Lionel Messi's audacious Panenka penalty proved decisive as Paris Saint-Germain came from behind to beat RB Leipzig in a pulsating Group A encounter at Parc des Princes.
The 34-year-old had endured a quiet night by his standards, but two goals in seven second-half minutes turned the game on its head, as PSG extended their unbeaten run in Europe.
It took the hosts just 10 minutes to break the deadlock, Kylian Mbappe finishing a rapid counter-attack with a beautiful low right-footed shot that beat Peter Gulacsi at his near post.
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Leipzig had offered a considerable threat on the counter-attack, though, and fired a warning when Andre Silva was denied only by the base of the post.
It was not heeded as, just moments later, the Portuguese forward was left unmarked to tap home Angelino's cross.
The visitors raced into a deserved lead after the restart, and Angelino was the creator once again. The former Manchester City wingback delivered another sumptuous cross and this time Nordi Mukiele was the beneficiary, slotting a first-time shot past the helpless Keylor Navas, who was given the nod ahead of Gianluigi Donnarumma.
In response, PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino made a double switch in personnel - Georginio Wijnaldum and Danilo replacing Ander Herrera and Idrissa Gueye - and the change in tactics prompted an immediate improvement, as Mbappe put the afterburners on before cutting it back to Messi, who restored parity.
And when Mbappe was upended in the penalty area seven minutes later, the comeback was complete as Messi stepped up and executed a quite ridiculous Panenka.
The 34-year-old had the perfect opportunity to seal his hat-trick deep into stoppage-time when Achraf Hakimi won another penalty, but, selflessly, he allowed Mbappe the chance to score a fourth, only for the Frenchman to blaze a wild effort over the bar.
Victory sees Paris Saint-Germain reclaim top spot in the group, with Manchester City - who defeated Club Brugge 5-1 earlier on Tuesday - dropping back into second. RB Leipzig remain bottom without a single point.

TALKING POINT - Messi and Mbappe power PSG to barely deserved victory

Plenty of issues remain in Paris Saint-Germain's ranks, and large parts of tonight's performance only underlined their woes. But tonight was a reminder that when you possess arguably the best strikers in world football, their quality often papers over the cracks.
RB Leipzig put their league struggles behind them to put on a show for their travelling fans, their high-press exposing the fragilities in PSG's defence, and all three points wouldn't have flattered them for another exciting and gung-ho display in the Champions League. Ultimately, however, they come away with nothing - thanks largely to a seven-minute period in the second half when Mbappe and Messi turned on their magic.
The latter's Panenka - his 123rd goal in the Champions League - was the game's standout moment, but, in hindsight, he must be feeling disappointed not to leave with the match ball after handing over the second penalty to Mbappe.

MAN OF THE MATCH - Kylian Mbappe (PSG)

The headlines belong to Messi for his goalscoring heroics, but that's harsh on Mbappe who was excellent in a typical performance. His speed, trickery, intelligent movement and forward runs were too much for Leipzig to deal with. The penalty miss was the only blot on his copybook.

Kylian Mbappé - PSG-Leipzig

Image credit: Getty Images

PLAYER RATINGS

PSG: Navas 7, Hakimi 4, Marquinhos 6, Kimpembe 5, Nuno Mendes 6, Herrera 6, Gueye 5, Verratti 7, Draxler 6, Messi 8, Mbappe 9*.. Subs: Donnarumma, Letellier, Danilo 6, Dagba, Wijnaldum 6, Kurzawa, Diallo, Kehrer, Dina Ebimbe, Bitumazala
Leipzig: Gulacsi 6, Angelino 8, Simakan 5, Orban 6, Klostermann 6, Adams 6, Laimer 7, Haidara 6, Mukiele 7, Nkunku 6, Andre Silva 8.. Subs: Poulsen N/A, Forsberg N/A, Moriba 5, Gvardiol 5.

KEY MOMENTS

10' - GOAL! Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 RB Leipzig (Kylian Mbappe): It's a goal on the counter-attack from the hosts! But it's not without controversy. Tracking back, Messi makes a questionable challenge on the edge of his own penalty area. The referee allows play to continue and PSG break, the ball shifted forward to Mbappe. He steps inside and rifles a right-footed shot into the bottom corner, beating Gulacsi at his near post.
28' - GOAL! Paris Saint-Germain 1-1 RB Leipzig (Andre Silva): They sounded a warning and now Leipzig have their equaliser! Angelino finds himself in acres of space on the left. He looks up and drills a low ball across the face of goal setting Andre Silva up for a tap-in!
57' - GOAL! Paris Saint-Germain 1-2 RB Leipzig (Nordi Mukiele): Leipzig are ahead; PSG are stunned! Once again the hosts are punished for slack defending as they fail to defend yet another cross. Angelino - that man again - finds space on the flank and his pinpoint cross is finished first-time by Mukiele!
67' - GOAL! Paris Saint-Germain 2-2 RB Leipzig (Lionel Messi): Against the run of play, Mbappe and Messi drag PSG Level. The former is too fast for the Leipzig defence as he races into the box and pulls it back for Messi, who hits the post with his initial effort but is on hand to tap in the rebound. That's a huge goal for PSG!
74' - GOAL! Paris Saint-Germain 3-2 RB Leipzig (Lionel Messi, pen): Oh my! Messi gives PSG the lead with a Panenka from the spot! That's his 123rd goal in the Champions League - and what a way to do it!
90'+5 - Mbappe blazes his penalty over the bar! Oh my, he's got that badly wrong!

KEY STATS

  • No player has scored more goals than Lionel Messi during his first three appearances with Paris in the Champions League (three – level with Neymar and Mauro Icardi).
  • Kylian Mbappé has been involved in 41 goals in the Champions League since he joined Paris in 2017/18 (22 goals, 19 assists), only Robert Lewandowski has been more decisive in the competition over that period (43).
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