MATCHS DU JOUR 27
In the first two rounds of the Champions League, PSG beat Real Madrid (1-0) while Manchester City almost killed the suspense by crushing Sporting Portugal on their ground. It is worth noting the XXL performance of the French striker of the Parisian club and the crazy stat of the Algerian of the Citizens.
PSG was going to make a nearly perfect copy, it lacked only the reward of a goal. Real Madrid, dominated, suffocated, had the perfect result. The two teams were heading for a 0-0 draw on Tuesday 15 February, which would not have enraged any of the players in this Champions League round of 16. But in the last minute of stoppage time (94th), everything changed with a flash of genius.
The French striker broke through the wall formed by Militao and Lucas Vasquez before firing a right-footed shot past Thibault Courtois. The Parc des Princes is ablaze with joy. Paris wins 1-0. Real's fate is sealed in the first leg of their duel with the French club.
The hero of the Parisian evening could have been Lionel Messi, 32 minutes earlier. The Argentine striker was charged with taking the penalty after Mbappé was fouled in the box, but the Belgian goalkeeper failed to take it (69th). It took an individual feat from the French international for PSG not to regret letting a victory slip away. It was the first time that the team had played a match that was a benchmark in terms of tactical discipline and technical mastery, and it was the first time that the team had played a match that was a benchmark.
With this victory, Mauricio Pochettino's team takes a good option on the qualification for the quarterfinals of the Champions League. They will have to confirm this on 9 March in Madrid, during the return match. For Kylian Mbappé, the objective is not to not lose in the Spanish capital, but to win. However, the Parisian hero invites his teammates to prepare for this date by perfectly negotiating the next Parisian outing in Ligue 1, against Nantes.
Mendy and Casemiro suspended
For Real Madrid, the story is more complicated. The Madrid team will have to overcome their score line deficit by showing more determination than they did on Tuesday in the French capital. They will have to break away from the low block they had at the Parc and take the initiative more often than their opponents.
Carlo Ancelotti's men have the qualities to be there. But they will be without two key players. French left-back Ferland Mendy and Brazilian midfielder Casemiro, one of the Merengues' best performers of the evening, are suspended.
In the second round of the day, Manchester City beat Sporting Portugal 5-0. Mahrez (7th), Silva (17th and 44th), Foden (32nd) and Sterling (59th) allowed the English club to kill the suspense. It will take an earthquake for the Citizens to be eliminated on their home ground on 9 March in the second leg.
9/9 for Riyad Mahrez
Four Africans took part in these two matches. Two in each. Moroccan Achraf Hakimi was a starter for PSG. He played a full match on his side. He managed to neutralisze Vinicius Junior. One of the two Parisian African champions, Idrissa Gana Guèye, came on in the 86th minute. The other, Abdou Diallo, remained on the bench.
In the other match, Mahrez was the starter for the Sky Blues. He scored his seventh Champions League goal, his ninth in nine consecutive matches. His compatriot Islam Slimani, who joined Sporting this winter from Lyon, came on in the 75th minute. He was unable to prevent his team's rout.
Round of 16 first leg (return on 9 March)
PSG-Real Madrid: 1-0
Goal : Kylian Mbappé (90th+4)
Sporting Portugal-Manchester City : 0-5
Goals: Mahrez (7th), Silva (17th and 44th), Foden (32nd) and Sterling (59th)