Messi misses penalty as Mbappe wins it for PSG at last minute

<SUNBIGHT>~Football~Afor~16th February,2022 @00:05 WAT

Report by Nwanokpo Anayochi [Paris]

STARLET Kylian Mbappe scored a powerful stoppage-time winner to avoid embarrassment for Lionel Messi as Paris Saint-Germain beat Real Madrid 1-0 in the Champions League round-of-16 first leg on Tuesday.

Messi had missed scoring the penalty awarded as it was comfortably saved by Thibaut Courtois after Mbappe was fouled by Carvajal in the 61st minute.

“I’d studied Messi’s penalties a lot and I tried to play with him when I was on the line,” Courtois said. “You’ve also got to have that little bit of luck.”

PSG dominated the match against the 13-time Champions Real Madrid.

Madrid finished the game with zero shots on target while PSG had eight, with almost 60% of possession.

PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino substituted Di Maria for Neymar in the final 20 minutes and the introduction was impactful as it was a backheel from the Brazil international that opened up the Spanish side and allowed Mbappe to dribble between two defenders and without disturbance slided the ball under the legs of Courtois into the far corner to seal the victory for PSG.

“It was a great game for us and I’m always ready to help my team, there are no distractions,” said Mbappe, who has now scored 13 goals in his past 13 Champions League matches.

“We have to be humble and the second leg is still open. It will be a hard game but we will have the advantage and are very confident.”

Madrid will be without Casemiro and Ferland Mendy for the second leg at home on March 9. They were both shown yellow cards and will be suspended for collecting three yellows in the competition.

“Mbappe is the best player in European football,” Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti said. “We didn’t play well, but we are not dead yet.”■

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