71 min Barcelona bring on Oscar Mingueza for Sergino Dest, who has had a tough night against Mbappe.
PSG had a free-kick 30 yards from goal on the left. Paredes whipped in a wicked ball to the far post that found Kean totally unmarked, six yards out, and his downward header bounced up through the hands of ter Stegen.
69 min “Evening Rob,” says Simon McMahon. “I loved, in fact still love, Mmmbop by Hanson. There, I said it. It never gets old, even if they do. I seem to recall that it was released at almost the same time as Paranoid Android by Radiohead. I loved that too. You can like both, right? Like football and cricket. Or the Chase and Pointless. Even Man United and Liverpool?”
68 min: Mbappe denied a hat-trick! He has been unplayable tonight. He picked up the bal on the left of the area, swerved away from Dest and rifled a low left-footed shot that was kicked away by ter Stegen.
Paredes lifted a gorgeous pass over the defence to find Florenzi on the right. His low cross towards Icardi was blocked by Pique, running towards his own goal, but Mbappe followed up to score with appreciable glee.
GOAL! Barcelona 1-2 PSG (Mbappe 65)
The wonderful Kylian Mbappe gets his second!
63 min Alba’s cross did hit the outstretched arm of Kean, though he was only a couple of yards away and it was clearly accident- LOOK I DON’T KNOW ANYMORE OKAY.
62 min Dembele drags a tame shot through to Navas from the right edge of the area.
62 min Barcelona appeal for a penalty when Alba’s cross hits Kean just inside the area. I’ve not idea whether it hit his hand, but the referee was having none of it.
61 min “This has to be the most ordinary Barca side since 2003,” says Phil Podolsky. “So few ideas going forward.”
They just need to sign Edgar Davids.
60 min A wicked deep corner from Messi is headed wide by the off balance Griezmann. Herrera did well to make sure Griezmann couldn’t get a clear run at the ball.
59 min Messi’s free-kick hits the top of the ball and goes behind for a corner.
58 min Messi is fouled 22 yards from goal by Kimpembe. Replays show it was a dive, after a handoff to the face, but the referee bought it. This is a chance for Messi…
56 min Herrera’s scooped return pass just evades Mbappe, who had made another run behind the Barcelona defence. He must be utterly terrifying to play against.
52 min This game is PSG’s for the taking, although we’ve said that a few times over the years in this competition.
50 min: Good save from ter Stegen! Mbappe and Icardi combine to set up Kean, whose deflected shot is pawed away by ter Stegen. That was a good save, because he was falling and had to reach up to push it away, but it was a surprise to see Icardi flick the ball behind his standing leg to Kean rather than have a shot himself.
49 min Mbappe zips between Dest and Dembele on the left and pushes the ball back to Verratti on the left corner of the box. He dummies to shoot and then does shoot, opening his body to whip a curler that is headed away by Pique. Verratti has produced some lovely moments of class tonight, including that dummy and the flicked pass for Mbappe’s goal.
48 min “Fantastic players on both sides, but (apart from maybe 80s vintage Millwall) I can’t think of any two clubs that are easier to dislike,” says Matt Dony. “I really would like both teams to lose. Gun to my head, I’ll go for PSG to go through. If only to potentially give Mbappe the chance to leave Paris on a high, before his unveiling at Anfield in July.”
I love that you felt the need to put a metaphorical gun to your head over a game in which you have no vested interest. I bet this doesn’t happen to badminton fans.
47 min Mbappe, who has been scary at times, curls just wide from 25 yards. ter Stegen had it covered but it was another reminder of his devastating efficiency.
PSG have made a sensible half-time substitution: Andre Herrera is on for Idrissa Gueye, who was a red card waiting to happen.
“It’s it just me,” says Paul in Murcia, “that when reading the name Mbappe can’t help think of MMMBop by Hanson, or Sergio Busquets think of Biscuits?”
I’ll level with you: the ‘biscuits’ link is a stretch, and might be something to raise with the therapist. But I’ve also had an Mbappe/Hanson moment or two. Here’s a fun fact to make us all feel old and past it: Mbappe hadn’t even been conceived when that song came out.
Half time: Barcelona 1-1 Paris Saint-Germain
Peep peep! It’s Messi 1-1 Mbappe after a very enjoyable half of football. PSG were the better side but went behind to a soft penalty, roofed emphatically by Lionel Messi. PSG responded splendidly, with Mbappe smashing an equaliser within five minutes, and both sides went close thereafter. See you soon for the second half.
45 min Maybe Icardi could have done better, I’m not sure. He really thumped the header but was unable to steer it towards goal from in front of the near post.
44 min Busquets plays the ball back to ter Stegen, who shanks a routine clearance behind for a corner. He is so nearly punished: Mbappe whips an excellent corner to the near post, where Icardi flashes a terrific header just wide.
43 min Gueye, who has already been booked, is late on Busquets. He’d be off for that in the Premier League. I prefer the referee Bjorn Kuipers’ take, which appears to be a final warning.
41 min “Evening Rob, do you agree there is a double standard about fouls inside and outside the penalty area?” says Brian Russell. “It seems any contact in the penalty area results in the attacker smugly throwing himself to the ground and the referee cheerfully rewarding him with a penalty. Outside the penalty similar contact rarely results in a free kick. If it’s not a free kick outside the area how can it be a penalty inside it? It’s like everyone is agreed that footie ceases to be a contact sport when the ball is in the penalty area.”
Yep, it’s a complete mess. I don’t know what else to say really, except maybe EFF VAR.
39 min Mbappe had a slight touch of fortune with the goal, because he didn’t control the ball perfectly. But he reacted with dizzying speed to beat Lengelt and wallop it in at the near post.
38 min At the other end, Kean’s fierce snapshot on the turn is pushed round the post by ter Stegen. After a slow start, this is turning into a cracker.
37 min: Just wide from Griezmann! This is great stuff. Barcelona break from a PSG corner, with Griezmann on the ball near the halfway line. He runs all the way to the edge of the area, using Dembele by not using him, and rifles a low shot that beats Navas and flies just past the far post.
35 min: Fine save from ter Stegen! Mbappe, who is threatening to run riot, slides the ball back from the touchline to find Kurzawa on the edge of the area. He moves away from Dembele, whose defending has been half-arsed at best, and slides a low shot across goal. It looks set to nestle in the bottom corner, but ter Stegen somehow gets down to fingertip it round the post. That was an outstanding save.
Marquinhos drove a crossfield pass out to Kurzawa on the left wing. He cushioned a volleyed cross back towards the edge of the area for Verratti, who flicked the ball neatly round the corner to Mbappe with the outside of his foot. Mbappe was surrounded by defenders but had the composure and awareness to shift the ball away from Lenglet and ram it past ter Stegen from close range. That was brilliant play in a tight area from Verratti and especially Mbappe.
GOAL! Barcelona 1-1 PSG (Mbappe 32)
Kylian Mbappe equalises with a brilliant goal!
31 min Florenzi curls a nice dipping cross to the near post, where Mbappe improvises a lovely flick behind his front leg that is crucially blocked by Lenglet.