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Maccabi Haifa v PSG Live Commentary, 15/09/2022

1 - 3
T. Chery (24)
L. Messi (37)
K. Mbappé (69)
Neymar (88)
Sammy Ofer Stadium


That's all from us, we'll see you for the next game. Until then though, goodbye!
That comeback victory sees PSG climb to the top of Group H, ahead of Benfica, who beat Juventus 2-1 in the corresponding fixture. Maccabi Haifa remain pointless at the bottom of the group, but so do Juventus, and if they perform as well as they did in this game, the Israeli side could well pull off the unthinkable and beat the Bianconeri to third place.
Messi's goal drew PSG level, and the Argentine wizard was instrumental in their eventual victory. He set up Mbappe for the Parisiens' second, and managed seven shots, with three on target, as well as two key passes and a cross. He won three free-kicks, won seven of his 10 duels, and executed 34 passes in the final third.
The match ends with PSG victorious, but Christophe Galtier's side had to work very, very hard for their three points. Having avoided going 2-0 down in the first half, PSG recovered to be much more ruthless in the second, testing Cohen frequently and turning the game around thanks to well-taken breakaway goals from Mbappe and Neymar. The hosts still had chances, but PSG's quality shone through to seal the three points and send them to the top of group H.
90' + 7' Messi's free-kick strikes the wall, and an effort from the rebound is also deflected off Seck before Ramos blazes over the bar!
90' + 6' Ruiz glides forward before linking up with Messi, who is cut down on the edge of the box by Batubinsika! PSG have a late free-kick, and a goal here really would cap off a superb comeback.
90' + 5' SAVED!!! What a stop!!! Chery picks out the run of Rukavytsya with a delightful pass in behind the PSG defence, and his close-range effort hits the chest of Donnarumma before Ramos hooks it clear!!
90' + 3' Tchibota skilfully cuts inside Hakimi before having a cross deflected off Ramos, and shepherds the ball out to ensure Maccabi Haifa get the corner.
Carlos Soler
90' + 1' Neymar's game-clinching goal is the last action of his game, as Carlos Soler replaces him for the last few moments.
N. Rukavytsya
F. Pierrot
Maccabi Haifa
90' + 1' Pierrot's been desperately unlucky, seeing a goal chalked off in the first half and going close in the second, and comes off now for Nikita Rukavytsya.
M. Tchibota
P. Cornud
Maccabi Haifa
90' Cornud has been superb at left-back for the hosts, but he comes off now for Mavis Tchibota to see the game out.
90' We'll play SIX minutes of added time, and PSG will be in no hurry to rush them as they're in total control of the scoreline now.
Yellow Card
89' The referee pauses for a brief conversation with one of his assistants, presumably the VAR referee, and Neymar isn't at all happy with the potential of his goal being chalked off. The potential check comes to nothing, however, and Neymar picks up a needless booking for his dissent.
M. Verratti
88' Verratti's ball over the top was sumptuous to say the least, and gave Neymar all the time in the world to finish this game off in style!
88' GOOOOAAAALLLL!!!! Game, set, match!!! A delightful ball over the top from Verratti finds Neymar in wide open space, and he takes a touch to set himself before firing past the onrushing Cohen!!! 3-1 to PSG, and surely no way back now for the home side.
87' OVER!!! Chery steps up and beats the wall with his free-kick, but it doesn't dip soon enough and curls over the crossbar!
85' The hosts break through Pierrot down the left, whose cross for Hazizia is blocked by Ramos. It comes to Chery, who looks to enter the box before being clipped by Verratti and winning a free-kick right on the edge of the PSG area!
84' Neymar's meek free-kick strikes the wall, and several attempts to cross the ball back into the box are repelled by the Haifa defence.
A. Hakimi
N. Mukiele
83' Mukiele comes off in PSG's latest change, and is replaced at right-wing-back by Achraf Hakimi.
83' Mbappe, not running at full pelt towards goal for once, is caught late on the edge of the box by Lavi, who concedes a free-kick in prime shooting position for any of PSG's free-kick specialists.
81' Ramos strides forward untouched down the right, looking to release Mukiele, but the wing-back sets off too early and is offside by the time the PSG centre-back does release the ball.
79' Abu Fani fires a cross-field pass for Hazizia to chase, but the ball bounces behind before he can latch onto it!
F. Pierrot
Yellow Card
Maccabi Haifa
77' Pierrot and Marquinhos tussle for the ball down the left, but the striker catches the PSG captain with a stray forearm and is booked.
D. David
O. Atzili
Maccabi Haifa
76' The blue-haired Atzili's been one of Haifa's brightest sparks going forward, but he comes off now for Dean David.
