Lionel Messi’s debut for Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League did not go exactly as Messi or his club had hoped. Messi started the match with superstars Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, but the star trio could not help their team get past Club Brugge, who held PSG to 1-1 in Belgium.
PSG started strong and took the lead through a well-worked goal in the 15th minute. Mbappe made a run down the left wing, waiting for his teammates to run into the box, eventually serving the ball to Ander Herrera, who fired home. It seemed to be a smooth sailing trip from there, but Club Brugge was not about to fold.
The home team got a furious reaction and continued to leave PSG, win other balls and leave for PSG until Club Brugge found an equalizer on a shot by Hans Vanaken. It deserved to take the lead before halftime, but could not convert on a handful of chances.
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In the second half, it looked bleak for PSG, who lost Mbappe to injury. But Messi and Neymar came strong to end the match, even though there were not many clear chances to regain the lead.
Messi did not have too many highlights. He hit the woodwork in the first half and he also got a yellow card in the second half but PSG still look very much going on. It remains to be seen whether the injury to Mbappe’s lower left leg will throw a wrench into PSG’s plans for the start of this season.
Club Brugge vs PSG final result
PSG – Ander Herrera (Kylian Mbappe) – 15th min.
BRU – Hans Vanaken (Eduard Sobol) – 27. min.
(All times east)
Final: Club Brugge 1, PSG 1
92nd minute: First sub of Club Brugge to kill some time. And the Belgian side is almost at home with the result.
90th minute: Two minutes stop time.
86th minute: Messi sees more of the ball in these last minutes. Club Brugge would probably settle for a draw at this point.
81 min: Again it is Nuno Mendes down to the left and his post is almost deflected by Mauro Icardi on the Bruges goal. Not exactly coordinated by Icardi.
79th minute: Club Brugge has backed up a bit and now PSG is seizing the moment. New post Nuno Mendes seeps down to the left and crosses, but Messi’s volley in the box goes high.
74th minute: Noa Lang with a bike kick attempt that goes far! But he was offside. Meanwhile, Nuno Mendes comes on as left-back Abdou Diallo. There are no subscriptions to Club Brugge yet.
72 minutes: Messi reserved! Mats Rits hits him on the ball and Messi brings him down. It looked unintentional, but it’s a card for the referee.
70th minute: Neymar combines with Messi and his shot is deflected away by Bruges goalkeeper Mignolet. Rare chance for PSG in this half.
62 min: Brugge winger Noa Lang shorted for a free kick from behind on Ander Herrera. Club Brugge still looks like the team that is most likely to get the goal. PSG looks like an ongoing work.
Honestly, to remind myself that Neymar is still in this game … #UCL
– Jonathan Johnson (@Jon_LeGossip) September 15, 2021
57 min: A PSG free-kick sums up the French team’s night: Messi wins a set piece, takes it himself and his service into the box goes straight to the ‘goalkeeper’ after his goal, Marquinhos, stumbled to the top of the box. Not very cohesive game from PSG. Club Brugge have the better ideas and the players run races for each other.
51 min: So much for MNM (Messi-Neymar-Mbappe). Mbappe must leave the match! He asks for the sub after going awkward on a dribbling race. Mauro Icardi comes after him.
49th minute: Club Brugge passes easily and moves easily in the PSG field, and Jack Hendry’s shot is blocked by a PSG defender. The game continues in much the same way as it ended in the first half.
46th minute: The second half is underway. And PSG make two changes in that midfield to start the half: Julian Draxler in for Wijnaldum and Danilo on for Leandro Paredes, who was on a yellow card.
Break time: Club Brugge 1, PSG 1
Half time: The match started as if to follow an obvious script: PSG attack and Club Brugge looking for a counter. And when PSG followed the script, it went up to 1-0 on a fantastic play by Mbappe and a sensational finish from Ander Herrera. But Club Brugge did not just collapse. PSG was apparently surprised by the reaction. Not only did the local team equalize, but it deserved the lead. PSG lose the midfield match and it is honestly drafted and outcompeted by the Belgian side.
