Anderlecht 0-4 PSG: match report
Each one of PSG’s attacking trident were on target as the Ligue 1 leaders cruised past Anderlecht to make it three wins from three at the top of Champions League Group B.
Goals from Kylian Mbappé and Edinson Cavani established a lead at half time. Neymar added a third after the break from a free-kick, before Ángel Di María rounded off a victory that was slightly harsh on the hosts.
Unai Emery’s side had already beaten Celtic and Bayern Munich with ease in the Champions League and the Spanish coach made just one change from the resounding victory against Bayern, with Presnel Kimpembe replacing Thiago Silva in the heart of defence.
Anderlecht began the match like a side who had played two matches and emerged with zero points. Kylian Mbappé fired PSG in to a lead with just three minutes on the clock. The 18-year-old played a neat one-two with Marco Verratti before guiding a low shot in to the bottom corner for his eighth Champions League goal in 12 appearances.
The home side could have crumbled. But instead, they dusted themselves off and seized control of the game. Anderlecht’s 3-4-3 formation gifted plenty of space to Dennis Appiah and Henry Onyekuru on the flanks. The latter is on loan from Everton, and his livewire performance begged the question of why the Merseyside club loaned have allowed him to leave.
For all Anderlecht’s tactical clarity and intensity, the Parisians doubled their lead shortly before half time. Matz Sels could not hold Neymar’s swirling shot, inviting Mbappé to nod the ball across goal for Edinson Cavani to score in his seventh consecutive European match. Only Cristiano Ronaldo (8) and Ruud Van Nistelrooy (9) boast more impressive scoring streaks.
PSG exerted far more control over the match in the second half. Neymar placed the game beyond doubt after 66 minutes with a neatly-struck free-kick in to the bottom corner.
The Belgian team continued to sporadically threaten. Henry Onyekuru thrashed the crossbar before Ángel Di María took advantage of a counter-attack to dink the fourth goal over the line. It could have been more. Cavani had two goals ruled out for narrow offside decisions, while Mbappé skimmed the outside of the post.
As with the match against Bayern, PSG did not need possession (they had 49% against Anderlecht). Their incision on the break will ease them through in to the knockout stages, where the same quality will make them unenviable opposition for any team.
Anderlecht 0-4 PSG: as it happened
90'+3' 90'+3' Full time.
90'+2' Di María really should have his second. He's spare on the right, and Neymar slides the ball in to his path. The Argentine skews his shot wide and although the flag stayed down, it looked like he was offside.
90' Three minutes of added time, says the fourth official's board.
89' Final change for Anderlecht sees Deschacht amble off, with Obradovic taking his place.
88' GOOOOL! PSG have an easy fourth on the counter attack. With Anderlecht piling forward in attack, Kara Mbodji is left alone in the heart of defence with three players coming towards him. Angel Di María feigns to pass, goes alone, and dinks the 'keeper very nicely indeed.
87' Mbappé peels to the left of the box, away from his marker, to allow Neymar to slide a ball in to him. He gathers and shoots, but the finish is wild.
86' Anderlecht doing a lot of probing and not much penetrating around the PSG box.
84' Bruno ghosts in from the left and shoots towards the far corner. Not enough curl from the substitute, and it flies wide.
82' Mbappé hits the outside of the post. The youngster has plenty of time on the left with Anderlecht players committed in attack. He faces up to Dendoncker, throws in a stepover, and bursts on to his left foot. The defender gets a slight touch, but Mbappé still manages to poke a toe at the ball, and it's a fraction wide of sliding in at the near post.
82' Massimo Bruno replaces Pieter Gerkens.
79' Onyekuru hits the bar! Hanni glances a header across goal that Areola can only parry. It goes just behind Teodorczyk, and Onyekuru lashes it against the bar from seven yards. He should have scored, but to be fair, there was a crowd of bodies between him and the ball.
76' Trebel lashes a speculative piledriver well over. Anderlecht are in 'Let's just have a pop' mental territory.