75' Mbappe is found on the run again by Neymar, and cuts inside Seck before having a shot blocked by the Haifa defender, but the flag's up against the France forward for offside.
Fabián Ruiz
74' Off comes Vitinha in PSG's first change, and Fabian Ruiz takes his place in midfield.
72' Haifa counter following that challenge, and it's crossed wide to Hazizia on the right. He's aiming for Pierrot, but his hanging cross is nowhere near the Haitian striker and Mukiele watches it go behind.
71' CHANCE!!! Atzili is dispossessed and Neymar releases Mbappe on the fly once again. He's racing towards goal at breakneck speed, but Goldberg follows him closely and pulls off an excellent tackle to win the ball for the hosts!
L. Messi
69' If the ball from Messi was good, the finish was even better, and from that angle, there's few other players in world football who could've slotted home a goal as coolly as that.
K. Mbappé
69' GOOOAAAALLL!!!! Les Parisiens hit the front!!! Messi drives forward before splitting the defence with a ball for Mbappe, whose first touch is to slot it perfectly into the far corner, beating Cohen and putting PSG 2-1 up!!! What a well-taken finish!!!
68' Cornut looks to cross from the left, but is crowded out and finds Atzili. He swings in a ball for Pierrot to attack, but Donnarumma plucks it out of the air.
66' Messi somehow finds Mendes wide to the left with a delightful aerial cross from the edge of the area, but the left-back's header back across goal is snuffed out by Cohen with Neymar waiting to pounce!
65' Neymar's corner is glanced away by the hosts, but Messi arrives on the edge of the box and smashes the resultant ball over the bar and away into the night!
64' OFF THE LINE!!! Messi and Neymar play a quick one-two that sends the former searing towards goal. His low shot into the far corner is parried by Cohen, and Goldberg slides in to clear off the line before Mukiele can tap it home!!!
63' SAVED!!! After Mbappe's ball to Messi looks to have gone astray, Vitinha recovers the ball and finds Neymar. He puts Messi through on goal, but the Argentine's low shot towards the near post is parried behind by Cohen!
62' Mbappe crosses for Ramos at the far post, but a great intervention from Seck sees him knock the ball clear with a commanding header!
D. Haziza
Yellow Card
Maccabi Haifa
60' Neymar ghosts past Seck as if the defender isn't even there, but has his heels clipped by Hazizia as he attempts to cut inside and wins a free-kick on the very edge of the box. Hazizia is yellow carded for his troubles.
58' WIDE!!! Cornut keeps the ball down the left side until Atzili arrives to help. He finds Abu Fani, whose strike from the edge of the box whistles beyond the far post!
57' Good play from the hosts sees Chery teed up on the edge of the box, and he tries his luck once again but Verratti gets in the way and blocks it.
A. Seck
D. Sundgren
Maccabi Haifa
55' That injury cuts Sundgren's game short, and the Maccabi Haifa defender is replaced by Abdoulaye Seck.
54' Both Sundgren and Messi are on their haunches, giving the players a chance for a short rest. There's certainly been no let-up in the frantic nature of this game!
52' WIDE!!! What a chance!!! Cornud blasts a low cross towards the front post, where an unmarked Pierrot arrives, but he stabs at a volley and sends it agonisingly wide of the post!!
51' PSG are winless in their last five away games in the Champions League, including all four of their away trips in the competition last term. Indeed, they haven’t kept a clean sheet on the road in the Champions League since October 2020 against Istanbul Basaksehir, conceding in their last ten such fixtures including this one.
O. Atzili
Yellow Card
Maccabi Haifa
49' Vitinha skips past Goldberg and attempts to do the same to Atzili, but is hauled to ground by the Maccabi winger, who is shortly booked.
49' SAVED!!! After Mendes loses the ball in the Haifa box, the hosts break at speed and Atzili heads for goal. He shoots on his left, and it's a decent effort, but barely troubles Donnarumma who holds the ball!
47' Pierrot leads the Haifa press to put severe pressure on Donnarumma, but he's not phased and finds Ramos in support.
46' Mbappe gets the game back underway, and we're off and running in half number two!
The teams are back out for the second half, and can the hosts keep this performance up and secure at least a point here?
Chery's volley opened the scoring for Maccabi Haifa, and he went very, very close to grabbing another with a long-range strike that Donnarumma saved. He finished the half with an xG of 0.22, had five entries into the final third, and completed 15 passes in PSG's half, 13 of which came in the final third. Icing.
What a half of football!!! Despite being close to the definition of underdogs, Haifa took an unlikely lead through a flying volley from Chery, and had another from Pierrot ruled out for offside!! PSG never lie down for long though, and Messi popped up in exactly the right place to equalise from close-range. The visitors have had the majority of chances, but aside from the goal haven't really tested Cohen, whereas at the other end Donnarumma has been kept busy, by Chery and Atzili in particular!
