Give the ball to Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi and let them do the rest. PSG’s used that strategy to success in a home Champions League match against RB Leipzig, coming from behind to win 3-2. Messi scored twice and Mbappe had a hand in all three goals with one goal, one assist and one drawn penalty.
PSG stays atop Group A, one point ahead of Manchester City, while RB Leipzig’s chances are now faint with three matches remaining. The German side, coached by American Jesse Marsch, is at the bottom of Group A after three straight losses.
It was a tough result for Leipzig, who arguably deserved more and probably felt like they could leave the Parc des Prince in Paris with a famous victory when the visitors took a 2-1 lead with about a half hour to go. But Messi scored twice in the span of 10 minutes to overturn the result, though both goals came from Leipzig gifts.
MORE: Champions League group standings and schedule
American midfielder Tyler Adams had a giveaway that led to Messi’s first goal on a feed from Mbappe. The second goal came on a delightful Messi ‘panenka’ penalty kick which was earned by Mbappe, who made the most of slight contact from defender Mohamed Simakan.
PSG could have scored a fourth goal deep in stoppage time when the referee awarded another penalty to PSG, but Messi allowed Mbappe to take it and the French forward sent the ball over the bar. He still won the man of the match award.
PSG — Kylian Mbappe — 9th min.
LEI — Andre Silva (Angelino) — 28th min.
LEI — Nordi Mukiele (Angelino) — 57th min.
PSG — Lionel Messi (Kylian Mbappe) — 67th min.
PSG — Lionel Messi (penalty) — 75th min.
(All times Eastern)
94th min.: Penalty for PSG! Hakimi was brought down by Gvardiol and the referee gives it. It’s Mbappe to take it. And it’s high! Score stays 3-2.
90th min.: Four minutes of stoppage time.
89th min.: SUB – PSG looking to close out this win. Defender Thilo Kehrer on for Julian Draxler.
83rd min.: SUBS – Leipzig are having a go at this one. On come Poulsen, Forsberg and Henrichs for Mohamed Simakan, Angelino and Andre Silva. It’s now four in the back for Leipzig.
78th min.: Leipzig firing shots left and right trying to get back into it. No luck on the shots and Keylor Navas tips a deflected ball over the bar. The corner leads to no danger.
75th min.: It’s a panenka from Messi on the penalty kick! PSG up 3-2.
MESSI. PANENKA. COLD. 🥶 pic.twitter.com/l5rK97a8ra
73rd min.: Kylian Mbappe draws a penalty! He tries to dribble past Mohamed Simakan, who puts his hands up to hold him off and Mbappe makes a meal of it.
72nd min.: Dangerous Leipzig set piece into the PSG box and Gvardiol heads off target. But that was dangerous.
70th min.: SUB – Leipzig brings in Josko Gvardiol for Lukas Klostermann, who picked up a knock. Still a 5-4-1 formation when defending. PSG moved to a three-man back line with the insertion of Danilo and Georginio Wijnaldum.
67th min.: Equalizer for PSG! And it comes on a giveaway by American Tyler Adams in midfield. His backpass sends Kylian Mbappe through and he crosses to Lionel Messi for the goal. Messi’s first shot comes off the left post and he follows it up at the goal line.
KYLIAN MBAPPE 👉 LIONEL MESSI. 💥 pic.twitter.com/3ohsi4pu2R
65th min.: PSG’s Achraf Hakimi goes in the book for a foul on Ilaix Moriba after Leipzig sprung another dangerous transition. And this is how PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino feels about it:
61st min.: SUBS – Two changes in midfield. Danilo Pereira and Georginio Wijnaldum on. Ander Herrera and Idrissa Gueye off. Meanwhile, Leipzig brings on Ilaix Moriba for the injured Amadou Haidara.
57th min.: Leipzig takes the lead! Another ball wide left to Angelino, and another beautiful cross to the far post, where Nordi Mukiele puts it home first time. Very similar to the first goal.
