Paris Saint-Germain’s star front three were all on target as the capital club began their UEFA Champions League campaign with an utterly convincing 5-0 win away to Celtic on Tuesday.
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
UEFA Champions League, Matchday 1 – Group B
Celtic Park, Glasgow
Celtic 0 – 5 Paris Saint-Germain
Eager to live up to their billing as one of the tournament favourites in their Group B opener, PSG were far too strong for the Scottish champions on a sodden night in Glasgow’s East End. Edinson Cavani had the ball in the net early on only for the offside flag to cut short his celebrations (15′) and the Uruguayan was denied by Craig Gordon moments later as he met a Dani Alves header down on the volley first-time.
Celtic then cracked in the 19th minute as Adrien Rabiot’s through ball fed Neymar, who got in behind teenage right-back Anthony Ralston and lifted his shot over Gordon from close range to score his first European goal for his new club.
A long-range free-kick by Leigh Griffiths that was turned over by Alphonse Aréola (22′) gave the home fans some hope, but Paris ran away with the game before the interval. They doubled their lead on 34 minutes when Neymar headed down a Marco Verratti cross from the right and Mbappé turned in his second goal in as many games for his new club. And it was 3-0 when Cavani smashed home a penalty awarded after he had been held back by Jozo Simunovic (40′).
Celtic pressed in search of a consolation in the second half but Unai Emery’s side kept a clean sheet and grabbed two more goals late on. Substitute Julian Draxler breezed past Scott Sinclair on the right and saw his low cross bundled in by luckless Celtic defender Mikael Lustig (83′), before Cavani applied a superb headed finish to a Layvin Kurzawa cross (85′). Bayern Munich – who beat Anderlecht 3-0 on Tuesday – will not look forward to a trip to the Parc des Princes in a fortnight on the basis of this performance.
THE PLAYER: Kylian Mbappé
What a start Mbappé is having to his PSG career as the 18-year-old France forward followed up his debut goal at Metz last Friday with another here. After starring for AS Monaco in this competition last season, he now has seven Champions League goals, equalling the tournament record for a teenager held by Patrick Kluivert.
THE STAT: 22
Cavani now has 22 Champions League goals for PSG, overtaking Zlatan Ibrahimovic (20) as the club’s sole all-time top scorer in the competition.