45' + 2' SAVED!!! What a hit!!! Chery brings down a long ball and drives forward, before unleashing one hell of a hit from 25 yards that is only just tipped wide by a stretching Donnarumma!
45' + 1' We're into two minutes of added time at the end of this first half.
45' + 1' WIDE!!! The corner lands on the head of Marquinhos at the far post, whose downward header looks goalbound before bouncing to the wrong side of the left post!
45' Verratti plays a good ball down the byline for Mukiele to chase, and the right-back's attempted cross is put behind by Goldberg for PSG's seventh corner of the match.
43' WIDE!!! Lavi steps through midfield brilliantly before finding Atzili with an even better throughball, and the Haifa winger races onto it before firing a low shot across goal and wide of the far post!
42' Abu Fani flies in for a loose ball down the right, but he catches Mendes late in the process and concedes a free-kick.
41' This is Messi’s first Champions League match against Israeli opposition – and he’s now scored at least once against sides from each of the 19 different nations he’s faced in the competition. His equalising goal makes him the outright leader for most different sides scored against in the Champions League with 39, one ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo.
39' Neymar chips the ball over the top for Mbappe to latch onto, but his effort from the left side of the box is wayward and flies well wide of the target!
L. Messi
37' GOOOAAALLL!!! PSG equalise!!! Messi finds Mbappe to his left, who beats Sundgren before crossing low. A deflection off Batubinsika sends the ball into Messi's path, and he fires home from right in front to lock us up at 1-1! PSG are back on level terms, and will look to ensure they don't run the risk of going behind again!
35' Mbappe is put into space down the left, and cuts inside before crossing. Neymar chases the ball into the six-yard box, but goes down after colliding with Goldberg and Cohen watches the ball bounce wide.
34' Great skill from Mbappe and a deflected Mendes cross wins a corner from PSG, but Neymar's delivery is woeful, flying low and straight into the side netting of Cohen's goal.
33' BALL IN THE NET!!!! Abu Fani flicks the ball over the defence to Pierrot, who shakes off the attention of Marquinhos before slotting past Donnarumma! The crowd are in raptures, but not for long, as the flag is up to deny Maccabi Haifa an unprecedented second goal!
31' Neymar is brilliantly dispossessed by Abu Fani on the edge of the Maccabi box, and the midfielder races forward on the break before being hauled down by Mukiele and winning a free-kick!
29' CHANCE!!! That was a close one!!! Neymar races down the left, chasing a throughball from Vitinha. He cuts across Cohen in the box, but collides with the goalkeeper and goes down, but the referee does not point to the spot!
27' BLOCKED!!! Pierrot wins a good attacking header and Chery flicks the ball on to Atzili. He cuts inside and shoots, with a massive deflection off Ramos taking the ball over and behind for a corner!
26' PSG have only won one of their previous five meetings with Israeli opposition, however they haven’t faced a side from Israel in a major European competition since November 2006 – a 2-4 defeat to Hapoel Tel Aviv in the UEFA Cup. PSG's record since then is well-known, and impressive, but as it stands, they're set to lose to another side from Israel in 2022!
D. Haziza
Maccabi Haifa
24' As soon as Verratti lost the ball, PSG were in trouble. The hosts had them absolutely swamped in their own half, and Hazizia had time and space to pick out Chery with a perfect ball into the box!
T. Chery
Maccabi Haifa
24' GOOOOOAAAAALLLL!!!!!!! Maccabi Haifa take the lead against PSG!!!! Over-expansive play at the back from PSG sees them lose the ball in midfield, and Hazizia whips in a peach of a cross which is volleyed home by Chery!!! What a strike, and what a shocking upset we have on the cards here!!!
23' Haifa have lost each of their last seven Champions League games by an aggregate score of 0-10 – only one team in the history of the competition has lost eight in a row while failing to score each time, with Dinamo Zagreb doing so between November 2015 and December 2016.
21' More good play from PSG sees Mbappe put Mendes down the left byline. He crosses low for Messi at the back post, but Batubinsika gets a touch and Cohen can gather possession.
19' Glorious one-touch play between Messi and Verratti gives the former shooting space on the edge of the box, but Batubinsika races in to hoof the ball down field and end the attack!!
19' BLOCKED!!! Mukiele is found by Marquinhos' long pass down the right and does well to beat Goldberg and Cornud before linking up with Messi. He looks to shoot, but his placed effort is blocked by Goldberg and the hosts clear!
17' Hazizia crosses into the box for Pierrot, who would have headed it goalwards if not for Donnarumma rising high to punch the ball clear!
