Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi inspire PSG to Champions League rout


With the French club already through to the knockout stages, this was largely an opportunity for PSG to flex its muscles, and its stars certainly helped to do that.

Before supporters could even settle in their seats to watch the final group stage match, Mbappe had put the host ahead after just 70 seconds of the match, firing home after goalkeeper Simon Mignolet parried a shot.

The 22-year-old then doubled his tally with a wonderfully crafted volley in the seventh minute after Angel Di Maria had chipped a pass over the defense.

Stunned by the ferocious opening 10 minutes, the Belgian visitors began to grow back into the game but always looked vulnerable to PSG’s frightening counterattack and it wasn’t long before Messi got in on the act.

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Kylian Mbappe celebrates after scoring his second goal against Club Brugge.

Messi brace

Mbappe this time turned into the architect, knocking the ball through a defender’s legs before switching the play to the oncoming Messi.

What followed seemed almost inevitable, with the Argentine cutting in on his left foot and curling his effort past the helpless Mignolet.

The pair combined to almost score PSG’s fourth of the first half but Mbappe couldn’t keep his shot under the crossbar after being set free by Messi’s lofted through ball.

PSG seemed to take its foot off the gas in the second half, giving Club Brugge a chance to get back into the game.

Mats Rits curled his effort in after 68 minutes but the goal served as inspiration for PSG to step it up again.

Mbappe and Messi began to work through the gears and the latter was awarded a penalty after being bundled over inside the box.

Despite Mbappe being on a hat-trick, it was Messi himself who stepped up to reestablish PSG’s three goal lead and score his second of the game.

Lionel Messi and Mbappe celebrate with teammates.

The Champions League remains PSG’s biggest goal and, despite not hitting the heights in every game this season and with the injury to Neymar, this match served as a reminder of the attacking capabilities of this star-studded squad.

It will certainly face tougher challenges in the later rounds, but few teams will feel confident facing Messi and Mbappe in this form.

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