Paris St. Germain (PSG) ran out 2-0 winners against Istanbul Basaksehir on the second matchday of Group H action in the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League. The win keeps alive Paris St. Germain's hopes of qualifying for the knockout rounds while Basaksehir are now staring at an early exit from the competition. However, the hosts were quite unlucky to lose against the French champions.
Istanbul Basaksehir's first home game in the UEFA Champions League began in promising fashion. There was plenty of good football on display from Basaksehir, but they lacked the final ball. Paris Saint-Germain, on the other hand, looked rather insipid, especially after Neymar trundled off with an injury in the 26th minute. The hosts were comfortably the better side going into the break.
The second half followed much the same pattern as the first. That was until Kylian Mbappe found Moise Kean with an in-swinging corner from the left which the Italian glanced into the net with a goal-bound header in the 64th minute.
Fifteen minutes later, Kean made it 2-0 with a lovely swivel, turn and finish into the net after Mbappe deflected a cross into his path. Basaksehir continued to trouble Paris St. Germain, but with their finishing touch deserting them, their efforts were ultimately in vain.
On that note, here are five talking points from the game:
#5 Neymar's injury is a huge loss for Paris St. Germain
Idrissa Gueye, Leandro Paredes, Mauro Icardi, Juan Bernat, Marco Verratti - that was the lengthy injury list managerThomas Tuchel had ahead of Paris St. Germain's game against Istanbul Basaksehir.
Most of those names are bonafide starters. With Paris St. Germain facing a packed schedule with some tricky fixtures, another injury was the last thing they needed.
Neymar played the full 90 minutes against Dijon last weekend, and Tuchel may regret that decision as his talismanic striker came off with what looked like a thigh problem. In hindsight, PSG surely had the personnel to win without their Brazilian superstar as Dijon are bottom of the league.
It seemed for much of the game that Paris St. Germain missed Neymar's inventiveness, struggling to trouble Basaksehir for large swathes of the opening hour. It remains to be seen how long Neymar will be out for, but that he went straight into the tunnel after being substituted is quite a cause for concern.
#4 Istanbul Basaksehir finding luck hard to come by
While the 2-0 scoreline making it seem as though it was a comfortable stroll along the Seine river for Paris Saint-Germain, it was anything but that. Istanbul Basaksehir turned in am impressive performance, with Edin Visca and Rafael causing plenty of problems down the right-wing.
Up front, however, Basaksehir could have used more quality. Although Enzo Crivelli often took up dangerous positions, his final touch deserted him against Paris St. Germain. Demba Ba could also do little to reverse that trend when he came on.
Okan Buruk has plenty of positives to take from the game, but the Turkish side's manager will no doubt be frustrated, as his side were relatively decent against RB Leipzig too. The chances of Basaksehir now qualifying from such a tough group seem minimal, although the club managed to turn things around in the Europa League last season after a similar indifferent start.