15' SAVED!!! Neymar loses out to Atzili down the right and Pierrot comes away with it. With options to his left blocked off, he shoots across goal, and despite seeing the ball late, Donnarumma dives to his right and holds the effort!!
13' A Marquinhos clearance sends Mbappe away on the run once again, but the defence catches up and he finds Messi. He looks for Neymar on the opposite edge of the box, but stumbles before passing and is dispossessed!
11' SAVED!!! What a chance!!! PSG break at some speed and Mendes puts Mbappe through on goal. He looks to round Cohen in the box, but pressure from Goldberg forces him wider and the Maccabi goalkeeper smothers the loose ball!!
11' SAVED!!! Mukiele's poor touch gives Abu Fani space to shoot, and he fires a fizzing effort from 25 yards that is tipped away by a diving Donnarumma!
11' Haifa and Paris have only met twice before in European competition, with both of those meetings coming in the Cup Winners’ Cup first round in 1998-99. The Israeli side progressed from the tie with a 4-3 aggregate win over two legs (1-1 away and 3-2 at home).
10' A good throughball from Hazizia puts Pierrot into acres of space, but the flag's up against him before he can shoot from close range!
9' CHANCE!!! Another PSG corner is swung in, but headed away to the edge of the box. Vitinha arrives and unleashes a flying scissor-kick volley from 30 yards, which looks goalbound before striking Danilo!
8' Danilo rises for the corner, but his flicked-on header takes a touch off Atzili and goes behind for another corner!
7' BLOCKED!!! PSG keep the ball well in the Haifa box, as Mendes finds Neymar in space. He takes a touch before trying to find the bottom corner, but a block from Batubinsika sends the ball out for a corner!!
6' Donnarumma dawdles on the ball and is dispossessed by Atzili, and the furious PSG keeper watches on as his defenders snuff out the chance before the referee stops play for a free-kick!
5' Hazizia latches onto Chery's ball into the box and gets in between Marquinhos and Ramos, but a heavy touch sends the ball rolling behind for a goal kick!
3' PSG win possession in midfield and Vitinha finds Messi, but he's clipped late and brought down by Lavi for a free-kick on halfway.
2' OVER!!! What an early chance!!! Mbappe surges down the left, breezing past Sundgren and bearing down on goal, but with Cohen approaching, blazes his close-range effort over the bar!!
1' Neymar kicks off for PSG, and we're underway in Israel!
The teams head out onto the pitch, and we're nearly ready for kick-off here in Haifa!
Kylian Mbappe’s two first-half strikes against Juve took him to nine goals for the season already, and he starts in the middle of a front three also boasting Neymar and Lionel Messi. Between them, PSG’s star trio already have 23 goals to their name in 2022-23.
Despite drawing a blank against Benfica, Maccabi recovered to beat Sektzia Nes Tziona in their last league match. Omer Atzili scored two in the game, and starts from the right after being very dangerous off the bench in Lisbon.
PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN SUBS: Sergio Rico, Alexandre Letellier, Achraf Hakimi, Fabian Ruiz, Huan Bernat, Pablo Sarabia, Carlos Soler, El Chadaille Bitshiabu, Warren Zaire Emery, Hugo Ekitike.
PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN (3-4-3): Gianluigi Donnarumma; Sergio Ramos, Marquinhos, Danilo Pereira; Nordi Mukiele, Marco Verratti, Vitinha, Nuno Mendes; Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Neymar.
MACCABI HAIFA SUBS: Roei Mashpati, Ali Mohamed El Fazaz, Mavis Tchibota, Sun Menachem, Nikita Rukavytsya, Ofri Arad, Dean David, Yosef Raz Meir, Abdoulaye Seck, Maor Levi, Inon Eliyahu, Rami Gershon.
MACCABI HAIFA (4-3-3): Josh Cohen; Daniel Sundgren, Dylan Batubinsika, Sean Goldberg, Pierre Cornud; Tjaronn Chery, Neta Lavi, Mohammad Abu Fani; Omer Atzili, Frantzdy Pierrot, Delov Hazizia.
A Kylian Mbappe brace put PSG 2-0 up inside 22 minutes against Juventus, and the Parisiens held on for victory despite Weston McKennie scoring in reply. Sitting second behind Benfica on goal difference, PSG will be looking to end matchday two firmly at the top of the tree in Group H.
A quick-fire double from Benfica saw Haifa defeated 2-0 in their first Champions League match since 2009, and the task doesn’t get any easier as they welcome 2020 runners-up, and Ligue 1 champions PSG to the Sammy Ofer Stadium.
Hello, and welcome to live coverage of this UEFA Champions League group stage fixture, as Maccabi Haifa play Paris Saint-Germain in Group H.