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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

PSG begin Champions League campaign with win over Dortmund

PSG begin Champions League campaign with win over Dortmund. x/ElHorizontemx

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) began their Champions League journey with a convincing 2-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund at the Parc des Princes.

Kylian Mbappe played a pivotal role in PSG’s triumph, scoring from a penalty, while Achraf Hakimi added another goal. 

In the first half, PSG dominated proceedings but struggled to trouble Dortmund’s defence significantly. However, just four minutes into the second half, Mbappe converted a penalty awarded for a handball by Niklas Suele. Achraf Hakimi later added a second goal, securing PSG’s win.

The result places PSG in control of Group F, with AC Milan and Newcastle United playing to a goalless draw earlier in the day. 

PSG’s coach, Luis Enrique, expressed his satisfaction with the performance, highlighting the team’s intensity and control throughout the match. He also acknowledged the challenging nature of their group.

Meanwhile, Dortmund found themselves far from their best form and will need to improve as they face AC Milan in their next group-stage match. They are still adapting to the absence of key players like Jude Bellingham and made strategic changes, including dropping Sebastien Haller from the lineup.

PSG is currently in the early stages of a new era following the departures of star players Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Marco Verratti, as well as the arrival of Coach Luis Enrique. 

Enrique stressed the need for time to instill his ideas among the players, especially considering the summer influx of new signings, including Ousmane Dembele and Randal Kolo Muani in attack.

During the first half, PSG controlled the game, with Dortmund opting for a five-man defense and a more reserved approach. Despite dominating possession, PSG had little to show for it, with Vitinha hitting the upright in the 19th minute and Dembele forcing a save from goalkeeper Gregor Kobel.

The turning point arrived shortly after half-time when Mbappe’s shot struck Dortmund’s Suele, resulting in a penalty after a VAR check. Mbappe calmly converted the spot-kick, registering his eighth goal of the season.

A second goal for PSG followed in the 58th minute, courtesy of a combination between Vitinha and Hakimi, with the latter finishing expertly.

Dortmund introduced Marco Reus and Niclas Fuellkrug in their attempts to mount a comeback, but it was substitute Jamie Bynoe-Gittens who came closest to scoring, hitting the post with 11 minutes remaining.

PSG squandered several opportunities to extend their lead, and a late effort from substitute Ramos was ruled out for offside.

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