A top-heavy Group H in this year’s edition of the UEFA Champions League pitted Paris Saint-Germain against Benfica on Wednesday, both leveled on points with two victories in their first two matches.
This game was very important for the two sides considering they are both leading their respective leagues and a victory in this matchup would have meant a nearly-guaranteed place in the Round of 16. Alas, it was not to be.
Neither PSG nor Benfica were able to get past the first level of the other side with the French opening the score only to allow Benfica into the match by way of an own goal by Danilo.
Truth be told, Paris was actually better in the second half than they were in the first 45 minutes when a phenomenal link-play ended with Messi putting the Parisian team ahead.
Ultimately, the game wasn’t meant for PSG to earn a victory and nearly seal their access to the first elimination round.
Both Paris and Benfica sit atop the Group H standings, though, with 7 points each in three games, followed by Juventus with 3 points after their victory over Maccabi Haifa on Wednesday.
A win here would have allowed Paris to rest some players in upcoming domestic and continental matches, but they will now have to go all-in in their return game against the Portuguese – now on home soil at the Parc des Princes – next Tuesday.
Another draw wouldn’t change the outcome of the group with Juventus looking at a maximum points tally of 6 by the end of Matchday 4 while a win would put Paris Saint-Germain alone on top with 10 points to Benfica’s 7, assuming the French can earn the 3 points at the Parc.
It’s fair to assume Juventus will at least draw against Maccabi next week, so the chances of PSG sealing their qualification with two games in hand would take a miraculous development.
With that in mind and given what happened yesterday at Estadio da Luz in Portugal, here are three talking points from the match.