PSG started their star trio for the first time at Club Brugge but they failed to deliver as the Belgian side were full value for a point in their opening Champions League Group A game.
Kylian Mbappe brilliantly set up the opening goal, bamboozling Clinton Mata on the left flank before squaring for Ander Herrera to slot home his third goal in two games. But the lead only lasted just 12 minutes.
Noa Lang played in Eduard Sobol down the Brugge left and from the by-line he cut back to skipper Hans Vanaken whose goalbound effort deflected off Presnel Kimpembe en route to the PSG net.
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Thereafter, Brugge were the better side, although Lionel Messi came the closest to adding to the scoreline when in trademark fashion he drifted in from the right flank to curl an effort beyond Simon Mignolet, only to see the shot come back off the bar.
Mbappe left the field of play, seemingly with an Achilles injury, six minutes into the second half, and with Messi still appearing short of full fitness and Neymar having a quiet night, PSG looked far from a side capable of threatening for the Champions League.
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Maybe no coach has ever been presented with the mixed blessing Mauricio Pochettino has with Neymar, Mbappe and now Messi at his disposal. Each produced the occasional mouthwatering moment of skill but these were very much glittering flashes amidst large portions of the match when they were passengers. In contrast, Lang and Charles De Ketelaere were a perennial threat at the other end and both came close to getting on the scoreline.
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It just does not seem sustainable to have these three remaining high up the field when the team is being attacked. In another era, teams would have four defenders goal side of these three but with opponents now preferring to press high up the pitch to stop the ball leaving the PSG half, it is easy to see them exposed against the better sides in the competition, beginning with Manchester City a week on Tuesday.
Neymar, Mbappé y Messi, juntos en el PSG
Image credit: Getty Images
MAN OF THE MATCH - CHARLES DE KETELAERE
The Belgium national team's all-star forward line may soon include the Club Brugge striker who was a persistent menace against PSG. Despite standing at 6'4", his most impressive feature is his silky touch and ability to play in team-mates.
In the second half his vision created opportunities for Jack Hendry and Noah Lang that could have easily seen Brugge take all three points. Many would be overawed coming up against three of the best forwards in the world but he and Lang revelled in the shop window such a high profile game provided them with.
Club Brugge: Mignolet 6; Balanta 6, Hendry 7, Nsoki 6; Mata 7, Vormer 6, Vanaken 8, Sowah 6, Sobol 6; Lang 7, De Ketelaere 8*.
Subs: Maouassa 6
PSG: Navas 6; Hakimi 6, Marquinhos 7, Kimpembe 6, Diallo 6; Herrera 7, Paredes 6, Wijnaldum 5; Messi 6, Mbappe 7, Neymar 6.
Subs: Mendes 7, Pereira 6, Draxler 6, Icardi 5.
15' GOAL! And a wonderful one. Fantastic trickery on the left from Mbappe leaving Mata for dead (and with broken ankles) before squaring for Herrera to slot home into the corner with his left foot.
27' GOAL FOR BRUGGE! And it's the skipper Vanaken who grabs the goal, it came after a fine link up between Noa and Sobol on the left with the latter pulling the ball back from the by-line for the goalscorer who's low effort deflected off Kimpembe on the way into the goal.
30' OFF THE BAR! Messi so close to his first goal for PSG. Trademark Messi, turning inside from the right and then striking a curling effort that had the keeper beaten but came back off the woodwork.
33' Vanaken takes the free kick and it is a dangerous effort that Navas had to dive low to his left to keep out.
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