Champions League: Lionel Messi-less PSG disappointed by last-gasp equalizer by RB Leipzig

Dominic Zbowszlai converted a penalty in stoppage time as RB Leipzig thrashed Paris Saint-Germain in a 2-2 draw in the Champions League on Wednesday without the injured Lionel Messi. PSG were cruising for an away win and were 2-1 in Leipzig with 90 minutes to go as Georginio Wijnaldum netted twice to cancel out Christopher Nkunku’s opening goal for the hosts. In the dying seconds, Leipzig were awarded a penalty when PSG defender Presnel Kimpembe jumped on Nkunku in the form of a cross and substitute Szoboszlai made no mistake with a spot kick. “We didn’t start well, but Leipzig did and we had to get back in the game,” Wijnaldum told DAZN. “We created opportunities in the second half, but gave too many away. We have to learn from that and control. The game was better because we were 2-1 ahead and we should have missed our chances. There is a lot of room for improvement.”

With Messi sidelined, the draw moved PSG to first place in Group A and left them behind new leaders Manchester City, who beat Club Brugge 4–1.

PSG meet City in Manchester in three weeks’ time.

“Being second behind City doesn’t change anything for us,” said PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino.

“We need to have the will to go out there and win the game to try to top the group.”

Leipzig’s bleak hopes of reaching the last 16 ended as they remained at the bottom of their group despite earning their first point in Europe after three previous losses.

“We should have won this game and it’s a bit of a pity we didn’t take our chances,” said Leipzig’s American coach Jesse Marsh, who was booked in the first half to argue with the referee.

“If we were 2-0 up, it would have been very difficult for PSG,” he said, referring to Andre Silva’s weak penalty effort, which was saved soon after Nkunku’s opening goal.

The German club got off to a 3-2 loss at PSG a fortnight ago and got off to a strong start on Wednesday.

Barely 20 seconds later, PSG captain Marquinhos had to step off the line as Silva came behind the defense and forced Gianluigi Donnarumma to make the save.

The hosts kept the pressure up and took the lead when Silva’s cross was met with a superb diving header by Nkunku to claim his fifth Champions League goal in four matches.

Leipzig attacked again and were awarded a penalty, but a weak effort from Silva, who has been struggling for form in Leipzig since joining Eintracht Frankfurt, was easily saved by Donnarumma in barely 11 minutes.

Angel Di Maria started the break for PSG’s draw, Neymar stepped up and Mbappe supplied the cross, which was thrown into the net in 21 minutes by former Liverpool player Wijnaldum.

Wijnaldum doubled his numbers when he nodded Marquinhos’ header over the line and VAR allowed the goal to be made 2-1 at the break, despite suspicions from offside.

Mbappe should have put the game beyond Leipzig’s reach when he fired, then wasted two clear chances at the start of the second half with a direct shot at Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulasi.

The visitors were guilty of taking their foot off the gas as Leipzig created better chances.

Donnarumma just found a glove for a cross, going for Leipzig striker Yusuf Poulsen, then Soboszlai fired wide for the hosts as PSG lived dangerously.

The game came to a dramatic close when Kimpembe jumped into Nkunku and Soboszlai calmly homeed the penalty.

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