PSG 5-0 Anderlecht: match report
Layvin Kurzawa scored three goals from left-back as PSG thrashed Anderlecht 5-0 to saunter in to the last 16 of the Champions League. Marco Verratti opened the scoring for the Ligue 1 leaders before Neymar added a second. Kurzawa then applied that gloss to a victory that secures PSG’s progression from Group B and leaves Anderlecht rooted to the bottom.
Bayern Munich edged to victory over Celtic in Glasgow in the other match in the group. PSG qualify for the next round with two games to spare as a result of Celtic failing to beat their German opponents.
Unai Emery flirted with the option of resting 18-year-old forward Kylian Mbappé in the days leading up to the match, with the teenage sensation having missed just 37 minutes of PSG’s previous 10 matches. Yet Emery opted for a strong starting line-up with Mbappé forming part of an intrepid attacking trident alongside Edinson Cavani and Neymar.
Mbappé and Neymar combined inside the first minute, with the latter forcing Anderlecht goalkeeper Frank Boeckx in to an early save.
The home side dictated the rhythm of the match from the outset, but it took them half an hour to make the breakthrough. The goal was worth waiting for. Neymar ignored Verratti’s overlapping run on the left and played the ball inside to Mbappé. He paid the Italian more attention, and rolled the ball out for him to jink back inside and curl a beautifully-shaped shot just inside the post. It feels odd to talk about a first-half goal as being ‘worth waiting for’, overdue. Yet such was the nature of PSG’s gaping superiority.
Anderlecht displayed none of the canny wing-play that caused PSG trouble when the two sides met in Brussels. Hein Vanhaezebrouck’s side were timid in Paris. They seemed overawed by the task of withstanding the constant threat of Cavani, Mbappé, and Neymar.
The Brazilian scored the second the brink of half time. He received the ball from a short corner and was afforded the space to waltz around the perimeter of the box, pick his spot, and curl the ball in to the corner. It was a fine finish, but one that he should not have been given the opportunity to create.
Layvin Kurzawa was the unlikely protagonist of the second half. The left-back’s only memorable involvement in the first half was falling down in a heap after an aerial clash with opposition captain Sofiane Hanni.
The first goal was a gift; a gift wrapped in crisp paper, strips of ribbon, and with a bow on top. Boeckx displayed outstanding reflexes to tip Neymar’s free-kick on to the post. But the Anderlecht ‘keeper looked up to see Kurzawa nodding the acquiescent rebound in to his unguarded net.
The 25-year-old doubled his personal tally 20 minutes later. Neymar lured the right-back, Dennis Appiah, towards the centre of the penalty area as Dani Alves crossed the ball. That created an expanse of space for Kurzawa to arrive at the far post and pick his spot with a diving header.
Six minutes later he was assured of possession of the match ball. A low drive in to the bottom corner sealed his third goal, and PSG’s fifth.
The Parisiens have made progressed with ostentatious ease from a group that had appeared challenging when the draw was made. With 17 goals scored and 0 conceded so far, PSG’s opponents in the next round will approach the tie with trepidation.
PSG 5-0 Anderlecht: as it happened
PSG progress to the Last 16 of the Champions League as Celtic have failed to beat Bayern in Glasgow.
90'+2' Cavani nods Dani Alves' cross wide. It looks like he'll end his run of scoring in eight consecutive Champions League matches.
90' There will be a minimum of two added minutes.
89' Di María scampers to the byline and tries to chip the ball in to the centre with the outside of his left boot. Boeckx rushes out and deflects it behind for a corner, which Anderlecht clear.
88' PSG are toying with their opponents, like a cat taunting a trapped mouse. Pastore nonchalently nutmegs Kums in the centre.
86' Dani Alves wants to get involved, and why not? He has a speculative pop from distance and it fizzes wide.
85' The PSG defence momentarily parts, allowing Dendoncker to cut in from the left and thread a lovely pass to Gerkens, cutting in from the right. The No.8 is in the box and just has the 'keeper to beat, but a sloppy first touch allows Kurzawa to recover.
