A dramatic late penalty denied Paris Saint-Germain victory against RB Leipzig as they drew 2-2 at the Red Bull Arena and lost top spot in Champions League Group A.
Following a lengthy VAR check in stoppage time, referee Andreas Ekberg pointed to the spot after Presnel Kimpembe was judged to have fouled Christopher Nkunku in the box and Dominik Szoboszlai fired past Gianluigi Donnarumma from 12 yards.
PSG were without Lionel Messi after he picked up a knee injury at the weekend but thought they had done enough to claim an away win thanks to a first-half brace from Georginio Wijnaldum, although Mauricio Pochettino’s men had trailed to Nkunku’s header and seen Donnarumma save a first spot-kick from Andre Silva.
A draw saw PSG fall behind Manchester City, whose win over Club Brugge also ended Leipzig’s hopes of advancing from the group.
The hosts had started brightly and took the lead in the eighth minute when Silva put in a perfect cross for Nkunku to head past the flat-footed Donnarumma and score against his former club.
Leipzig’s advantage should have been doubled just three minutes later when Silva was brought down clumsily in the box by Danilo, but the Portugal striker saw his tame penalty saved by Donnarumma.
PSG were level on 21 minutes when Angel Di Maria, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe linked to give Wijnaldum a tap in, his first goal since leaving Liverpool for the French capital at the end of last season.
His second was not far behind as the midfielder was left free in the box from a corner and headed past Peter Gulacsi from a Marquinhos knockdown to give PSG the lead. It was initially disallowed for offside, but the VAR soon overturned the decision.
The visitors wasted further opportunities to finish their opponents off in the second half and were made to pay when Szoboszlai’s 92nd minute penalty denied them the win.
2 – Georginio Wijnaldum has scored two goals or more in a same game in the Top 5 leagues in all comps for the first time since May 2019, already in Champions League, with Liverpool against Barcelona. Saviour. #RBLPSG pic.twitter.com/aLjeG8SpXQ
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) November 3, 2021
What does it mean? PSG get what they deserve
Much was expected of Paris Saint-Germain after their summer transfer business, with many installing them as favourites for the Champions League despite never having won the competition.
They looked anything but the favourites here as Leipzig had more of the ball and more than twice as many shots on goal (17 to seven), with 12 of the home side’s efforts coming from inside the penalty area.
Nkunku comes back to haunt old team
The 23-year old may have come through the youth system in Paris, but it is Jesse Marsch’s team that are reaping the rewards of his development, with Nkunku coming back to bite the hand that once fed him.
He has now scored five goals in this season’s Champions League. Only Robert Lewandowski (8) and Sebastien Haller (7) have scored more, and he is level with Cristiano Ronaldo.
PSG look Messi without Lionel
Pochettino will not have been happy with the performance, but in particular will have been looking at the trio of Mbappe, Neymar and Di Maria for inspiration, of which there was little.
Although they combined well for Wijnaldum’s first goal, Neymar and Di Maria only managed one shot on goal each, both of which were blocked.
Key Opta Facts
– RB Leipzig are winless in their past six Champions League matches (D1 L5), though they did halt a five-game losing run with this draw. They are the first German side since 2018-19 (Hoffenheim) to fail to win any of their first four group stage matches in a campaign.
– PSG are winless in three away games in the Champions League (D2 L1), their worst such run on the road since November 2018 (four on the spin).
– Wijnaldum’s goals were his first in 276 days since the end of January (for Liverpool v West Ham). This was also his first Champions League brace since May 2019 in the semi-finals against Barcelona.
– Since the start of the 2017-18 Champions League campaign – when he registered his first assist in the competition – Mbappe has managed at least four more assists in the competition than any other player (19, ahead of Kevin De Bruyne, 15).
– Szoboszlai’s four Champions League goals have come in four different matches, which is double the number of games in the competition that any other Hungarian has scored in.
Leipzig host Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga on Saturday, while Paris Saint Germain also return to league action at Bordeaux on the same day.
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