Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe hit both posts in quick succession as Paris-Saint Germain fell behind against Monaco in Ligue 1 on Sunday.
Messi drove towards the Monaco box before unleashing a strike with his iconic left foot that cannoned off the post. The ball fell for Mbappe who had an open goal, but the Frenchman smashed the ball against the other post and PSG remained a goal down against their rivals.
The hosts came into this game having won all three of their previous games, scoring a whopping 17 goals in the process. Christophe Galtier’s men were keen to maintain their scintillating form against arguably their toughest opposition so far. He made one change, with Renato Sanches starting instead of Vitinha, who was suspended.
Monaco, on the other hand, won their first game against Strasbourg. However, they drew their second game against Rennes and lost 4-1 to Lens last time around, with a player sent off in both games. They were looking to spark a turn in form against the defending champions.
The Parisians made a frantic start to the game, with clumsiness in their own box and fouls off the ball overshadowing their abilities. Neymar was yellow-carded following a come-together with Kevin Volland. The German continued to force the issue and used his physicality to unsettle PSG.
It seemed to work as Monaco surprisingly scored from a rare chance afforded to them. Volland found himself onside and in on goal, and finished with aplomb to make it 1-0 to the visitors after 20 minutes. However, he suffered a knock and was subbed off shortly after.
Monaco continued to use innovative tactics to slow the game down, often staying down longer than needed or taking their own time in dead ball situations. This seemed to affect PSG’s players as well as their fans, as several boos were heard around the Parc des Princes. Maghnes Akliouche was the first player to be booked for the visitors.
PSG had chances to score, hitting the woodwork twice in the space of seconds via Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe. However, they could not equalize and trailed by a goal heading into the break.
Both sides made encouraging starts to the second period, looking to take control and set the tone. The visitors’ hard-tackling and harrassing style caused problems for PSG, but they were soon dealt with strictly by the referee.
The hosts were awarded a penalty midway through the half as Sergio Ramos was fouled inside the box. The decision was confirmed following a VAR check. Neymar stepped up and duly scored from the spot. Monaco continued to sit deep and stick to their plans as they made a few changes to avoid yet another sending off.
After a frenetic second half which saw several come-togethers between players from both sides, the game ended in a 1-1 draw.