Mbappé and Hakimi score as PSG wins 2-0 against Dortmund in Champions League

PSG, which has never won the competition, played last season with superstar Lionel Messi and Neymar in attack, yet went out in the last 16 for the second straight season.

Published: 20th September 2023 10:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th November 2023 03:19 PM   |  A+A-

PSG's Kylian Mbappe celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal. (Photo | AP)

By Associated Press

PARIS: Striker Kylian Mbappé continued his scoring spree and right-back Achraf Hakimi also found the net as Paris Saint-Germain opened its Champions League campaign with a 2-0 home win against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday.

Mbappé's penalty put PSG ahead in the 49th minute following a video review. Referee Jesús Gil Manzano stuck to his decision and ruled that defender Niklas Süle handled the ball from Mbappé's shot.

The France striker stroked the ball into the bottom left corner and just out of the reach of goalkeeper Gregor Kobel for his eighth goal in five games this season. It extended his club-record tally to 220 goals in 265 games.

Nine minutes later, Kobel was beaten from close range when Hakimi swapped passes with midfielder Vitinha and cut inside a defender before curling the ball into the bottom left corner with the outside of his right foot.

"It’s a very important game for us, we've started the competition well," said the 23-year-old Portugal international Vitinha, who is in his second season with PSG. “It's important for me as well. I want to help the team even more in the upcoming matches.”

In the other Group F game, seven-time European champion AC Milan wasted chances in a 0-0 draw with Newcastle.

PSG, which has never won the competition, played last season with superstar Lionel Messi and Neymar in attack, yet went out in the last 16 for the second straight season.

That led to coach Christophe Galtier's dismissal and the hiring of former Barcelona coach Luis Enrique.

“We needed to do better in the last 15 minutes of the match, but otherwise it's pretty much a perfect night,” Luis Enrique said.

When Luis Enrique took charge, he was thrust into a difficult situation.

Messi and Neymar left PSG, leaving only Mbappé from that attack.

He has been joined by forward Randal Kolo Muani, who started his first game since signing from Eintracht Frankfurt for 95 million euros (USD 103 million). Kolo Muani played at center forward and was flanked by former Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembélé and Mbappé at Parc des Princes.

A tight opening saw Dutch forward Donyell Malen have a shot comfortably saved by goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and Vitinha hit the post in the 19th. Kolo Muani's low strike was saved near the end of a drab first half.

“We chased the ball a lot,” Dortmund captain Emre Can said. “It was not a good performance as we gave away the ball too fast.”

PSG stepped things up after the break.

Dembélé's cross from the right found Mbappé, whose snapshot clipped Süle's arm as he was falling down and the spot kick was awarded despite Dortmund's protests.

Both clubs have made a shaky start to their league campaigns. PSG is fifth after losing at home to Nice last Friday and Dortmund is seventh. PSG's vulnerability to quick counterattacks was ruthlessly exposed by Nice.

This was a more composed performance, although coach Edin Terzić's Dortmund side offered very little in attack.

“We can say clearly that we were not brave enough in the first half," Terzić said. "We wanted to be braver, attack more, leave our positions more.”

PSG plays at Newcastle and Dortmund hosts Milan on Oct. 4.

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