<
>
2018-19 UEFA Champions League, Group Stage
  • Juan Bernat (13')
  • Neymar (37')
  • James Milner (45'+1' PEN)

Paris Saint-Germain grab crucial win to leave Liverpool in trouble

PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 28: Juan Bernat of Paris Saint-Germain celebrates after scoring his sides first goal with Neymar of Paris Saint-Germain during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool at Parc des Princes Clive Rose/Getty Images

Two first-half goals gave Paris Saint-Germain a crucial 2-1 Champions League home win over Liverpool, putting them in a great position to qualify and leaving Jurgen Klopp's side, finalists last season, in danger of elimination.

Juan Bernat opened the scoring at the Parc des Princes with a low finish before Neymar doubled the lead from close range, only for James Milner to give Liverpool hope with a penalty seconds before the break.

PSG had half a chance within the opening minute when Edinson Cavani failed to control a long ball which, had he been able to do so, would have left him clean through.

Their high-tempo start continued as Marco Verratti and Angel Di Maria combined to find Kylian Mbappe, whose effort was deflected away off Virgil van Dijk.

Before the 10-minute mark, PSG fashioned another chance after a Liverpool corner had been cleared as Di Maria's strike from distance was parried by Alisson.

Neymar and Mbappe then linked, the former fouled by Milner but the referee playing advantage before the latter's shot was saved.

But PSG did not have to wait long for their breakthrough, Bernat steering past the stranded Alisson from 10 yards after the ball had been prodded away from Mbappe.

With Liverpool struggling for momentum and the home side sweeping forward, Georginio Wijnaldum went into the book for fouling Mbappe but Neymar's free kick eluded Marquinhos.

Milner then cut the ball back for Mohamed Salah on the edge of the area as Liverpool looked for a response, but his effort drifted tamely wide.

After 24 minutes, Verratti went into the book for a heavy challenge on Joe Gomez before, with the half-hour approaching, Liverpool created a flicker of danger when Roberto Firmino's cross was poked away.

Moments later, PSG threatened again when Neymar found Mbappe down the left and his low ball in was a whisker away from the waiting Cavani.

Gomez was booked for fouling Neymar after 33 minutes, and things got far worse for the visitors three minutes later when PSG put themselves firmly in control.

The goal came from a rapid break down the left and, when Mbappe produced another low cross, Alisson denied Cavani only for Neymar to sweep the rebound into the corner from close range.

But Liverpool grabbed a lifeline on half-time when Sadio Mane raced into the area and Di Maria sent him tumbling, Milner blasting the penalty past Gianluigi Buffon.

Three minutes after the break PSG thought they had added a third, but Marquinhos was offside when he prodded home from Di Maria's delivery.

But the home side were failing to find the intensity with which they had started the match, Milner and Firmino linking before Thiago Silva cleared and Andrew Robertson's cross headed wide by Firmino.

PSG coach Thomas Tuchel had seen enough and made a double change, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Dani Alves replacing Cavani and Di Maria, with Liverpool bringing on Naby Keita for Wijnaldum soon afterwards.

Marquinhos had a header saved by Alisson as the home side tried to regain a two-goal cushion, but there were signs of nervousness in the home crowd as the game approached its final stages

Liverpool, who had brought on Daniel Sturridge for Firmino, then introduced Xherdan Shaqiri for Milner, but with 10 minutes to go they were under pressure when Neymar raced into the area and went down under Van Dijk's challenge but the referee waved play on.

Mbappe shot over seconds before being replaced by Adrien Rabiot as PSG held on, leaving Liverpool needing to beat Napoli at Anfield on the final day of group games.