Mbappé scores again as PSG beat Sociedad 2-0 in Champions League round of 16

AP , Thursday 15 Feb 2024

Kylian Mbappé grabbed the first goal and emerging winger Bradley Barcola added the second as Paris Saint-Germain beat Real Sociedad 2-0 in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 on Tuesday.

Paris Saint-Germain s French forward #29 Bradley Barcola (L) celebrates with Paris Saint-Germain s French forward #07 Kylian Mbappe after scoring his team s second goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Real Sociedad at the Parc des Princes Stadium in Paris, on February 14, 2024. AFP


Sociedad dominated the game for long spells despite missing key players through injury, until Mbappé’s goal in the 58th minute.

The breakthrough came when Marquinhos headed on Ousmane Dembélé's corner from the right and Mbappé was unmarked at the back post to volley in. A few minutes later, his strike from the edge of the penalty area was tipped onto the crossbar by goalkeeper Álex Remiro.

But Remiro was beaten again in the 70th when the speedy Barcola broke down the left, skipped past right back Hamari Traoré with ease and poked the ball in — prompting coach Luis Enrique to jump off the bench to celebrate.

There was relief, too, that Mbappé lasted the whole game.

Mbappé's sore left ankle kept him on the bench for Saturday's French league game, but he showed no ill effects when he latched onto Dembelé's pass and forced a save in the sixth minute.

After that chance, however, PSG's intensity dropped right off.

Even though Sociedad coach Imanol Alguacil was without goal-scoring midfielder Mikel Oyarzabal and left back Kieran Tierney, the intensity and organization of Sociedad's high pressing pushed PSG back at a subdued Parc des Princes.

André Silva glanced a header wide and captain Mikel Merino struck the crossbar with a superb dipping shot from 25 meters moments before the break.

Mbappé's goal took pressure off his teammates and allowed the 21-year-old Barcola — a summer signing from Lyon — more freedom to attack.

The return leg is on March 5.

In the other last-16 game, veteran striker Ciro Immobile 's penalty gave Lazio a 1-0 win against Bayern Munich.

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