Champions League 2018: PSG beat Liverpool 2-1 in a thrilling encounter at the Parc-des-Princes in Paris. The win takes PSG above Liverpool in the group table and strengthens their chances of qualifying for the knockout phases of the tournament. PSG started the match more intensely against a strong Liverpool side that was static for most of the first half and the pressure paid off in the 13th minute when left-back Juan Bernat opened the scoring for the Parisians. The lead was doubled when Neymar Jr. latched on to the loose ball after a decent save from Liverpool’s Brazilian goalkeeper Allison Becker. Liverpool though was handed a lifeline at the stroke of half-time when Angel di Maria mistimed a tackle on Sadio Mane inside the penalty area, James Milner was entrusted with the responsibility from the penalty spot which he took brilliantly sending the experienced Gigi Buffon the wrong way and halving the deficit. Liverpool was visibly improved in the second half in their build-up play but was unable to create clear-cut scoring opportunities.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was particularly critical of the referee Marciniak who he thought bought too much into the play-acting of the PSG players and caused unnecessary stoppages and yellow cards for his team. In the post-match press conference, Klopp expressed his angst against the players diving in the match which is not ethical according to the rules of the game. Neymar has been criticized in the past for him going down too easy with the minimum of contact and faking an injury to get other players booked. On the other hand, PSG boss Thomas Tuchel was calm about his German compatriot’s comments and suggested that they were really happy after beating last year’s finalists. In the other match of the Group C, Napoli beat Red Star Belgrade to sit at the top the group a draw in the last match against Liverpool will be enough to guide them into the knockout stages.
In other matches, Tottenham registered an important win against a lacklustre Inter Milan team by 1-0 after a goal by substitute Christian Eriksen in the 80th minute. With this win, Tottenham went level on points with Inter and need to win their final match against Barcelona to have a chance of qualifying. Inter played PSV on the final matchday. Barcelona beat PSV Eindhoven 2-1 to top the group which saw Lionel Messi becoming a record goal scorer for CL goals (106 Goals) for a single club eclipsing the 105 Goals that Cristiano Ronaldo managed for Real Madrid. Atletico Madrid brushed aside a young Monaco side 2-0 whereas Dortmund was held to a 0-0 draw at home by Belgian Club Brugge. Porto and Schalke who were both confirmed qualified before kicking off due to Lokomotiv Moscow’s 2-0 win against Galatasaray played out an entertaining match with Porto winning 3-1. The final matchday is scheduled for December 11 and 12. 12 teams have already qualified and 4 spots are remaining with the final round of matches. The draw for the Round of 16 will follow up the group stages and will be held on December 17.