Donnarumma to action. Kostic pounced on the rebound but his conclusion was off target. That was all the Bianconeri could show until half time. 

And so, it was sort of a child’s play for PSG to find their second goal. On 22 minutes, Mbappé finalized a lightning-fast exchange with Achraf Hakimi. His sharp left-foot shot beat Perin for the second time and steered the match into a clear direction.

After that, the Parisiens slowed down the match tempo and seemed comfortable with just preserving their double lead. When the referee blew for half time, PSG’s superiority seemed disarming.

And still, the Old Lady came back to the pitch with a different mindset and put up more of a fight. Allegri’s key move was replacing Miretti with McKennie. The American midfielder gave a new hope to the Bianconeri with a winning header on 53 minutes, taking advantage of an untimely exit from Donnarumma. 

Just two minutes later, the Azzurri goalkeeper did much better as he pushed back a Vlahovic header from close range. Juventus were different now, even though PSG continued to be dangerous every time they crossed the midfield line.

Manuel Locatelli eventually replaced Milik and came close to draw level but it also took a super save from Perin from a Neymar shot to maintain the score at 1-2. All in all, there were no doubts about PSG’s win and superiority but Juventus appeared much more confident in the second part of the game. That is the one piece of good news from which they will need to restart their European campaign. 



September 6, 2022 – Champions 2022-2023 Group H

SCORERS: 6′ Mbappè (P), 23′ Mbappè (P), 53′ McKennie (J)

PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN (3-4-1-2): Donnarumma; Sergio Ramos, Marquinhos, Kimpembe; Hakimi (78′ Mukiele), Vitinha (78′ Danilo Pereira), Verratti (86′ Renato Sanches), Nuno Mendes; Messi (84′ Soler); Mbappé, Neymar (Keylor Navas, Ekitike, Rico,  Bernat, Ruiz, Sarabia) Coach: Galtier
JUVENTUS (3-5-2): Perin; Bremer, Bonucci, Danilo; Cuadrado (74′ De Sciglio), Rabiot (87′ Kean), Paredes, Miretti (46′ McKennie), Kostic; Vlahovic, Milik (68′ Locatelli) (Pinsoglio, Rugani, Fagioli, Soulé, Garofani, Gatti, Alex Sandro) Coach: Allegri
REFEREE: Mr. Taylor (England)
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Sergio Ramos, Verratti (P), Bremer, Miretti, Danilo (J); Extra Time: 1st Half 2′, 2nd Half 3′
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