Lionel Messi struggles on PSG full debut as Club Brugge teach Champions League lesson


    Lionel Messi made his full debut for PSG against Club Brugge in the Champions League on Wednesday night. However, the Argentina international couldn’t inspire his side to victory in Belgium, with the game ending 1-1. Express Sport will now look at five things we learned from the contest.

    Messi struggles on full PSG debut

    All eyes were on Messi before the game.

    Having only appeared for PSG off the bench since joining from Barcelona, Mauricio Pochettino opted to give the 34-year-old a first start.

    However, while Messi displayed some classy touches, it was a disappointing showing from the veteran.

    His cause wasn’t helped by the withdrawal of Kylian Mbappe, who was forced off through injury.

    And PSG fans will be hoping Messi fares better when they lock horns with Lyon in their crunch Ligue 1 showdown on Sunday.

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    Navas earns his stripes

    PSG’s decision to sign Gianluigi Donnarumma on a free transfer from AC Milan looks even stranger after this result.

    After all, with Navas in this sort of form, they don’t even need the Italy international.

    We’d go as far to say that Navas is one of the most underrated players in world football at the current moment in time.

    He won the lot at Real Madrid but was still unfairly jettisoned for Thibaut Courtois.

    And his fantastic performances for PSG show he’s getting better with age, like a fine wine.

    PSG’s theatrics were embarrassing

    With PSG struggling to get everything their own way, they resorted to some play-acting inside the box.

    And those theatrics slowed the game down, while also looking embarrassing in the process.

    Marquinhos threw himself down to the floor inside the penalty box in a desperate attempt to earn a spot-kick.

    And, at the other end, Ander Herrera went down like he’d been shot.

    Really? If PSG are to win the Champions League, they need to do it via the players – instead of relying on referees to dig them out of a hole.

    Pochettino has a huge task ahead

    With PSG’s front three failing to fire, it gives Pochettino a dilemma.

    They missed the energy of Angel Di Maria in this side, with the Argentina international’s lung-bursting speed usually a good outlet in attack.

    Now, Pochettino will have to find a balancing act.

    PSG’s forward players didn’t work hard enough up top, instead all strolling around expecting their team-mates to do the rest.

    And how Pochettino gets them going, after this setback, remains to be seen.


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