Sun. Jun 26th, 2022

The numbers behind Messi vs Real Madrid

Follow live coverage as Paris Saint-Germain host Real Madrid in a mouth-watering Champions League tie tonight.

PSG face the 13-time winners in the first leg of a round of 16 match on Tuesday at the Parc des Princes with both hoping to put one foot in the quarter-finals with a good result in Paris. Lionel Messi is likely to be key and boasts a superb record against the Spanish giants with 26 goals and 14 assists in 45 games, all for former club Barcelona. Kylian Mbappe will also be a focus with the French star set to be key against the team he is widely expected to join in the summer.

Madrid haven’t reached the final since completing a hat trick of European Cups back in 2018. Now coach Carlo Ancelotti travels to face the side he once coached with only one win in the past four matches in all competitions, but confidence remains high despite Karim Benzema being potentially a doubt. “Now we’re heading into what is the most beautiful time in football,” midfielder Casemiro said. “We want to win everything we can.” Follow all the latest updates and analysis here:

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50’ – PSG 0-0 Real Madrid

Top stop from Courtois! An intricate passing move on the edge of the box ends in Mbappe turning and whacking in a low shot from the edge of the box, forcing the Belgium No1 to get down smartly to his right, diverting the ball away.

Di Maria smashes over from the angle shortly afterwards.

Militao is next into the book as he clatters through Mbappe, catching his ankle and it’s an easy yellow for the ref to dish out.

Karl Matchett15 February 2022 21:10

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46’ – PSG 0-0 Real Madrid

Back underway at the Parc des Princes.

Will PSG commit more men forward or play at a higher tempo in this half once into the final third? They had the better of the play but didn’t exactly go all-out in terms of looking to put runners behind the defence and so on – they surely need a goal tonight to take to Spain.

Karl Matchett15 February 2022 21:06

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HALF TIME – PSG 0-0 Real Madrid

Best images of the half – unless you’re Dani Carvajal. He’s probably busy at the moment through, recovering after 45 minutes chasing shadows. Still, it’s not all bad for the right-back – Neymar isn’t on yet to play that side!

Questions over ‘only’ a yellow for Casemiro perhaps? He’s out of the second leg after this altercation but perhaps it could easily have been a red.

(AFP via Getty Images)

(BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

(AFP via Getty Images)

Karl Matchett15 February 2022 21:01

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HALF TIME – PSG 0-0 Real Madrid

Casemiro heads wide from a corner at the end of the half and the referee’s whistle goes straight away after.

A 45 minutes which PSG mostly dominated, but didn’t really come too close to scoring in after Mbappe’s half-hit finish was parried away by Courtois. Real barely had an attack worthy of the name until the closing stages there, but they’ll be heartened at their defensive discipline and a few sights of how they can counter-attack more often after the restart.

Wonder how long until Pochettino starts thinking about Neymar?

(AFP via Getty Images)

Karl Matchett15 February 2022 20:50

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45’ – PSG 0-0 Real Madrid

Final seconds of the half. Messi fires a ball through for Mbappe, he faces up Militao but the Brazilian stands up well, forces Mbappe across and eventually his attempted pass is cut out.

Messi twists and turns on the edge of the box soon after, but his strike from distance is charged down. One minute added on.

4-0 to Man City at Sporting, not even half time yet. Put their ball in the bowl for the last eight now.

Karl Matchett15 February 2022 20:46

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42’ – PSG 0-0 Real Madrid

Now it’s Verratti into the book despite his protestations, after sliding in on Casemiro. Real just enjoying some possession in PSG’s half now, a long-overdue stint in the middle third at least. The home crowd start a few boos and whistles at the visitors having the temerity to play keep-ball – Ancelotti will be happier to see this.

Asensio tries to change the pace of the game with a quick dribble, but he’s blocked by Mendes and it’s cleared.

Karl Matchett15 February 2022 20:43

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38’ – PSG 0-0 Real Madrid

Casemiro sees a yellow card flashed his way for kicking right through the back of Mendes and then raising a hand to Paredes afterwards – that’s a costly booking. He’ll miss the second leg back at the Bernabeu.

Moments later Mendes is clattered by Asensio but no card this time – the Paris crowd want another. Bit late but not too bad.

Into the last seven or eight minutes of the first half; not too much goalmouth action, despite PSG’s total domination of the ball.

Karl Matchett15 February 2022 20:41

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34’ – PSG 0-0 Real Madrid

Real Madrid just now beginning to try launching a few counters with some direct passes from deep, helped by Benzema dropping in. Vinicus almost gets through, but a deflection falls kindly for the centre-backs instead.

At the other end another flowing passing move sees Mendes find space down the left, Verratti switch play to Messi…but of all people, it’s the No30 who wastes possession with a short pass out to Di Maria going wayward.

Karl Matchett15 February 2022 20:38

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30’ – PSG 0-0 Real Madrid

Wasted chance for Real Madrid to get a bit of pressure on PSG at last, as Kroos’ free-kick is easily cleared. Half an hour in, we’ve barely seen Donnarumma and there’s been nothing on the ball from Asensio or Benzema at all – none of Real’s front three have had 10 touches yet in fact.

Messi suddenly clicks into gear and dribbles past Alaba – then his right-footed effort swipes past the far post. Still no breakthrough here – Man City are well in front and already looking good for the quarter-finals as they lead 3-0 at Sporting CP.

Karl Matchett15 February 2022 20:34

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26’ – PSG 0-0 Real Madrid

Di Maria wins the ball off Casemiro but the ref says he did so illegally. The whistle goes as the Argentinian attacker lashes the ball over the bar from 30 yards.

Still very patient from PSG with their dominant approach, lots of passing triangles and waiting for the right moment to feed it out wide, which is where the pace is with Hakimi, Mendes and Mbappe. Messi is still floating all over, picking the ball up in pockets and changing the direction of play.

Karl Matchett15 February 2022 20:28

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