Champions League: PSG avoids embarrassing exit after beating Liverpool

Paris Saint-Germain faced the possibility of an embarrassing exit in the Champions League but instead it is ...

Posted: Nov 29, 2018 11:29 AM
Updated: Nov 29, 2018 11:29 AM

Paris Saint-Germain faced the possibility of an embarrassing exit in the Champions League but instead it is last season's finalist Liverpool on the brink of elimination after a 2-1 defeat on a star-studded night in the French capital.

PSG has yet to bag European football's top club prize despite boasting the world's two most expensive players in Neymar and Kylian Mbappe and spending more than $1 billion overall on transfers since being taken over by Qatari backers in 2011.

Football (Soccer)

Soccer events

Sports and recreation

Sports events

UEFA Champions League

Continents and regions

England

Europe

France

Ligue 1

Liverpool

Northern Europe

Paris Saint-Germain FC

Sports organizations and teams

United Kingdom

Western Europe

Neymar

Sports figures

Barcelona

Catalonia

Southern Europe

Spain

Visit cnn.com/sport for more news and videos

The runaway Ligue 1 leaders, though, produced a fine display just when they needed to.

"It was tiring but most important, it's that we truly played like a team today," PSG captain Thiago Silva was quoted as saying by L'Equipe. "The atmosphere was fantastic. We worked to win this match as it would have been complicated if it wasn't the case.

"We are all happy with the win of course but the way we played was fantastic."

Besides the famous footballers on display, actor Leonardo DiCaprio and rocker Mick Jagger took in proceedings, too, at the Parc des Princes and the result ensured PSG avoided the fate of the Titanic.

It was Neymar who scored PSG's second in the 37th minute after the Brazilian initially sped away on a superb counter attack.

Read: Petrol bombs, flares thrown in AEK's stadium

Marco Verratti ran the show for the hosts in the opening stages and contributed to Juan Bernat's 13th minute opener which set PSG on its way.

When James Milner replied from the penalty spot in first-half injury time, Liverpool might have thought a comeback was on the cards. Such goals at the end of halves after all can often change the complexion.

Must win for Liverpool now

But it didn't happen and Liverpool must now beat Group C leaders Napoli 1-0 or by two clear goals on the final match day next month at home to progress to the knockout phase if PSG downs last-place Red Star Belgrade.

Napoli leads on nine points, with PSG on eight and Liverpool six.

"Now we have to use Anfield one more time," Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp told BT Sport. "We are calling Anfield and we'll see what happens."

Perhaps the result shouldn't have come as a surprise. PSG hadn't lost at home all season while the Reds were winless away in the Champions League without even scoring a goal.

PSG came out flying, pinning Liverpool inside its own half for most of the first 20 minutes. Liverpool's potent front three of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino barely had a touch.

Verratti, meanwhile, enjoyed plenty of space in midfield, although the Italian could have seen red for a challenge on Joe Gomez in the 25th minute. Especially in that first half, Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson struggled to cope.

"The start was like we expected, it was wild, it was intense, they took all the risks," said Klopp. "When a game starts like that it's quite difficult to gain confidence. We never got 100% to our game."

Mbappe played a part in both PSG goals, his runs on the left and low crosses causing havoc. He set up Edinson Cavani perfectly and when Alisson denied the Uruguayan, Neymar was there to put in the rebound.

Angel di Maria tripped a surging Mane in the box, allowing Milner to narrow the deficit.

PSG, however, stayed on the front foot despite an improvement from Liverpool in the second half.

More pressure from PSG

Defender Marquinhos saw a goal ruled out for offside from a free kick in the 47th minute and his thumping header from a corner kick was kept out by his fellow Brazilian Alisson in the 70th.

Ten minutes later Neymar's dazzling turn bamboozled Joe Gomez in the Liverpool box, only for Virgil van Dijk to finally stop the former Barcelona forward.

Read: Liverpool left red-faced by Red Star

Read: Was Ronaldo's bicycle kick greatest goal ever?

In the 90 minutes -- plus five minutes of added time -- Liverpool registered a mere seven shots and only one on target.

Klopp's side will need to rediscover their form in front of goal against Napoli -- which beat Red Star 3-1 -- to advance to the round of 16.

Only four places remain in the second round, with Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Porto and Schalke moving on Wednesday to join the already qualified Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Ajax, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Roma, Juventus and Manchester United.

Lionel Messi scored his 66th goal in his 66th group stage game as Barcelona edged PSV 2-1 away to win Group B. Second place is still on offer after Tottenham edged Inter Milan in London 1-0 thanks to a late Christian Eriksen strike.

