By 90Min
October 24, 2018

Napoli were denied a valuable three points in Paris on Wednesday night, as Angel di Maria's late equaliser spared the blushes of the Parisian side after Dries Mertens had put the away side ahead going into the final ten minutes. 

In the 23rd minute, Napoli manufactured an opportunity of their own as a low cross was met by Dries Mertens, whose effort thundered off the crossbar. 

However, in the 28th minute, the away side took the lead as Lorenzo Insigne was played in behind by José Callejón and the Italian's delicate chip was enough to beat the onrushing Alphonso Areola.

PSG started the second half the strongest and were rewarded in the 60th minute when Thomas Meunier's dangerous cross was deflected into his own net by Mário Rui to level the scores. 

Despite PSG's continued pressure, it was the away side that took the lead in the 77th minute as Mertens pounced on a deflection to poke the ball into the bottom corner and regain the lead for Napoli. 

VI-Images/GettyImages

In the 92nd minute, PSG found a dramatic late equaliser as Angel di Maria's curling effort from outside the box found its way into the top corner, leaving Napoli heartbroken.


PSG


Key Talking Point


Having lost to Liverpool in the opening game week of the Champions League, PSG had a point to prove at home to Napoli. Anything but a win would firmly put the pressure on Thomas Tuchel's side to get results at home to Liverpool and away to Napoli.

FRANCK FIFE/GettyImages

PSG's disappointing performance and result against Napoli has once again proven their poor mentality in big European games and poses further question marks over whether they are truly capable of winning the Champions League. 


Player Ratings


Starting XI: Areola (6), Meunier (6), Marquinhos (6), Kimpembe (7), Bernat (5), Verratti (7), Rabiot (7*), Mbappe (7), Neymar (7), di María (7), Cavani (6)


Substitutes: Kehrer (6), Choupo-Moting, Draxler (6), Nkunku, Diaby (6), N'Soki, Cibois


STAR MAN - There were not many stand-out performances for PSG, with Mbappe and Neymar having quiet nights for their high standards. However, Adrien Rabiot put in an impressive performance for the home side.

The French midfield kept things ticking over in midfield and rarely lost the ball in midfield. His strong bursts forward with the ball caused problems for the Napoli defence. 


WORST PLAYER - Juan Bernat was PSG's worst performer against Napoli by some margin on Wednesday night. The former Bayern Munich defender struggled throughout the whole first half and was hooked by Thomas Tuchel at half-time. 

The Spanish defender will be fortunate if he starts in the reverse fixture in two weeks time.


NAPOLI


Key Talking Point


Coming into this fixture, Napoli had not conceded a single goal in the Champions League this season. Their success thus far has very much been based on defensive solidity, having scored just one goal prior to Wednesday's game.

Carlo Ancelotti's side were once again resolute at the back, and limited the dangerous trio of Neymar, Mbappe and Cavani to scraps for PSG. They were unfortunate to concede two goals, which came from individual brilliance and an unfortunate deflected own goal. The side from Naples also pose a threat on the counter and will rate their chances of qualifying for the next stage of the Champions League. 


Player Ratings


Starting XI: Ospina (7), Maksimovic (7), Albiol (7), Koulibaly (8*), Rui (7), Allan (7), Hamsik (7), Ruiz Peńa (6), Callejón (7), Mertens (7), Insigne (7)


Substitutes: Malcuit, Zielinski (6), Hysajs, Karnezis, Rog (6), Diawara, Milik (6)


STAR MAN - Kalidou Koulibaly has been courted by the giants of European football for years and he showed why in Paris. The Senegalese international was a rock at the back for Napoli against PSG, despite Napoli's failure to keep a clean sheet.

Koulibaly was often tasked with facing Mbappe one-on-one and predominantly came out on top, despite the Frenchman's trickery and blistering pace. 

WORST PLAYER - Mário Rui struggled at left-back for Napoli, and was often beaten by a combination of Mbappe and Meunier. The Portuguese international's struggled were emphasised when he was booked for a rash foul on Mbappe in the first half.

Rui's poor evening was capped off with an unfortunate own goal after he turned in Meunier's cross for PSG's equaliser.


Looking Ahead


The next Champions League fixture for both sides is the reverse fixture of Wednesday's matchup, as Napoli play PSG in Naples. 

Having garnered just four points from three games in this season's Champions League, PSG will have to get a result against Napoli in two weeks time or they will likely face Liverpool needing a victory.

Napoli, on the other hand, have five points and sit second in the group, putting themselves in a great position to qualify for the next round of the competition. 

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