Champions League build-up and reaction after Lionel Messi scores first PSG goal

September 29, 2021

We will be bringing you reaction to last night’s action, after Lionel Messi opened his account for Paris Saint-Germain by scoring in the club’s 2-0 victory over Manchester City. But the result of the night was FC Sheriff Tiraspol’s extraordinary 2-1 win away against Real Madrid, thanks to a sensational 89th-minute strike from Sebastien Thill.

There is plenty of action to look forward to tonight, as well. Defending champions Chelsea travel to Juventus, while Manchester United host Villarreal in a repeat of last year’s Europa League final.

Ahead of tonight’s clash with Chelsea, Leonardo Bonucci sat down with The Athletic to talk through winning Euro 2020, life with Cristiano Ronaldo and almost joining Manchester City.

The Italian defender was also full of compliments for Romelu Lukaku. He said: “Romelu Lukaku has proven himself to be a complete striker.

“He can win games on his own. When you come up against him you have to be switched on for 100 minutes a game.

“Unfortunately for us defenders, we can’t disengage our brains even for 10 seconds because those 10 seconds might be lethal.

“You must never engage Lukaku in a physical battle or play touch-tight. Instead, be ready to drop off because when his team has the ball, he will try to run in behind.

“In the box, he’s great at playing man-to-man so you need to be on the front foot, try to read the game and play hard.

“If you let him take up a position and he gets ahead of you, you won’t be able to step out and anticipate what’s coming.”

Villarreal manager Unai Emery insists he is not afraid of Manchester United but is wary of the threat the Red Devils pose ahead of tonight’s clash at Old Trafford.

The Yellow Submarines beat United in the final of the Europa League on penalties last season but will head into tonight as the underdogs.

Speaking in his press conference yesterday, Emery said: “I’m not afraid of Manchester United, we respect them ok, respect is important. If you lose respect you may lose.

“Man Utd is the clear favourite. It was also the favourite in the final. We played a competitive match but they also had the options.

“They lost against Young Boys, it was the favourite very less favourite but there was a surprise. If you lose respect the other team may take advantage of that

“Tomorrow, Manchester will be the best Manchester, they have to prove their power. What Solskjaer has done for as a player and a coach, we have to respect them., they are the favourites.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was happy with his side’s performance in their 5-1 thrashing of Porto last night.

A brace from Mohamed Salah and substitute Firmino, and one from Sadio Mane, saw the Reds stroll to yet another victory at the Estadio do Dragao.

Klopp said: “Performance-wise it was good in many moments. Early on you could see Porto watched our last game against Brentford. We wanted to get it sorted on the pitch, and that’s what we did.”

The German is already looking ahead to this weekend’s clash with Manchester City. He said: “Against City we need more things than momentum. We need to play better than we did tonight, that’s clear. City will want to strike back (after defeat at PSG) for sure.

After his stunning goal last night, Lionel Messi has now been directly involved in 33 goals in 35 games against English sides.

Here is a breakdown of those numbers:

9 goals, 1 assist vs Arsenal

7 goals, 2 assists vs Man City

4 goals vs Man Utd

3 goals, 3 assists vs Chelsea

2 goals vs Liverpool

2 goals vs Spurs

Who says that Messi wouldn’t be able to do in in the Premier League?