Paris Saint-Germain recorded a comprehensive 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund to kickstart their 2023/24 Champion League campaign.
The pressure was mounting on Luis Enrique following PSG’s heavy defeat to OGC Nice in the build-up to the fixture against the German giants.
PSG had an early chance to go ahead, but Vitinha’s shot inside the box hit the crossbar.
Following a goalless first half, Les Parisiens opened their account just minutes after the break following Niklas Sule’s careless handball inside the box.
Kylian Mbappe made no mistake from the box as he dispatched the ball into the net to continue his prolific start to the season.
His close companion Achraf Hakimi followed with a sublime goal to double the lead and put an insipid German side to the sword.
With the victory, PSG moved to the top of their group as the game between AC Milan and Newcastle United ended goalless.
Vitinha delivers a stunning performance on the biggest stage
Vitinha has often been under scrutiny since his transfer from FC Porto due to his fluctuating consistency.
The Portuguese youngster has been shouldering an extra level of responsibility this season following the departure of club legend Marco Verratti, but his uninspiring performances have raised doubts over his potential.
But he proved everyone wrong with an outstanding display against Dortmund last night when PSG needed the most.
From being a constant threat in the box to setting up Hakimi’s goal, Vitinha was the standout performer for the French giants in a crucial game.
The whole of PSG’s midfield looked far better than they did against Nice over the weekend.
Manuel Ugarte’s return from injury proved vital as the Uruguayan’s presence provided more freedom to Vitinha and Warren Zaire-Emery.
The young midfield triumvirate of PSG should have gained a lot of confidence after last night’s victory and will look to carry on the momentum in future.
Lacklustre attacking display from PSG
One of the main criticisms this season has been the over-reliance on Mbappe and the lack of productivity from other attackers.
However, even Mbappe was also not at his usual best last night despite scoring a penalty.
Ousmane Dembele’s goal drought continued with yet another unconvincing display, while Randal Kolo Muani failed to make an impact.
The worrying stats depict the complete story, as PSG registered only three shots on target despite sharing the lion’s share of possession.
Enrique will have to fix this issue as soon as he can in order to progress to the knockout stage.
Dortmund’s struggles continue
Dortmund suffered a heartbreak after missing out on the Bundesliga title to arch-rivals Bayern Munich on the final matchday of last season.
However, any hopes of replicating a similar run this season are looking far from realistic now because of their slow start.
Their Champions League aspirations have hit an early stumbling block following the defeat against PSG. With Newcastle and Milan sharing spoils, they face a huge task to get out of the group.
Dortmund manager Edin Terzic is under scrutiny, with his side hardly showing the fighting mentality they had last season.
After suffering back-to-back draws, the Black and Yellow had seemingly regained their momentum with a victory over Freiburg, but they are now back to square one after the loss against PSG.
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