THE CROSS. THE FINISH. 😍
LEIPZIG TAKE THE LEAD OVER PSG 🚨 pic.twitter.com/3Yf1w9WSVD
56th min.: Rare spell of pressure from PSG and first Marco Verratti, then Lionel Messi trying to penetrate, but Leipzig holds firm.
52nd min.: Dangerous Leipzig attack. Laimer with the cross from the right and it goes across the box with no teammates close to connecting.
50th min.: Wow. Idrissa Gueye with another hard foul in midfield shortly after picking up a yellow. That could’ve been a second yellow, and Gueye gets off easy.
48th min.: Yellow card for Idrissa Gueye for a foul on Andre Silva just outside the box. Nkunku attempts to curl it over the wall, but it’s high.
46th min.: Second half is underway. No changes.
Halftime: It’s the typical PSG performance this year: They have moments of pure brilliance, but they’re not strong enough to take the stranglehold of a game. Kylian Mbappe is the best player on the field and he got the breakthrough goal on a solo run, but PSG can’t regularly create attacks and danger. That’s not the case with RB Leipzig, which has succeeded in turning the ball over and then has clear ideas and movements in the attack. This PSG defense can be exposed. All to play for in the second half. While we wait, enjoy this Mbappe skill move.
42nd min.: Nkunku comes close! On a quick transition, he shows off his skill near the top of the box and fires the right-footed shot just wide with a defender in his face. He’s been dangerous.
A couple of chances for Christo see us close to taking the lead 🤏
🔴⚪ #WeAreLeipzig #PSGRBL 1-1 (43′) pic.twitter.com/S6NRFAeMhs
41st min.: Great defensive play by Leipzig’s Willi Orban who pokes the ball away from Mbappe in the box. Nothing comes of the PSG corner.
36th min.: Leipzig is having success at forcing turnovers in midfield with its press. As long as they can contain Mbappe, it doesn’t look like other PSG players are set to pose any danger.
28th min.: And there’s the equalizer! Leipzig carve up PSG’s back line, switch the point of attack to the left and Angelino delivers a fantastic cross to the far post where Andre Silva scores first time.
THIS TEAM GOAL FROM LEIPZIG 🔥 pic.twitter.com/xdvV5pvQMF
27th min.: Leipzig hit the post! Andre Silva with the excellent control and shot in the box and Keylor Navas was beat. The ball goes off the base of the right post. PSG seems passive now and Leipzig taking advantage.
25th min.: Free kick for Leipzig into the box and PSG captain Marquinhos has to clear over the bar! That was dangerous. PSG clears the corner kick, too.
23rd min.: PSG seem to be relaxing after taking the lead. Mbappe and Messi attempt the give-and-go into the Leipzig box, but Leipzig’s goalkeeper comes out to snag it.
Kylian Mbappé has been involved in his 40th goal in the Champions League since he joined Paris in 2017/18 (22 goals, 18 assists), only Robert Lewandowski has been more decisive in the competition over that period (43). Machine. #PSGRBL pic.twitter.com/PBCnSANcbf
19th min.: Willi Orban picks up a yellow for putting the block on Mbappe before he could sprint again. Learned his lesson the first time.
9th min.: Mbappe! PSG leads 1-0. He makes a solo run at the last defender Orban and fires a low shot past the ‘keeper. He’s unstoppable.
KYLIAN MBAPPE IS RUTHLESS 😤 pic.twitter.com/YOiLcZJmKb
8th min.: Both teams going blow for blow to start. Navas has to go down low to stop a cross from the right.
7th min.: Julian Draxler stretches to meet a cross into the box and his redirection nearly puts the ball on net.
3rd min.: What a chance for RB Leipzig! Christopher Nkunku was indecisive and served the ball late to teammate Konrad Laimer in the box. His shot was saved by Keylor Navas. On the ensuing corner, Tyler Adams’ header is off the target.
