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UEFA Champions League

Messi, Neymar & Mbappe Silenced In PSG's UCL Opener

Lionel Messi's first start for Paris Saint-Germain did not go as planned as they dropped points in their UEFA Champions League opener on Wednesday night.

UEFA Champions League

Result: Club Brugge 1-1 Paris Saint-Germain

Date: 15 September 2021

Venue: Jan Breydelstadion

The Argentine star made his first start for the French club, replacing Rafinha in a three-man attack that also featured Mbappe and Neymar.

The sides were evenly matched in the opening stages but PSG took the lead in the 15th minute through a piece of individual brilliance from Kylian Mbappe. They worked it quickly down the left, with Mbappe dummying to cross and then going on the outside of his marker, before drilling a low cross into the box, which Ander Herrera met with a cultured left foot to put into Simon Mignolet's bottom right-hand corner with the former Liverpool keeper getting a hand to it on its way in.

Brugge equalised shortly before the half-hour mark. Edouard Sobol found space down the left and cut the ball back for Hans Vanaken, who ran onto it and side-footed via a slight deflection off Presnell Kimpembe into the back of Keylor Navas' net.

Soon after, Messi went agonisingly close to giving PSG the lead. He was given far too much time and space on the edge of the box and cut onto his left foot, before unleashing a curling effort towards the top left corner of the net, which hit the crossbar.

Shortly before the interval, Charles De Ketelaere found space deep in the box and managed to get a shot away, but it took a deflection off Marquinhos and flew just wide.

Noah Lang almost made it 2-1 to Brugge with an acrobatic volley. De Ketelaere chipped the ball towards the far post and Lang went for the bicycle towards the near post, but it went inches past the bottom left corner of the net.

Mauro Icardi should have got the winner in the 81st minute. Nuno Mendes once again did brilliantly down the left and drilled a low ball into the six-yard box for Icardi, who was unmarked and he flicked it towards goal, but he somehow missed the target.

Click through the gallery below to see the highest-paid players in the Champions League this season:

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