84' Di María shoots from 30 yards. His contact is too thin, and it slams in to the advertising hoarding beside the near post.
83' Anderlecht's commitment to playing out from the back is admirable, but it also looks like it will land them in trouble. PSG are pressing fairly high up the pitch and the Belgian side are not infallible with the ball at their feet.
81' Obradovic comes forward tentatively and tries to sneak through an eye-of-the-needle gap between Lo Celso and Alves. The PSG pair close the gap, and that's it for Anderlecht's brief surge forward.
78' GOL GOL GOL! Kurzawa has a hat-trick from left-back! Dani Alves, Di María, and Cavani combine neatly on the edge of the box, allowing Di María to find Kurzawa in space on the left side of the box. He only has one thing in mind, and arrows a low shot in to the bottom corner. A fine finish.
76' Bayern are back in front in Glasgow. As you were...
76' PSG's final change sees Rabiot make way for Pastore.
75' Calum McGregor has equalised for Celtic against Bayern in the other match in this group.
72' GOOOOOL! Would you believe it, Layvin Kurzawa has his second. It's another simple finish with his head. Neymar drags Appiah towards the centre of the goal with a clever run as Dani Alves flashes a volleyed cross through the 'corridor of uncertainty'. With Appiah sucked in and the 'keeper expecting Neymar to make contact, Kurzawa is able to convert with a simple diving header at the far post.
71' Di María comes within a whisker of finding Neymar's diagonal run with a chipped pass. Frank Boeckx is equally alert, and he rushes out to claim the ball before it can drop on Neymar's foot.
69' Anderlecht play in neat triangles out from the back, but it almost comes back to bite them when Neymar nabs possession. The Brazilian attempts an elaborate flick that allows Kara to steam in and win the ball again. The pressure is fully released when Sven Kums draws a foul from Lo Celso.
66' Areola does well to punch a teasing corner clear and set his side away on the counter attack. Things look promising until Edinson Cavani overruns the ball on the left flank and loses possession.
64' Unai Emery makes a double change: Di María replaces Mbappém and Lo Celso replaces Verratti.
62' Blimey, that was a good effort from Obradovic. The left-back squares up Dani Alves on the corner of the box, and rolls the ball with the sole of his left foot before twitching in to a stepover and accerating forward. The Serbia international lets fly with his right peg, and it's not far away from finding the top corner.
61' Neymar threads the ball to Edinson Cavani, but it doesn't quite fall for the Uruguayan on the penalty spot and the two Anderlecht centre-halves squeeze him off the ball.
60' Anderlecht sub: Hanni makes way for Teodorczyk, wrapping his captain's armband around the bicep of Dendoncker on the way off.
59' Four goals and two assists for Neymar in the Champions League this season. We're only four games in.
57' Anderlecht are seeing a bit more of the ball in this second half, perhaps because PSG are easing their foot off the gas. The Belgians are causing limited damage with it, mind.
54' I like Kara at the back for Anderlecht. He is very cool under pressure. A high ball comes down from orbit towards him, yet instead of heading it as far away as possible, he wrong-foots Neymar with a delicate header that allows Appiah to play the ball out from the right-back position. The 27-year-old is already closing in on 50 caps for Senegal.
52' GOOOOOOOOL! Neymar curls the dead ball over the wall and flush on to the post after a sensational fingertip save by Boeckx. Unfortunately for the 'keeper, the ball bounces straight in to the path of Kurzawa, who can't believe his luck as he nods in to an empty net from close range.
52' Hanni tangles with Neymar and concedes a free-kick 30 yards out and to the left of the goal. Neymar is back on his feet and eyeing up the top corner.
49' Neymar faces up against Kara (he goes cara to cara with Kara as they'd say in Spain), and cuts in on to his left foot before rasping a shot back towards the right corner of the goal. Kara gets a crucial deflection with the instep of his boot to send the ball behind for a corner, which Anderlecht clear. Neymar's shot looked destined for the bottom corner before the No.4 intervened.
48' Anyway, Anderlecht have a corner. Hanni floats it to Onyekuru at the far post. The referee blows his whistle as the ball comes down to land. He was unhappy with the amount of pushing and shoving going on.