44 min: The Ketelaers are causing havoc again in the PSG box. This time, his ball does not reach his teammate. Bruges goes after the victory.
40th minute: Mbappe injured. Bruges defender Stanley Nsoki steps on the heel of Mbappe and he gently walks back onto the pitch after receiving treatment.
39th minute: Another rescue from Navas! This time it is De Ketelaere with a solo run and a shot that forces to a rescue.
33rd minute: Bruges chance! A Vanaken free-kick is stopped by a diving Keylor Navas, and shortly afterwards a Kamal Sowah shot hits the sideline. Bruges feels it.
29th minute: Messi hits the woodwork! The patent ran from Messi down to the right and he curls a shot with his left foot from the far corner.
27th minute: And Bruges equalizes! Hans Vanaken has a shot deflected off target after a cross from the left by Sobol. Well taken goal.
23rd minute: Bruges goalkeeper Mignolet with a big stop on Mbappe! Messi with a great ball for him.
20 minutes: Club Brugge make an attempt at a fightback, but nothing that worries PSG. A few crosses around the PSG box. But it looks like PSG will now be able to counter.
15th minute: And that is the goal for PSG! Mbappe with the post and Ander Herrera with the first time at the top of the field.
12th minute: Paredes got himself in real trouble just a minute later. He rejects a ball and Charles De Ketelaere takes the ball away. Paredes brings him down 25 yards from goal and gets a yellow. He is lucky that there was coverage or it could have been a red card for denying a goal scorer.
11th minute: The referee has a word with Brugge defender Stanley Nsoki, who just falls into the box after a quarrel with Leandro Paredes. There was really nothing about it. And nothing to the subsequent corner.
6th minute: When Club Brugge gets the ball, the local fans go crazy, but it has not led to anything dangerous yet.
3 min: PSG with possession, knocks the ball around the Club Brugge field, but the Belgian side’s defenders are doing fine so far.
1st minute: We drive. PSG in white and Club Brugge in the traditional blue and black kit.
14:58 OG: Moments away:
14:33 OG: PSG warms up just below their supporters:
14:26 OG: Report on the spot that the soundtrack to Messi’s debut in the Champions League with PSG has included Stone Roses, Arcade Fire and Placebo:
14:10 ET: Video of Messi’s arrival at Jan Breydel Stadium:
13:18 ET: A reminder of the squad that PSG took to Belgium:
13:13 ET: We can assume that Messi is playing if he posts this on his Instagram:
12:18 ET: Reports get Keylor Navas to start in Belgium over Gigi Donnarumma.
Club Brugge vs PSG: Starting line-ups
Club Brugge (4-3-3, left to right): 22-Simon Mignolet-GK-2-Eduard Sobol, 4-Stanley Nsoki, 5-Jack Hendry, 77-Clinton Mata-20-Hans Vanaken, 3-Eder Balanta, 26-Mats Rits-10-Noa Lang, 90-Charles De Ketelaere, 19-Kamal Sowah
PSG (4-3-3, left to right): 1-Keylor Navas-GK-22-Abdou Diallo, 5-Marquinhos, 3-Presnel Kimpembe, 2-Achraf Hakimi-21-Ander Herrera, 8-Leandro Paredes, 18-Georginio Wijnaldum-10-Neymar, 7-Kylian Mbappe, 30-Lionel Messi
How to watch Club Brugge vs. PSG
- Date: Wednesday, September 15th
- Time: 15.00 ET
- TV channel: Univision, TUDN
- Streaming (USA): fuboTV, Paramount +
- Streaming (Canada): DAZN
Lionel Messi’s debut in the Champions League with Paris Saint-Germain will be televised nationally on Univision and TUDN. Both channels are carried by fuboTV (free 7-day trial period for new subscribers). Paramount + will have an English-language stream of the match.
DAZN has UEFA Champions League rights in Canada and will stream the match for subscribers.