75' Two final changes for the away team. Di María is on for Cavani, and Lo Celso is on for Verratti.
73' Pieter Gerkens slots on to Teodorczyk's smart reverse pass, checks back inside, and from deep inside the box, shoots over on the bounce.
72' Lukasz Teodorczyk is shown a yellow card for planting his elbow on Kurzawa's chops.
71' Julian Draxler replaces Thiago Motta, who was on a booking.
70' GOOOOOOOO.... NO. Cavani has the ball in the net for the third time this evening, but it's the second of those that was offside. Mbappé played a ball across the box, and the linesman did really well to use the line of penalty box to spot that Cavani was a fraction offside.
69' PSG now strolling in to the last 20 minutes like they're perusing the shops on the Champs Élysées.
66' GOL GOL GOL! PSG players give the Anderlecht wall a shove to the left, which creates an eye-of-the-needle gap for Neymar to shoot low and in to the corner. He finds that gap, and with Sels unsighted, the ball nestles in the bottom corner. Curtains for Anderlecht.
65' Neymar is beginning to run the game. Mbodji halts his inward run with an agricultural challenge just outside the box. Neymar himself looks set to take it.
63' Hanni's shot is on target, but comfortable for Areola to save down to his left.
62' Motta is penalised for a tug on Teodorczyk's shirt 25 yards out and receives a booking. Anderlecht will have a chance to reduce the arrears.
59' PSG conspire to miss a third. Verratti's through ball sits perfectly for Neymar, but he miscues his one-on-one chip and it goes straight in to the body of Matz Sels. 'Put yer foot through it mate'. Mbappé does just that on the follow up, but can't keep his shot down. The two share a wry smile after. Another PSG feels imminent.
58' GOOOOO....OOOOFFFSIDE Cavani. Neymar is tackled, the ball bobbles to Mbappé in the box, and he squares it to Cavani to score. But the flag is raised.
57' Anderlecht make the first change of the match, and that will see Josue Sá replacing Kums.
55' Henry Onyekuru is booked, seemingly for a slightly-too-vociferous whinge at the referee.
54' Neymar makes Dendoncker look like a fool with a flashy nutmeg on the edge of the box. Mbodji covers for his centre-half partner to ensure Neymar makes no further progress in to the penalty box.
53' Big chance for Neymar to kill off the match, as he meets Dani Alves' delicious cross from the right and skids a header just wide from seven yards.
52' Trebel looks to swing the ball in to the top corner with his left foot, but leans back too much and sends it over.
51' Anderlecht have a free-kick in a decent position after Kimpembe lifted his foot a little too close to Teodorczyk's dipping head.
49' Superb flowing football from PSG results in Cavani hitting the crossbar. Mbappé and Neymar exchange a back-heel or two, and the Brazilian then drifts inside, taking Deschacht with him. That creates space for Cavani, whose lashed shot skims the top of the bar and flies in to the crowd.
47' Anderlecht have started the second half as they spent much of the first: on the front foot.
46' Peeep! No changes from either side and the second half has lift-off.
The players are gathering in the tunnel, ready for the start of the second half.
I didn't realise that 'treatments' was a statistic, but apparently it is. It's Anderlecht 0-5 PSG in the treatments stakes. That probably has something to do with it being 10-2 to Anderlecht in fouls committed.
The scoreline is very harsh on Anderlecht, who have been the better team for large swathes of the first half.
45'+2' Half time.
45' There will be two minutes of added time.
44' GOOOOOOL! PSG make it two, and it's a harsh blow to Anderlecht just before half time. Sels parries Neymar's swirling shot straight up in the air. Mbappé heads it to the far post, where Cavani is waiting to nod it in via the desperate palm of the 'keeper.
42' Henry Onyekuru cuts in from the left but can't gather the lively return pass of a one-two from Kums. A few moments earlier, Cavani miskicked a first-time dink in the box. A difficult chance for the Uruguayan, but one we're accustomed to seeing him bury.
