Club Brugge have exposed Paris Saint Germain and made the much anticipated Messi, Neymar, and Mbappe combination not as good as expected.
Recall that when Lionel Messi decided to join PSG after FC Barcelona failed to extend his contract, the football world thought his combination with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe would be unstoppable.
On Wednesday, September 15, 2021, the world had the opportunity to see the three forwards play together for PSG against Belgian side Club Brugge. To the dismay of most football fans, the game ended 1-1 at Jan Breydel Stadium in Bruges, Belgium.
As expected, PSG scored the opening goal in the 15th minute through the boots of the club’s midfielder Ander Herrera.
Due to the early goal and the fact that proven scorers like Messi, Neymar, and Mbappe, had not scored, most people who were following the game thought it would be a whitewash for the home team.
That wasn’t to be as Club Brugge’s Hans Vanaken scored the equalizer in the 27th minute to keep the spectators solidly behind the home team.
In most parts of the game, Brugge’s players gave Messi, Neymar, and Mbappe no breathing space. The match became so balanced that the first half ended 1-1.
In the second half, the defense of Club Brugge continued to remain unbreakable. The best attempt Messi got in the game was when he took a long-range shot outside the eighteen-yard box which ended on the bar.
After that, Messi, Neymar, and Mbappe remained quiet in most parts of the game to the extend coach Mauricio Pochettino had no choice but to substitute Mbappe in the 51st minute.
The introduction of Mauro Icardi could not change much. Instead, it was Club Brugge that looked more dangerous and most likely to score.
It became so frustrating for the star-studded PSG side that Lionel Messi made an irrational tackle on Mats Rits in the 72nd minute that earned him a yellow card.
After the 1-1 draw, coach Pochettino stressed that no member of the PSG team could be happy about the 1-1 draw because they traveled to Belgium to get the maximum three points.
He said: “Nobody in the team can be happy with their performance and nobody can be happy with this result. We came here to take points. All the points.
“Hats off to Club Brugge. They wanted it more than us tonight and they deserve the point.
“We didn’t have a good evening. We have to stay calm, keep working and take the time we need. Things will get better.”
On the failed combination of Messi, Neymar, and Mbappe, the coach added: “We need time to work for them to build an understanding.
“That’s been clear and we have said that in recent days. We still have to create a team.”