A star-studded Paris Saint-Germain began their UEFA Champions League campaign with a 1-1 draw against Club Brugge on Wednesday evening.
Lionel Messi expectedly made PSG’s line-up for the first time since his high-profile arrival and partnered Neymar Junior and Kylian Mbappe in an exciting front-three combination.
It did not take the Ligue 1 giants long to the breakthrough as with 16 minutes played, former Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera steered home Mbappe’s low cross from the left.
In pure identical fashion, Brugge drew a reply 12 minutes after going behind as Hans Vanaken applied a smart finish past Keylor Navas off a ball down the left-wing by Eduard Sobol.
Messi’s first foray at the opposite end nearly resulted in a first goal for PSG a minute from the half-hour mark when he worked a left-footed strike from the cusp of the area against the woodwork.
Brugge were prevented the lead 12 minutes from halftime as Navas dived across to push Vanaken’s free-kick from 25 yards out around the post.
PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino made two substitutions after the interval, with Leonardo Paredes sacrificed for Danilo Pereira and Julian Draxler introduced ahead of Georginio Wijnaldum.
Brugge continued to fancy their own against their star-studded counterparts and put Navas to work with a shot from a tight angle by Noa Lang, who had sneaked into the defence.
PSG began to chase shadows a little to full-time and watched Lang going inches close from the net with an overhead kick that went inches wide with Charles De Ketelaere the provider.
The tables shifted nine minutes to the end after a low ball into the area from Nuno Mendes met Mauro Icardi, who from an unmarked position missed target completely.
In the end, the Belgian and French outfit played to a stalemate on the opening day of their UEFA Champions League Group A campaign.
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