Mauro Icardi scored his first goal for Paris Saint-Germain to give them a 1-0 win over Galatasaray in their Champions League Group A clash on Tuesday.
Argentina forward Icardi joined PSG on a season-long loan from Inter last month, and tapped home from close range in the second half after a slick passing move.
In the face of a hostile atmosphere in Istanbul, PSG showed their mettle and would have won by a greater margin but for Angel Di Maria’s poor finishing.
PSG’s victory moves them four points clear at the top of the group, with Real Madrid five points adrift after being held to a home draw by Club Brugge.
26 – Paris have scored a goal in each of their last 26 games in Champions League, only Real Madrid (34) and Barcelone (29) have done a longest streak in the history of the competition. Net. #GALPSG @PSG_English pic.twitter.com/rrIQDJDmHL
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) October 1, 2019
The catcalls and boos from the Galatasaray fans at the Ali Sami Yen Stadium did not knock PSG off their stride early as they swarmed forward in the early stages.
Di Maria had two glorious opportunities to give PSG the lead but a combination of disappointing finishing and fine goalkeeping kept the scoreline goalless.
Argentina international Di Maria first shot straight at Fernando Muslera when clean through, and then saw the Galatasaray goalkeeper produce a brilliant reaction save to push a shot over the bar.
PSG goalkeeper Keylor Navas kept out a curling free-kick from Jean Michael Seri early in the second half before Di Maria squandered yet another chance when he broke clear only to fluff his lines as Muslera advanced off his line.
Thomas Tuchel’s men took the lead seven minutes after the break as some neat build-up culminated in Pablo Sarabia’s low cross for Icardi, who calmly stroked the ball into the net.
Icardi was replaced by fit-again Kylian Mbappe on the hour mark and the France striker tested the reflexes of Muslera with a low angled shot that he blocked at his near post.
Galatasaray sporadically threatened with a late aerial bombardment as they sought an equaliser but PSG stood firm with little difficulty.
What does it mean? PSG in control of Group A
Without Brazil forward Neymar, who served the final match of his two-game European ban, PSG are sitting pretty at the top of Group A with maximum points from two matches. Madrid have been left to play catch up after their 2-2 draw with Brugge, who PSG face in back-to-back matchdays as they look to reach the knockout phase at a canter.
Gritty Gueye key for PSG
This was a game in which the midfield battle was crucial and former Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye produced a disciplined display. Gueye chased, harried and scrapped for every ball as he impressively shielded the PSG back four.
Forgettable night for Babel
Ryan Babel has
enjoyed a renaissance in recent years but this was a throwback to some of the Dutch forward’s underwhelming displays of years gone by. He struggled to make an impact against the PSG defence and when things did not go his way his demeanour was less than impressive.
Ligue 1 leaders PSG return to domestic action on Saturday with a match against second-placed Angers at the Parc des Princes while Galatasaray head to Ankara to face Genclerbirligi in the Turkish Super Lig.
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