Paris Saint-Germain can still count on Kylian Mbappé despite rumours he wants to leave the club. The World Cup winner scored his 31st UEFA Champions League goal for PSG to become the club’s record scorer in the competition as the French champions drew 1-1 with Benfica on Tuesday. (More Football News)
Mbappé scored from the penalty spot five minutes before the interval to put PSG in the lead. Joao Mario brought Benfica level with another penalty in the 62nd minute. Mbappé thought for a moment he had sealed PSG’s win and started celebrating in the 87th, but his spectacular volley into the roof of the net was disallowed for an offside position.
After Juventus lost 2-0 to Maccabi Haifa in the other game, PSG and Benfica are tied with eight points at the top of Group H. Juventus and Haifa have three points each.
All eyes were on Mbappé at the Parc des Princes after reports claiming the star wanted a way out emerged earlier in the day. The France forward looked relaxed and smiling before kickoff as he waited with his teammates before walking out to the field.
Once on the pitch, Mbappé produced his trademark acceleration and unsettled defenders with his dribbles, but struggled to be decisive. PSG pushed hard toward the end of the first half and was rewarded with a penalty when Juan Bernat surged into the box and was fouled by Antonio Silva.
Mbappé took the kick and converted from the spot with a low shot that wrongfooted goalkeeper Odysseas Vlachodimos.
Benfica deployed the same strategy as last week in Portugal during their 1-1 draw, with an intense press from the start. PSG weathered the pressure quite well and managed to recover the ball quickly in an even start to the match without chances.
With the injured Lionel Messi watching from the stands, Benfica had the first shot of the match in the 17th, with an effort from Gonçalo Ramos blocked by the defense. The visitors then kept pace with PSG until Silva’s mistake.
PSG played cautiously in the second half and Benfica was dangerous from crosses. The visitors got a a penalty with 30 minutes left following a VAR check that confirmed that Marco Verratti fouled Rafa Silva just inside the box. João Mário converted it with a powerful shot down the middle.