A special goal cancels Messi’s amazing shot

Lionel Messi’s incredible curling efforts weren’t enough to keep PSG off the line as they drew to a 1-1 draw with Benfica in the Champions League.

In a showdown between the top two teams in Group H, the match was ideally set up for one of the two sides to steal an advantage and claim the top spot in the middle of the stage.

Messi united relentlessly with Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, playing a pass at the feet of the Frenchman who sent the ball to the Brazilian. Before Benfica knew it, the ball was returned to the Argentine, who put it in the top corner to lead the visiting team into the lead in the 22nd minute.

The joy was rather short, though Benfica responded well to being left behind and back into the competition.

After testing Gianluigi Donnarumma on several occasions, his resolve was broken when Enzo Fernandez’s cross was inadvertently passed by Danilo Pereira in the 41st minute, fixing the first half level.

Actions will become a war between goalkeepers as the game develops. Paris Saint-Germain’s superb three-way match continued to seize opportunities with Neymar and Mbappe who were denied Odyssey Vlacodemos, while Donnarumma was also in good shape to keep Benfica away.

Nicolas Otamendi had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the 67th minute from a free kick taken by Alex Grimaldo, but he was unable to direct it towards the goal.

Mbappe then came close to scoring at the other end, with Flashodemos curling a shot.

PSG had another chance of late to steal all three points, but Messi was unable to arrange his feet in time to complete a Vittinha through pass, allowing the Benfica stopper to stifle the opportunity and ensure the points are shared.

With the firepower that PSG have and the way they have performed this season under Christophe Galtier, a draw would look like two points dropped instead of one.

Both teams appear to be better able to perform in the knockout rounds, but with Juventus finally winning in Turin, next week’s reverse game at Parc des Princes could be pivotal.

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