47' The PSG fans are singing something to the tune of "Bad Moon Rising" by the Creedence Clearwater Revival. I now like PSG fans more than I did 30 seconds ago. They're giving it a second rendition! Excellent!
46' Anderlecht get the second half going. Their U19s came back from 2-0 down in the UEFA Youth League this afternoon. Can the seniors show the same resolve?
The teams are milling about in the tunnel ahead of the second half. Thiago Silva looks like he's enjoying a half-time Frube, however closer inspection reveals it's one of those sachets of glucose. Booo.
Anderlecht have not provided the same threat as in the match in Brussels. The system that night placed a greater emphasis on attacking in wide areas through Appiah and Onyekuru, with a back three providing cover behind. There's none of that tonight.
45'+4' That's it for the first half.
45'+4' GOOOOOOL! Neymar extends PSG's lead with a similar finish to Verratti's opener. He collects the ball from a short corner, scampers around the outside of the box without much defensive intervention, and bends a shot in to the far corner. It was a neat finish but he shouldn't rally have been given the opportunity to shoot. Perhaps Anderlecht were a tad disorientated by that defensive substitution.
45'+4' Josue Sá replaces Spajic.
45'+2' Kums is back up after that clash with his team-mate, but it looks like Spajic's night is over. He's being carried around the perimeter of the pitch on a stretcher, with his head buried in his hands.
45' Two minutes of added time.
45' Mbappé cuts the ball back to Neymar from the left and in a (successful) attempt to block his shot, Kums and Spajic dive straight in to each other. The pall spins out to Dani Alves, who lets fly with an outswinger that shaves the post on its way behind for a goal kick.
43' Kurzawa threads a delightfully-weighted pass from the flank through to Neymar in the inside-left position. The Brazilian scampers inside and tries to find Cavani on the right of the box. Obradovic reads his intention and intercepts the pass.
39' An gap opens up for Dendoncker to take a pass down on his chest in the box while running diagonally towards the corner flag. He flicks the ball in to the centre, where PSG look set to clear until Dani Alves dithers on the ball and allows Onyekuru to steal it. The Nigerian tries to combine with Hanni, but neither can get a shot away and Onyekuru is forced to work the ball back.
36' Ooooh, Trebel nearly comes an absolute cropper. He's forced back towards his own goal and tries to pass back to his 'keeper. Fittingly on Halloween, Edinson Cavani has ghosted in to the area and latches on to the woeful back-pass. The angle is too acute to shoot, and he tries to flick it in to the path of a team-mate, but there's nobody there and Anderlecht emerge with the ball. Trebel tries to redeem himself up at the other end with a thumping shot that is straight at Areola.
33' Verratti almost plants the ball on Cavani's head with a rasping diagonal pass. Frank Boeckx sees what is happening ahead of him, dashes out, and punches clear.
30' GOL GOL GOL! Verratti overlaps around the outside of Neymar on the counter-attack. Neymar ignores him and plays the ball inside, but Kylian Mbappé knows the Italian is still there and slides the ball out to him. A quick touch to dash inside his marker, and Verratti curls it just inside the post with his right foot. Lovely finish, and an incisive counter-attack by PSG. I sense we'll be saying that regularly in the Champions League this season.
29' Henry Onyekuru beats Dani Alves to the ball after the Brazilian's cross was headed clear, and gallops in to the space he left behind. A quick one-two with Hanni and Onyekuru is bearing down on the box. It looks promising for the visitors, but the Everton loanee's final ball is slack.
28' A bit of a lull here after that stoppage to treat Kurzawa. PSG are trying to ease back in to the driving seat.
Former tennis player Yannick Noah is in attendance at Parc des Princes. If his tennis was as good as his hat & scarf colour coordination...
25' Rabiot, operating in the defensive midfield role in the absence of Thiago Motta, puts the ball out of play for Kurzawa to receive treatment. The left-back is down in a heap after a rough aerial challenge from Anderlecht captain Hanni. Yuri trots down the touchine for a warm up.
