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UEFA Champions League

Mbappe and Messi on target as PSG beat Brugge 4-1

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PSG’s Lionel Messi celebrates scoring their third goal with Kylian Mbappe, Idrissa Gueye and Achraf Hakimi.PHOTO: REUTERS

Already-qualified Paris St Germain finished the Champions League group stage in style as Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi bagged doubles in a 4-1 home win over Club Brugge on Tuesday.

France forward Mbappe put the Ligue 1 side 2-0 up in the first seven minutes and Messi added a third before the break plus a fourth with a penalty after the interval.

PSG were guaranteed second place in Group A before kickoff while Manchester City, who lost 2-1 at RB Leipzig on Tuesday, had already secured top spot and finished with 12 points, one ahead of Mauricio Pochettino’s Paris side.

Brugge were eliminated from European competition after finishing bottom with four points, three behind Leipzig.

Visiting goalkeeper Simon Mignolet clumsily punched Nuno Mendes’s cross into the path of Mbappe who fired home after two minutes and the striker was at it again five minutes later when he volleyed past the Belgian from Angel Di Maria’s pass.

Mbappe is the youngest player to reach 30 goals in the Champions League, less than two weeks before his 23rd birthday.

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Messi added the third seven minutes before halftime with a trademark curled attempt from outside the area and although Mats Rits pulled one back in the 68th, PSG were always in control.

Messi wrapped up a comfortable victory with a 76th-minute spot kick after being brought down by substitute Ignace Van der Brempt.

-Reuters

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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