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Football Reporting

Barcelona

Lionel Messi, Neymar and Mbappe flop on first start together as PSG draw at Belgian minnows


LIONEL MESSI was unable to perform his usual Champions League magic on his full Paris Saint-Germain debut.

After making a sensational summer switch from Barcelona, the Argentine fired a blank as the Parisians were left frustrated against Club Brugge.

Lionel Messi and Neymar played together with Kylian Mbappe for the first time in the Champions League

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Lionel Messi and Neymar played together with Kylian Mbappe for the first time in the Champions LeagueCredit: AFP
But the trio didn't have enough to overcome Belgian minnows Club Brugge

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But the trio didn’t have enough to overcome Belgian minnows Club BruggeCredit: AFP

The 34-year-old was making his 150th Champions League appearance but it was the first time he walked out to the famous anthem not wearing Catalan colours.

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With Cristiano Ronaldo already hitting three in his opening two games for Manchester United, Messi would have been itching to get on the score sheet for his new club.

And as former United midfielder Ander Herrera’s opener was quickly cancelled out by Hans Vanaken, Messi hit the bar, had an effort saved from close range and even fired into row Z as he tried his best to find the winner.

But after seeing his former side thrashed 3-0 by Bayern Munich on Tuesday night, even he would have felt lucky to be lining up alongside Kylian Mbappe and old Barca pal Neymar for the first time.

Yet it was PSG’s unexpected top scorer this season who carried on his hot streak.

Herrera fired in his FOURTH of the campaign after rifling past former Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet on 15 minutes.

Yet the Belgian side did not feel intimidated by PSG’s star studded line up.

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Brugge skipper Vanaken immediately hit back when he stabbed home after being left unmarked in the penalty area.

Messi nearly restored the lead in trademark style seconds later by smacking the bar with a left-footed curler from 25-yards.

But if it wasn’t for Keylor Navas Brugge would have been ahead before the break after the Costa Rican keeper pulled off a spectacular save to deny Eder Balanta.

Ander Herrera put PSG 1-0 up after 15 minutes

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Ander Herrera put PSG 1-0 up after 15 minutesCredit: Getty
But Hans Vanaken equalised for Brugge just 12 minutes later

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But Hans Vanaken equalised for Brugge just 12 minutes laterCredit: Rex

Messi came close again on the hour mark as he wiggled his way into the six yard box only to be denied by Mingolet.

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And even as Brugge’s players started to look leggy late on Mauricio Pochettino’s men failed to find a breakthrough.

Manchester City’s 6-3 win against RB Leipzig meant they went top of Group A with PSG sitting second.







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