Wednesday’s Champions League match between Paris Saint-Germain and Benfica ended in a 1-1 draw despite Lionel Messi’s outstanding curling effort.
Only the second time this season have both teams failed to win in all competitions, but they still lead Juventus by four points as the Italian team overcame two straight losses to defeat Maccabi Haifa 3-1 at home.
Benfica‘s intense pressing shook PSG as the hosts made a promising start, despite the fact that they are now leading the Portuguese league despite dropping their first points over the weekend.
When Goncalo Ramos raced onto a long ball in behind the defense, Gianluigi Donnarumma’s leg stopped him from scoring. Ramos attracted interest from PSG in the summer.
Later, Ramos shot from a distance that pricked Donnarumma’s hands, but the Italian goalkeeper made a great save to divert David Neres’ attempt wide.
The famed PSG three-man attack of Messi, Neymar, and Kylian Mbappe, however, unexpectedly came to life, and the visitors advanced as the Argentine expertly finished the move he started.
Neymar received a pass from Messi that was assisted to Mbappe, and Messi then laid the ball off to Neymar and whipped it first-time into the far top corner for his 127th Champions League goal.
As Antonio Silva’s shot was parried to safety, Donnarumma again sprang in to save Benfica, but shortly before halftime, the hosts scored the equalizer that their play merited.
Danilo unintentionally glanced in on Enzo Fernandez’s teaser cross from the left as he attempted to follow Ramos because he was given far too much room to do so.
Early in the second half, Neymar twice came close to giving PSG the lead back, twice hitting the crossbar with a creative overhead kick and forcing Odysseas Vlachodimos to knock away his free-kick.
After being set up by Messi, Achraf Hakimi could only shoot straight at the Benfica goalkeeper, and at the other end, Nicolas Otamendi of Benfica flicked a free kick narrowly past the post.
Both sides kept producing opportunities. A sprawling Vlachodimos blocked Mbappe’s looping shot, and Donnarumma extended himself to block Rafa Silva following a rogue run.
However, ultimately there was nothing separating the two unbeaten teams that will face off again at the Parc des Princes in six days.