23' Anderlecht are currently enjoying a spell of possession to break up the PSG dominance.
20' Mbappé flashes a low ball across the six-yard box, which Cavani tries to flick in with his right foot once the ball has passed him. It doesn't come off as the ball bounces off his standing leg and away. The Uruguayan, who is trying to score in an eight consecutive Champions League match, winces. But PSG have a corner. It's Cavani once again who meets it, and sees his header flash past the near post.
18' Cavani's shot is blocked and bounces out to Mbappé. The youngster is just inside the box and shoots low to the bottom corner. It is heading for its target, but not with enough pace behind it, and that allows Frank Boeckx to dive to his left and smother the ball.
16' Anderlecht have a brief jaunt in to PSG's half and win a free kick out on the left. It is half-cleared by the home defence, and then Kara does their job for them by slicing a first-time cross out for a throw in. That was a classic case of the lumbering centre-half being caught out of his natural habitat on the right wing. He will have felt a rush of adrenaline at the chance to try a stepover, followed by a sinking feeling as he realises he is a centre-half for a reason.
14' Neymar drifts along the edge of the box to meet Dani Alves' sharp pass with a first time shot on his right foot. It richochets off Kara and could have spat out in any direction, but luckily for Anderlecht it ends up in the arms of Boeckx.
12' Marco Verratti dinks a delectable left-footed ball over the line of defenders and in to Neymar, who takes it down on his chest with his back to goal before looping a bicycled kick over the bar. In any case, the Brazilian had strayed slightly offside and the linesman's flag was fluttering in the Parisien breeze.
10' Neymar robs a ponderous Adrien Trebel of the ball in a dangerous area and instead of shooting, lays the ball out to Mbappé on the right before hovering around the penalty spot for the return ball. They're on the same wavelength and the 18-year-old squares it for his team-mate, but Spajic is alert to the danger and blocks Neymar's shot.
8' Sofiane Hanni, wrapped up nice and toasty in a pair of gloves, winds up for a shot outside the box and slams it straight in to Thiago Silva's thigh.
6' Hanni and Appiah combine to rob Neymar of the ball on the left wing, allowing Anderlecht to stretch their legs for the first time this evening. But the move breaks down when Pieter Gerkens drags a lofted pass towards Onyekuru behind its intended target and out for a throw in.
3' A deep, low cross from Dani Alves almost fizzes to the feet of Edinson Cavani inside the six-yard box. Uros Pajic does well to get his body in the way and block the ball behind for a corner, which Anderlecht clear.
2' PSG scored early in Brussels through Kylian Mbappé. They came close to doing it again... you would have bet on Neymar to bury that.
1' Peeeep! We're underway at Parc des Princes in Group B... and PSG burst straight in to action. Neymar has a superb chance to score as he lets a through ball run across his body before thumping the ball in to Boeckx's chest.
Here come the teams! Greeted by a waving wall of flags to their left in the home end. Unai Emery follows his team out of the tunnel at a brisk pace.
The atmosphere is building nicely in Parc des Princes with five minutes to go until kick-off.
Neymar is back from suspension and out for his warm-up.
Anderlecht's longest-serving manager was an Englishman named Bill Gormlie. He was at the helm for nine seasons between 1950 and 1959.
PSG lost 2-4 against Hapoel Tel Aviv in the 2006-07 UEFA Cup. Since then, the Ligue 1 side have only lost one of their 44 European matches at Parc des Princes. That solitary defeat came against their Champions League bogey side... Barcelona in 2014-15.
Anderlecht's 'golden age' came in the late 1970s, when the Belgian team won the Cup Winners' Cup two years out of three between 1976 and 1978.
Anthony Vanden Borre made his Anderlecht debut at the age of 16... now 30, he is playing for TP Mazembe in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Read his story.
The pitch at Parc des Princes looks resplendant. Northern Irishman Jonathan Calderwood is the groundsman in Paris, and he has drawn praise from the likes of Lionel Messi and Neymar for his manicuring of the turf. He is not the only British groundsman to ply his trade for Europe's elite. Paul Burgess takes care of the playing surface at the Bernabéu, while Anglo-Spaniard Dan González has recently left his post at Bournemouth to become the head groundsman at Atlético Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano stadium.
