Lionel Messi set yet another record with his magnificent opening goal, but Paris Saint-Germain were held to one drawing by Benfica during the Champions League clash at the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon on Wednesday.
Messi scored at the beginning of the second half with a wonderful link-up that involved Kylian Mbappe, Neymar prior to a trademark left-foot curl from the outside of the penalty box. The goal signified that it was the Argentine star became the very first in Champions League history to score goals against 40 different opponents.
The lead didn’t last long , with Benfica striking back within the first minute of the game, when an attractive in-swinging pass from Enzo Fernandez slipped past PSG Danilo, the defender at PSG. Danilo and went into the net.
The result means that PSG as well as Benfica remain on the same level of points in the top spot of Group H following three games. Both teams will face off for the third time on the same day in Paris next Tuesday. Juventus remain in third place with three points following their first win in the tournament at pointless Maccabi Haifa.
Benfica began Wednesday’s match as the more dominant team, and their pressure affecting the rhythm of PSG. In numerous instances, Gianluigi Donnarumma was called to the action to stop attempts by the home side at low.
A moment of excellence from Messi appeared to turn the game on its upside.
The PSG’s top attacking trio took part. Messi was the first to enter from the left, and then met Mbappe who handed it over to Neymar prior to the Brazilian returned it to Messi’s path to create a stunning end.
A breakdown of the Messi’s UCL records of scoring goals against. forty different clubs
The 35-year old has scored in six consecutive games for country and club this is the first time he’s achieved this in almost four years.
PSG appeared to be poised to dominate, but unresolute defense gave Benfica the chance to draw the game level. There was a touch of luck regarding the equalizer when Fernandez’s cross was spotted as missing his head Goncalo Ramos prior to gliding off his chest Danilo and then slamming Donnarumma.
The French champions came out in the second half with renewed energy and often were close to getting ahead. Neymar struck the crossbar with an incredible overhead kick, as Achraf Hakimi, and Mbappe both forced clever stops of Odysseas Vlachodimos at the Benfica goal.
However, Donnarumma must have been alert to stop Rafa Silva at close range following a fast sprint in the last 10 minutes.
Messi has been substituted at the time of the 81stminute. PSG head coach Christophe Galtier indicated that the substitution of Pablo Sarabia only took place due to Messi was exhausted.
“He indicated that he was ready to stop. At the end of the race the athlete felt tired. He walked off because exhausted and a teammate who was fresher would have been a better choice in that moment,” Galtier said to RMC Sport after the game.
Both sides are likely to be disappointed by an equal amount of points.