40' Lukasz Teodorczyk slips at the crucial moment as Dendoncker players a penetrative ball out from the back. It looked like the striker was going to allow the ball to run across his body and past Kimpembe, but he lost his footing.
38' Neymar is harshly penalised for putting a shoulder on Trebels' shoulder as the PSG man looked to cut inside with the ball. Mbappé is back on the pitch after receiving some quick treatment.
35' PSG are struggling to deal with Anderlecht's threat on the flanks. Hein Vanhaezebrouck's team are playing a true 3-4-3, granting Appiah and Onyekuru plenty of space to attack on each side, particularly on the left where Dani Alves swashbuckles forward when there's a hint of attacking action.
33' Trebel and Rabiot go in hard for a 50-50, and the PSG man has come off second best. He's lying on the turf with physios tending to his foot. Trebel got straight back up and is presumably feeling like a right hard-nut.
31' Neymar goes down in apparent agony, despite Deschacht making no visible contact with the Brazilian. He wants a free-kick just outside the box, but he'll have to cheat better than that if he wants anything off the Czech referee.
29' Trevel tries to scoop an intricate through ball to Appiah, but it's a touch overhit and Areola nips out to it.
24' I hope nobody in the Anderlecht stadium is of a particularly nervous disposition, because that was a high-octane ten seconds. Dendoncker catastrophically underhits a back-pass to Sels, allowing Mbappé to steam in one-on-one with the 'keeper. It looks like he has managed to round the 'keeper to his right, but Sels recovers to swivel on the grounf and swipe the ball away. It falls to Neymar on the edge of the box, and when he eventually works space to shoot at the unguarded goal, it dribbles just wide of the post.
22' Teodorczyk, wearing the No.91 on his back, leaps to reach a cross from the left flank. He gets a thin contact on the ball, but it's enough to guide it on target. Areola stoops down low to save, and hold it.
21' PSG players have a whinge after Onyekuru wins a questionable corner. They needn't have worried, as Anderlecht are floating the deliveries to the edge of the box and they're no threat whatsoever.
19' Cavani grimaces. The Uruguayan had a bit of space on the left, and he lashes at the ball as it comes bouncing over to him. In to the crowd.
18' 'LO LO LOLOLO' chant the Anderlecht fans behind the goal. They've been spurred on by their team's positive start. It feels strange to say that when they're losing, but Anderlecht really have looked decent.
16' Ooooh, PSG avert a calamity own goal. Teodorczyk strides in to the box, jinks on to his left foot, and shoots across Areola. The 'keeper parries it straight in to the legs of Kurzawa and it richochets over. Mbodji meets the outswinging corner from near the edge of the box and nods it over. Anderlecht look the better of the two teams. PSG did not threaten before their goal, and they haven't threatened since.
15' That opening goal was Kylian Mbappé's 8th in 12 Champions League games.
13' Goodness me, Henry Onyekuru is absolutely lightning quick (it's no wonder Everton loaned him out, they're fine for pace in attack, right?). The Nigerian, who spent several years at the Aspire Academy in Qatar, burns past Dani Alves and has to be thwarted by a sliding Areola.
10' Dani Alves, sporting a fresh peroxide-blonde haircut, whips a ball towards his pal Neymar. PSG's No.10 has the ball with his back to goal, but the Anderlecht defenders don't let him turn. Purple shirts scramble the ball away and gallop forward to win a corner. It's taken short to the edge of the box. With Hanni set to meet it, the referee gets in his way and allows PSG to clear.
7' The home side surge foward again. Gerkens lays the ball out to Appiah on the right, who swings a cross towards the penalty spot. Onyekuru has ghosted in from the left wing, and meets the ball with a downward, glancing header. It's straight in to the arms of Areola. Either side of the 'keeper, and that was nestling.
5' Anderlecht dust themselves off and make a strong response. Teodorczyk puts himself about in the PSG box, and when the cross comes in, he manages to knock it back to the onrushing Sven Kums. He shoots on the bounce from 25 yards and sends a rasping effort narrowly wide.
