Paris Saint-Germain 7-2 Maccabi Haifa: Mbappe and Messi at the double as PSG secure last-16 place

By Sports Desk October 25, 2022

Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi scored twice as Paris Saint-Germain marched through to the Champions League knockout stages with a 7-2 win over Maccabi Haifa.

Neymar was also on target to help Christophe Galtier's side book their place in the last 16 with a match to spare.

Sean Goldberg's own goal and a late Carlos Soler strike completed a commanding victory at Parc des Princes, where PSG remain unbeaten after 90 minutes since their 2-1 defeat by Manchester City in the 2020-21 semi-finals.

A pair of Abdoulaye Seck headers proved academic for Maccabi, whose attention turns to the fight for the Europa League after their elimination from Group H was confirmed.

PSG broke the deadlock in the 19th minute as a persistent Mbappe poked the ball to Messi, who delightfully prodded beyond Josh Cohen with the outside of his boot from 12 yards.

Mbappe doubled the lead from a similar position 13 minutes later; the France forward brilliantly curling into the far corner after the ball ricocheted kindly for him, and Neymar made it 3-0 when he tucked away Messi's throughball following a devastating counter.

The visitors pulled one back when Seck headed in Omer Atzili’s free-kick, but the hosts quickly restored their three-goal cushion as Messi swept home a trademark 20-yard effort.

Seck grabbed his second by looping a header over Gianluigi Donnarumma five minutes after the restart, becoming the first defender to score twice against PSG since Julian Palmieri for Bastia in January 2015.

The hosts soon regained control, however, as Mbappe superbly curled past Cohen from Achraf Hakimi's deep cross, before Goldberg turned Neymar's centre beyond his own goalkeeper.

The crossbar denied Messi a hat-trick, but the Argentina star provided a neat lay-off for Soler to round off a dominant display six minutes from time.

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