Cyprus Mail
Champions League

Di Maria helps PSG overwhelm Real, Juve fight back against Atletico

Former Real star Angel Di Maria scored twice as PSG hammered the Spanish giants

Angel Di Maria produced a vintage performance with two goals to help Paris St Germain claim a 3-0 home win over Real Madrid in their Champions League Group A opening game on Wednesday.

In the absence of the formidable trio of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Edinson Cavani, Di Maria provided two first-half goals as PSG suffocated Real throughout and Thomas Meunier added a third in stoppage time.

Zinedine Zidane’s Real, who eliminated PSG in the last 16 in 2017-18 and were also missing key players at the Parc des Princes, failed to muster a shot on target and suffered their first defeat of the season.

PSG lead the standings on three points, ahead of Club Brugge and Galatasaray, who played out a goalless draw earlier on Wednesday.

Elsewhere, Atletico Madrid produced a typically spirited comeback from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Juventus in a thrilling finale to Wednesday’s blockbuster Group D opener.

Mexico midfielder Hector Herrera levelled in the 90th minute with a thumping header from a corner, after defender Stefan Savic had pulled a goal back for the Spaniards in the 70th with a header from close range.

Atletico were the brighter side in the first half but Juve went ahead in the 48th minute when Juan Cuadrado sent an unstoppable curling shot into the top corner after a break engineered by a punt forward from defender Leonardo Bonucci.

Juve’s Cristiano Ronaldo was kept unusually quiet after scoring a hat-trick against Atletico in last season’s competition, but his side doubled their lead in the 65th minute with a header from midfielder Blaise Matuidi following another quick counter.

But with bullish coach Diego Simeone motivating them from the sidelines and a typically boisterous Wanda Metropolitano crowd roaring them on, Atletico snatched a draw.

The two sides have a point each while Lokomotiv Moscow top Group D after beating Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 away from home.


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