Paris Saint-Germain 1-1 Benfica: Joao Mario penalty cancels out Mbappe's record strike


Kylian Mbappe let his football do the talking with a first-half penalty, but Paris Saint-Germain shared the spoils with Benfica on Tuesday.
FotMob - 8 months ago

Kylian Mbappe became Paris Saint-Germain's leading scorer in European competition but Christophe Galtier's side were held to a 1-1 draw against Benfica in the Champions League.

Tuesday's match at the Parc des Princes came on the back of widespread reports Mbappe was unhappy at PSG and would be seeking a January transfer.

PSG's football advisor Luis Campos emphatically denied those reports before kick-off, and the France international put the speculation to one side to convert a first-half penalty, nosing his side ahead and overtaking Edinson Cavani in the club's European record books.

Joao Mario equalised with a penalty of his own after the restart, however, with Mbappe seeing a late goal disallowed for offside as both teams missed the chance to secure progression from Group H.

PSG were thankful for a VAR reprieve in the 18th minute, an offside call seeing referee Michael Oliver change his decision to award Benfica a penalty for an Achraf Hakimi handball.

However, there was no doubt over Oliver's next penalty decision after Antonio Silva clumsily felled Juan Bernat, with Mbappe calmly sending Odysseas Vlachodimos the wrong way for his milestone goal six minutes before half-time.

Mbappe curled just wide in the second half before Marco Verratti brought down Rafa Silva just inside PSG's area.

The foul was initially missed by Oliver, who swiftly changed his decision after consulting the pitchside monitor, with Joao Mario smashing a finish high into the back of Gianluigi Donnarumma's net.

Mbappe thought he had struck a late winner, only to be ruled offside from Sergio Ramos' flick after acrobatically volleying past Vlachodimos.

What does it mean? Sluggish PSG pass up progression chance

While reported disgruntlement continues in the French capital, Galtier has made an impressive start, becoming the first PSG coach since Unai Emery to go unbeaten in his first four Champions League games.

The French champions were looking for a record-equalling sixth straight win in UEFA's flagship club competition, pre-dating Galtier's appointment, but a malaise set in in the second half as they squandered their lead.

Their lacklustre performance was particularly surprising, given Juventus' earlier defeat at Maccabi Haifa meant a win would send them through – Benfica had the same chance, but will gladly take a point back to Lisbon.

Ney hard feelings?

Speculation over Mbappe's future was reportedly in part due to a breakdown in the relationship between Neymar and the World Cup-winning forward.

While Mbappe will steal the headlines for his historic 31st European goal for PSG, Neymar proved capable of playing the backing role as he created a team-high two chances on a frustrating day for the club.

Rubbish Ramos

Up against his namesake Sergio, Benfica forward Goncalo Ramos failed to leave his mark leading Roger Schmidt's frontline.

The Portuguese attacker scored a hat-trick against Rio Ave last Saturday but struggled here, winning three of his team-leading 13 duels and missing the target with a presentable second-half header.

Key Opta Facts

- PSG have failed to win either of their games against Benfica this season (D2), the first team they have failed to beat an opponent in a group stage since 2018-19 (D2 vs Napoli).
- Benfica are winless in away Champions League games against French sides (D3 L3), scoring just two goals in these six matches.
- PSG extended the competition record of scoring in consecutive Champions League group stages games – 42 since a 1-0 loss at Real Madrid in November 2015.
- Mbappe has been involved in 23 goals in his last 18 Champions League appearances. He has tallied 57 goal involvements in 57 games in the competition (37 goals, 20 assists).
- Joao Mario has scored in two of his last three Champions League games, having failed to find the net in any of his first 19 appearances in the competition.

What's next?

PSG return to Ligue 1 action at home to Marseille in Sunday's Le Classique, while Benfica visit third-tier side Caldas SC in the Taca de Portugal the day before.