3' GOOOOOOL! Mbappé plays the ball to Verratti on the edge of the box, and dashes towards goal. The Italian midfielder returns the ball and Mbappé lashes it beneath the 'keeper from a narrow angle. That was PSG's first attack.
2' Anderlecht look fired up in the early stages. They're harrying PSG in deep inside their territory. A spell of possession for the home side comes to an end as Onyekuru runs in to Marquinhos.
1' Kick off! Off we go in Brussels!
Sofiane Hanni will captain Anderlecht tonight, while the experienced Thiago Motta will don the armband for PSG.
Out come the teams! Champions League anthem time...
Anderlecht XI: Sels; Dendoncker, Mbodji, Deschacht; Appiah, Kums, Trebel, Onyekuru; Gerkens, Teodorczyk, Hanni.
PSG XI: Areola; Alves, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Kurzawa; Motta, Verratti, Rabiot; Mbappe, Cavani, Neymar.
A reminder of how the two teams line up...
Anderlecht are finishing off their warm-up and trotting back in to the dressing room, accompanied by a rousing round of applause from the home supporters.
20-year-old Henry Onyekuru will feature on the wing for Anderlecht this evening. The Nigerian, who has already been capped by his country, impressed at Eupen as a teenager, which earnt him a move to Everton in the summer. The Toffees loaned him back to the Belgian league, where he has scored 6 goals in 9 matches for Anderlecht this season.
The Constant Vanden Stock Stadium is the setting for this evening's match. It holds 21,500 spectators and has been in the same spot since 1917, albeit with a rebuild in the 1980s. It doesn't half look good in a sunset...
Presnel Kimpembe is the only new phase in Unai Emery's Champions League side. Otherwise, the Spanish coach has maintained the same line-up as against Celtic and Bayern. It is only Kimpembe's second appearance in Europe's elite club competition, with the previous one coming in the 4-0 victory over Barcelona in 2016-17.
Elsewhere in the Champions League this evening, Qarabag have just held Atlético to a 0-0 draw in Baku. That result is problematic for Diego Simeone's side, who could now do with Chelsea beating Roma at Stamford Bridge in the other Group C match.
Anderlecht XI: Sels; Dendoncker, Mbodji, Deschacht; Appiah, Kums, Trebel, Gerkens; Onyekuru, Teodorczyk, Hanni.
PSG XI: Areola; Alves, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Kurzawa; Motta, Verratti, Rabiot; Mbappe, Cavani, Neymar.
George Weah played for PSG between 1992-1995, and now his son Timothy is following in his footsteps. Weah Junior recently scored a hat-trick for the USA in the Under-17 World Cup, and is in the youth system at PSG.
Anderlecht will be hoping things go better than the last time they hosted PSG at the Constant Vanden Stock on 23 October 2013, when they were trounced 5-0 with a certain Zlatan Ibrahimović scoring four times. Cavani got the other one. Anderlecht finished bottom of Group C that year, notching their only point with a 1-1 draw in the return fixture in Paris. PSG went on to the quarter-finals where they went out on away goals to Chelsea.
Interesting comments from Cavani yesterday, speaking to SFR about ball-grab-gate, the spat between him and Neymar over who is to take the penalties and free-kicks at PSG, with the big Uruguayan saying “We don’t all need to be friends...what we have to do is act like professionals on the pitch"
The other game in this group tonight sees Scottish champions Celtic FC travel to German league title holders Bayern Munich in what many think is the first in a double-header for second-place.
The referee in charge of tonight's game is Pavel Kralovec who hails from the Czech Republic. The 40-year old engineer was involved in the 2010 and 2014 World Cup qualifiers, as well as qualifying matches for Euro 2008and Euro 2012.
If you need a little more background to the two sides then get your eyes onto our preview below. We'll be keeping our own eyes peeled throughout the day on any news regarding the match which we'll share with you immediately.
Hello and thank you for joining us as we build up to tonight's big game between Anderlecht and Paris Saint-Germain. The French giants are hot favourites to head back home with all three points and strengthen further their top spot in Group B.