PARIS (AFP) – A nervy Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) were outplayed for long spells but held on after an early Neymar penalty to beat RB Leipzig 1-0 on Tuesday and revive their Champions League campaign.
Last season’s runners-up had lost two of their opening three matches in Group H and would have been staring at an early exit from the competition had they lost again to the Germans behind closed doors at the Parc des Princes.
Yet Neymar’s 11th-minute spot-kick proved enough for a PSG side struggling with injuries and suspensions, as Leipzig failed to convert any of the chances that came their way.
“We are a team who, in the difficult moments, manage to stick together and do a good job. Once again we proved that,” captain Marquinhos told RMC Sport.
Both PSG and Leipzig are now level on six points with two games still to come, with Manchester United three points clear at the top of the section after easing to a 4-1 victory over Istanbul Basaksehir.
Crucially, PSG have the head-to-head advantage over Leipzig, thanks to an away goal, if the two teams end level on points. They lost 2-1 when the teams met in Germany three weeks ago.
Thomas Tuchel’s team go to Old Trafford next and the feeling is that the French champions could still just as easily advance to the last 16 in first place as they could fail to qualify at all.
They brushed Leipzig aside in the semi-finals of last season’s competition in Lisbon in August but collapsed worryingly in their last meeting with Julian Nagelsmann’s team after taking an early lead.
Here they again went in front and then succeeded in seeing the game out despite struggling desperately to maintain possession and stop the waves of Leipzig attacks.