PSG vs. Juventus result: Kylian Mbappe brace enough to stave off second-half Juve push in Champions League opener.

Kylian Mbappe’s brilliant first-half double was barely enough to earn PSG all three points as the Parisians blocked a second-half comeback attempt by visiting Juventus in their Champions League group stage opener. The Italian side was poor in the first 45 minutes, with Mbappe and Neymar breaching their defense on several occasions, and likewise unable to find a way through Gianluigi Donnarumma’s goal.

However, Weston McKennie’s start after the break turned the game in Juve’s favor and pushed it into the second half. NMcKennie returned once for Juve at the start of the second half, high to meet a corner, but Donnarumma stood tall on several occasions. Both sides had crucial moments to turn the momentum in their favor in the second half, but Donnarumma and his opposite number Mattia Perrin continued to excel. The Sporting News followed the match live, providing score updates, commentary and highlights as they happened.

PSG vs Juventus final score
1h 2h final
PSG             2   0    2
Juventus     0   1    1
Target:
5th minute – PSG – Kylian Mbappe
22nd minute – PSG – Kylian Mbappe
53rd minute – JUV – Weston McKennie

PSG again saw mental flaws in the second half
During the last few years when they were looking for European glory they so desperately craved, PSG were relegated in the second half on several occasions. Late comebacks have been their downfall, and already, in the first group stage match, the Parisians showed signs of weakness after the break.

Mbappe and Neymar were so aggressive in the first 45 minutes that their fall in the second half was noticeable. Both had chances after the break, but neither of them took the same lead in the first half and early in the season. Both saw wayward shots either fly wildly off their feet or fizz directly at Juve goalkeeper Perrin, who was unable to replicate the accuracy previously displayed.

Defensively, Miss I too. Nordi Mukili got away with a particularly ugly mistake that gave Juventus a chance, while young midfielder Witinha faded after halftime and allowed the visitors to find a way out. Christophe Gaultier will learn that PSG fell victim to the same errors that led to the loss of his previous job, helping him find a solution to the team’s slow mental decline during Champions League games.

Weston McKennie changed the game
Introduced at the break for yellow-card midfielder Fabio Miretti, the American played a key role in Juventus’ second-half resurgence. Coming off the bench, McKennie was a two-way force, completing 19/21 passes and losing possession just seven times in 32 touches, a solid proportion for a midfield player looking to spark a two-goal comeback. His goal was a trademark McKennie header, which blew two defenders into the air – both Kimpembe and Nuno were left helpless by his jump.

The impact is a very positive sign for McKennie as he looks to win minutes in a crowded Juventus midfield even in the absence of Paul Pogba. Minutes will be crucial to McKennie’s form at this winter’s World Cup, and an effective 45 minutes will turn him into a world of good.

Marco Verratti deserves more credit as one of the best midfielders in the world
PSG’s Italian maestro Marco Verratti may earn public acclaim on international duty as he provides a spark for his country, but at PSG, he is often shunned by others in the star-studded team. There was no drowning Veratti today, even as Mbappe and Neymar starred in the front. The PSG midfielder was simply sensational – again – completing 87 minutes of nearly fault-free football. His only flaw was the yellow card he picked up to push Rabiot as usual.

Otherwise, Veratti’s performance was other-worldly. He touched the ball 131 times, losing possession five times. He won six tackles and was successful in 11 of his 14 ground duels. It was indeed an excellent performance for Veratti, which is becoming a regular occurrence even though it is not talked about enough around the world.

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