Mbappé still plays for PSG and made a low-profile, very low, rickety Madrid pay for it. However, Real, jaw clenched and without a glance at the opposing goal, resisted until 40 seconds from the end Mbappé, a thunderclap, condemned him. And with all the merit, because not only was the French striker far above anyone else, but also because PSG were many steps above Ancelotti’s. There is plenty of neon lights, but this time no one will be able to reproach Pochettino’s men for his lack of soul. The occasion required it and there were no escapisms in the local team, only penalized for the lack of aim. From Messi, for example, to whom penalties are a martyrdom. More so if the challenge is with Courtois, who has no arms but oars, Madrid supporter in the Parc des Princes along with a few defensive brigades. Because the Real had nothing else, just clenched teeth, rolled up sleeves and crossed fingers.
Gianluigi Donnarumma, Marquinhos, Nuno Mendes, Achraf Hakimi, Kimpembe, Verratti, Paredes, Danilo Pereira (Idrissa Gueye, min. 86), Kylian Mbappe, Di María (Neymar, min. 72) and Messi
Courtois, Ferland Mendy, Dani Carvajal (Lucas Vázquez, min. 71), Alaba, Eder Militao, Kroos, Modric (Federico Valverde, min. 81), Casemiro, Benzema (Bale, min. 86), Vinicius Junior (Hazard, min. . 81) and Marco Asensio (Rodrygo, min. 71)
goals 1-0 min. 93: Kylian Mbappe.
Referee Daniele Orsato
Yellow cards Casemiro (min. 36), Verratti (min. 39), Eder Militao (min. 50), Ferland Mendy (min. 56), Danilo Pereira (min. 61), Kimpembe (min. 82), Rodrygo (min. 82 ) and Walls (min. 89)
Paris announced a soccer poster with an injection of universality. And the throne went to Mbappé, author of a terminal goal. He was already lowering the curtain when the Frenchman sent Lucas and Militão adrift, slipped into the area and beat Courtois. A goal at the height of Mbappé, a torment for the visitors. At the moment, he reigns in Paris. A Ronaldo, Nazario, not Cristiano, French style.
There was no better will than Mbappé’s. And there was no football protest in Madrid, who had no one to stretch him, who put PSG on alert. Nobody rebelled. PSG was satisfied with the rhythm of Messi, who is no longer an earthquake with the ball, waiting for Mbappé to leave. Messi cradles himself with the ball, pampers it in temperate zones, but he has lost his frenzy. Today, the rocket is Mbappé. No one worried Madrid more. At the beginning, with an assist to Di María that the Argentine sent to the third amphitheater; then, with an appointment before Courtois that the Belgian resolved, the great white giant in the Parc des Princes.
Pochettino’s team splashed on visiting terrain. From the outset, a lot of government and little shrapnel. Enough to have his adversary overwhelmed. From Real there were only footprints of his troops in his own field. A flat Madrid like never before, stiff, always slipstreaming. Crossing into a foreign field was already a crusade for Ancelotti’s men. This time, no scruffy PSG, no bite-less team. Not much less. The club, at the center of the world stage, suffers from the news and sometimes has more catwalk outside than inside the field. Of course, he doesn’t lack vedetes; yes familiarity and a musketeer point. He had it against Real, subjected to a strenuous survival exercise. Of course, in this sparkling world of celebrities that is PSG, when the time comes it is Neymar’s turn to play a la carte and the madness is for Di María, a wild boar all night. All in all, PSG, in their own way but with a burning point that their opponent lacked, had Real by the chest.
Madrid assumed without question a role of resistance. As an example, even the last blink of the first act did not unsettle Donnarumma. Casemiro did it —who, like Mendy, will miss the second leg through suspension— with a header after a corner. A mirage.
Far from Courtois, Real wanted to know nothing. Not even Vinicius, who was never a speculator. On the contrary, he is distinguished by his intrepidity. Not in Paris, infected by the low cut of his entire team. Modric and Kroos were there, but the ball was an artifact for everyone. Unexpectedly, a Real on the ropes. A version that does not displease him when the refuge allows him to fly. Not in Paris, where no one caught a clue. From Madrid, only cut. A lot of Casemiro, a lot of Militão… And, above all, Courtois.
PSG was harassed when Carvajal’s cable was cut and he sent Mbappé to the canvas. The Frenchman was bordered inside the area. The move called for patience from the Madrid winger, but Mbappé clouded the rivals. Messi appropriated the penalty. It was never his best luck and Courtois is homeless. The Belgian, as long as he is, lay down to his left and deflected La Pulga’s shot.
Neymar burst in and Mbappé let him give him until the last breath. Every time he opened the throttle it was an anguish for Madrid, unable to judge the match, he just blows and blows. Neymar did not tiptoe and Messi did not wrinkle. The entire PSG had its rival on the brink of disaster. Courtois received up to 22 warnings, while the Italian Donnarumma, a simple invited spectator, fell asleep. Out of pride and a few opening act Madrid held on until Mbappé, of course, left him stunned. Chamartin awaits you. For now, for the second leg. Then it will be seen. Future will not be lacking. And present let’s not say. “The best in Europe”, declared Ancelotti.
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