It looks like Anderlecht have switched things up a little from their 0-4 beating at the hands of Unai Emery's men. The most striking reshuffle is Everton-loanee Henry Onyekuru moving from the left flank in to the centre. The young striker is Anderlecht's leading scorer in the Jupiler League with six goals.
Well, well, well. After all that fluffery-buffery Kylian Mbappé does start for PSG, and the 'MCN' remains intact. I'm sure the Anderlecht rearguard will be chuffed to bits... Julian Draxler takes the place of Thiago Motta in midfield, the only change from when these sides met in Belgium.
Anderlecht XI: Boeckx; Appiah, Mbodji, Spajic, Obradovic; Kums, Dendoncker, Trebel; Gerkens, Onyekuru, Hanni.
PSG XI: Areola; Alves, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Kurzawa; Rabiot, Verratti, Draxler; Mbappé, Cavani, Neymar.
Thiago Motta will not be involved for PSG this evening. Unai Emery has his trusty midfielder a midweek rest. Nevertheless, this article by Gregg Bakowski on the 35-year-old is well worth five minutes of your time. I like the part when he refers to a particular defensive midfielder as "the beer mat under the table who could help bring balance when his side were rocking."
But unfortunately for fans of acronym-bearing attacking tridents, it appears likely that the MCN will be broken up tonight, with Kylian Mbappé likely to start on the bench. Between club and international duties, the 18-year-old has already played 16 matches this season. With PSG aiming to win the Champions League, it is slightly surprising that Unai Emery has not already rested the teenager in order to avoid burn-out after the winter break.
PSG's 'MCN' attacking trio of Mbappé, Cavani. and Neymar, have scored nine of the 12 goals their team has scored in the Champions League so far this season. A Mikael Lustig own goal, Dani Alves, Ángel Di María are the only other players to have found the net in Europe.
Neither team has any players out suspended. Veteran midfielder Thiago Motta remains out injured for PSG; Anderlecht are without Emmanuel Adje Sowah and Andy Najar. Massimo Bruno and Serigne Mbodji have travelled but are doubtful.
PSG will be mathematically guaranteed a place in the next round if they win tonight and Celtic fail to beat Bayern Munich in tonight's other Group B game. Even a draw would be enough for Enery's team if Bayern win in Glasgow.
Here's how it's looking in Group B: PSG and Anderlecht are poles apart in the table - the Parisiens with a flawless, three wins from three, top the standings on nine points and haven't even conceded a goal. At the other end are the Belgians, bottom with three defeats and yet to score a goal in the tournament.
The other time PSG and Anderlecht met in Europe was in the Third Round of the 1992/3 UEFA Cup. On that occasion, the first leg in the French capital ended without goals and the return leg finished 1-1 with PSG advancing to the quarter finals on the away goals rule.
Apart from the meeting earlier this month in Belgium, PSG and Anderlecht have met four times in European competition - they were lumped together in Group C along with Olympiacos and Benfica. The French side thrashed their hosts 0-5 in the MatchDay 3 meeting on 23 October 2013 with Ibrahimovic claiming four of the team's five goals that evening. The return in Paris on 5 November was a less exhuberant affair and finished 1-1 - Demy De Zeeuw opening the scoring and Ibra levelling two minutes later.
PSG and Anderlecht go into this with contrasting recent form - Unai Emery's team have won four of their last five games - including the 0-4 drubbing of tonight's opponents on MatchDay 3. The French champions only dropped points against Olympique Marseille a fortnight ago, drawing that match 2-2. Anderlecht meanwhile have won three of their last five outings, apart from the defeat to PSG, they were beaten by the minimum to Genk at home on 22 October.
Welcome to our live online coverage of PSG vs Anderlecht on matchday four of Champions League Group B which kicks off at Parc des Princes at 20:45 CET on Wednesday 1 November. We'll be building up to it throughout the day bringing you all the latest news as it happens.
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