Tottenham has pulled off two big wins in a matter of days -- outclassing Chelsea in the English Premier League last weekend -- with the North London derby on the horizon but faces a huge uphill task to qualify, bigger than Liverpool even.

Tottenham still in it

Tied with Inter on seven points, Tottenham travels to Barcelona while Inter hosts winless PSV on the final match day.

"We have big respect for Barcelona," Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino told reporters. "Barcelona is one of the best teams in Europe, and of course they have unbelievable players. It will be such a tough game. But we have belief that we can win."

Elsewhere, Koke scored Atletico Madrid's fastest ever Champions League goal -- within two minutes -- in a 2-0 win over slumping Monaco in Group A.

Atletico won the Europa League last season and will be hoping to bag the bigger European prize this campaign after suffering two heartbreaking final defeats to city rivals Real Madrid in 2014 and 2016.

Thierry Henry won his first game as Monaco manager last weekend but it was temporary respite as the 2004 finalist lost for the fifth time in eight matches under the Frenchman. Summing up Monaco's misery was Radamel Falcao's penalty miss against his former team.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 667262

Reported Deaths: 12737
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion913541660
Lake48729891
Allen36175646
Hamilton32489398
St. Joseph30361514
Elkhart25536420
Vanderburgh21343382
Tippecanoe20240205
Johnson16485363
Porter16077281
Hendricks15955302
Clark12079182
Madison11810323
Vigo11699234
Monroe10440164
Delaware9899179
LaPorte9838201
Howard9127203
Kosciusko8600111
Bartholomew7531147
Hancock7471134
Warrick7456153
Floyd7269173
Wayne6661192
Grant6465158
Boone618691
Morgan6135129
Dubois5942112
Dearborn551570
Cass5489100
Marshall5456105
Henry544395
Noble513878
Jackson465967
Shelby463591
Lawrence4197113
Gibson405585
Harrison404065
Clinton397653
Montgomery391984
DeKalb388278
Miami358463
Knox357886
Whitley352438
Huntington350877
Steuben340455
Putnam334660
Wabash333976
Ripley328062
Adams326349
Jasper319343
White298553
Jefferson296574
Daviess286196
Fayette272756
Decatur271688
Greene262680
Posey261732
Wells259175
Scott252150
LaGrange242670
Clay241644
Randolph226577
Spencer219630
Jennings216944
Washington213327
Sullivan203839
Fountain202842
Starke190051
Owen184254
Fulton179937
Jay178828
Carroll176919
Perry174136
Orange171451
Rush165722
Vermillion161543
Franklin160135
Tipton150041
Parke140216
Pike128633
Blackford120727
Pulaski107844
Newton96832
Brown95340
Crawford92613
Benton92513
Martin80314
Warren76014
Switzerland7568
Union67510
Ohio54211
Unassigned0427

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 978471

Reported Deaths: 17501
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1130371251
Cuyahoga969331881
Hamilton739231067
Montgomery47536923
Summit40720831
Butler35859531
Lucas35802720
Stark29602826
Warren22593275
Lorain22218424
Mahoning19586551
Lake18564332
Clermont18541205
Delaware16614121
Licking15096194
Fairfield14653188
Trumbull14437424
Greene13664221
Medina13531237
Clark12394256
Wood11670170
Portage11140172
Allen10822216
Richland10376188
Miami10065194
Muskingum8244117
Columbiana8174210
Pickaway8096111
Tuscarawas8083232
Marion8021127
Wayne7939199
Erie6972146
Ross6178132
Geauga6118142
Hancock6032121
Scioto600988
Ashtabula6002154
Lawrence527886
Union516741
Darke5052116
Belmont5000137
Huron4862108
Jefferson4843137
Sandusky4800112
Washington475596
Seneca4738111
Athens466449
Mercer459781
Auglaize456682
Shelby442679
Knox4056105
Putnam400593
Madison395755
Fulton383461
Ashland383083
Brown375252
Defiance374088
Crawford360198
Logan357673
Preble354187
Clinton342755
Highland328551
Ottawa325471
Williams303568
Jackson292046
Champaign291149
Guernsey288945
Perry271348
Fayette270143
Morrow261637
Henry247961
Hardin247359
Holmes244497
Coshocton241156
Van Wert230357
Gallia223938
Adams218339
Pike217328
Wyandot212450
Hocking195154
Carroll182143
Paulding161134
Meigs136031
Noble129233
Monroe117637
Morgan102220
Harrison100731
Vinton76713
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 64°
Angola
Partly Cloudy
63° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 63°
Huntington
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 64°
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 64°
Lima
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 63°
Warmer, breezy on Monday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events