Footballing icon Lionel Messi's full debut for Paris Saint-Germain was marred after Club Brugge managed to salvage a point against the star-studded Parisian club in the Group A match of the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.
PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino unleashed the trio of Messi, Neymar Jr. and Kylian Mbappe for the first time, however, the Club Brugge defence managed to keep matters under control for the most part of the match.
Messi hit the crossbar during his 150th appearance in the competition but could not score for his new club. He had previously made only one substitute appearance for PSG — in a 2-0 win against Reims last month — since he ended his career-long association with Barcelona last month.
Brugge captain Hans Vanaken drew the hosts level in the 27th minute after Mbappe set up Ander Herrera’s opener in the Group A game in the 15th. In the group’s other match, Manchester City beat RB Leipzig 6-3.
Mbappe played in a centre forward role with Neymar and Messi deployed on the wings but the trio often switched positions. They played 50 minutes together before Mbappe, who suffered an apparent ankle injury, was replaced by Mauro Icardi.
PSG imposed a fast tempo and monopolized possession from the start as the visitors struggled to string passes together in the early stages. But the Belgian champions gradually got into the match and enjoyed several good spells of pressure while PSG lacked cohesion and gave the ball away too often in midfield.
Brugge came back with the same attacking spirit after the interval. Forwards Noa Lang and Charles De Ketelaere were a constant threat and the hosts found space at ease but lacked a cutting edge.
With inputs from the Associated Press