1st min.: Kylian Mbappe with the run down the left and RB Leipzig can barely catch up. His cross from the left goes across the box. His teammates couldn’t catch up either.
1st min.: We’re off. PSG kicks off.
3:00 p.m. ET: The scenes from the Parc des Princes:
🔴🔵 Les joueurs entrent dans une superbe ambiance au Parc des Princes. PSG-Leipzig, c’est maintenant sur RMC Sport 1 pic.twitter.com/UiE78jSHto
Bon match #PSGRBL sur @RMCinfo #rmclive pic.twitter.com/CoY2Qx5giQ
2:57 p.m. ET: Teams are in the tunnel ready to take the field.
2:38 p.m. ET: This has got to warm your heart: Messi & Ronaldinho reunited.
Accolade entre Messi 🇦🇷 et Ronaldinho 🇧🇷 ! pic.twitter.com/XHBihLcseR
2:30 p.m. ET: Looks like warmups are happening:
Half an hour to go! ⏳
🔴⚪ #WeAreLeipzig #PSGRBL pic.twitter.com/z8I60k2sq2
2:25 p.m. ET: The RB Leipzig star player everyone will have their eyes on (9 goals in 11 appearances):
🔥 Auteur d’un début de saison fantastique, Nkunku va retrouver le Parc ce soir avec forcément l’envie de briller dans ce qui a été son stade #RMCChampions pic.twitter.com/0TBAR2P9O2
2:05 p.m. ET: Look who’s on hand for the match in Paris: Ex-PSG star Ronaldinho.
🤩 Messi 🤝 @10Ronaldinho #Ligue1Legends pic.twitter.com/Zx0sLQjVUv
Without Neymar (adductor) and Angel Di Maria (suspended), manager Mauricio Pochettino would normally be expected to field Mauro Icardi at center forward flanked by Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi. But the personal issues that forced Icardi to miss a couple of training sessions have also cost him a spot in the squad. Julian Draxler will team up with Mbappe and Messi on the forward line.
PSG starting lineup (4-3-3, left to right): 1-Keylor Navas-GK — 25-Nuno Mendes, 3-Presnel Kimpembe, 5-Marquinhos, 2-Achraf Hakimi — 27-Idrissa Gueye, 6-Marco Verratti, 21-Ander Herrera — 23-Julian Draxler, 7-Kylian Mbappe, 30-Lionel Messi
PSG subs (10): 50-Gigi Donnarumma-GK, 60-Alexandre Letellier, 24-Thilo Kehrer, 22-Abdou Diallo, 20-Layvin Kurzawa, 17-Collin Dagba, 39-Nathan Bitumazala, 15-Danilo Pereira, 18-Georginio Wijnaldum, 28-Eric Junior Dina Ebimbe
Interesting changes introduced by RB Leipzig manager Jesse Marsch, who has switched up the forward trio. Instead of the usual Forsberg-Poulsen-Nkunku line, he gives Andre Silva the start. Tyler Adams is also back in the starting lineup after being rested over the weekend.
RB Leipzig starting lineup (3-4-3, left to right): 1-Peter Gulacsi-GK — 16-Lukas Klostermann, 4-Willi Orban, 2-Mohamed Simakan — 3-Angelino, 27-Konrad Laimer, 8-Amadou Haidara, 14-Tyler Adams — 22-Nordi Mukiele, 33-Andre Silva, 18-Christopher Nkunku
RB Leipzig subs (8): 31-Josep Martinez-GK, 32-Josko Gvardiol, 39-Benjamin Heinrichs, 44-Kevin Kampl, 17-Dominik Szoboszlai, 26-Ilaix Moriba, 10-Emil Forsberg, 9-Yussuf Poulsen
Lionel Messi’s third Champions League match with Paris Saint-Germain will be available only via streaming. Paramount+ will have the English-language stream of the match, while Univision’s free streaming platform PrendeTV will carry the Spanish-language broadcast.
DAZN has the UEFA Champions League rights in Canada and will stream the match for subscribers.