LEIPZIG, GERMANY (AFP) – Emil Forsberg’s penalty proved decisive as RB Leipzig came from behind to beat a weakened Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 on Wednesday (Nov 4), dealing a major blow to the Champions League aspirations of last season’s runners-up.
Angel di Maria had given PSG an early lead in Germany but he then crucially missed a penalty for the French champions, who were missing both Neymar and Kylian Mbappe due to injury and ended this game with nine men.
Christopher Nkunku equalised before half-time for Leipzig and Forsberg converted from the spot in the 57th minute before the visitors had both Idrissa Gana Gueye and Presnel Kimpembe sent off.
For Leipzig the result is a measure of revenge following their 3-0 defeat to PSG in the semi-finals of last season’s competition in Lisbon in August.
It also further blows open Group H after Istanbul Basaksehir stunned Manchester United earlier on Wednesday, winning their clash 2-1 in Turkey.
Leipzig, who lost 5-0 at Old Trafford last week, are now level with United on six points at the halfway stage, with PSG and Basaksehir on three points.
A win is now vital for PSG when they host Leipzig later this month, by which time they should have Neymar and Mbappe available again.
PSG have reached the knockout stages of the Champions League in each of the last eight seasons, but their prospects of advancing from a difficult group have not been helped by injuries and now they have lost two group games for the first time in the Qatar era.
As well as the two most expensive players in the world, under-pressure coach Thomas Tuchel is also missing playmaker Marco Verratti, his left-back Juan Bernat, centre-forward Mauro Icardi and the creative talent of Julian Draxler.
Nevertheless Di Maria was available to play here despite serving a suspension in Ligue 1 and he ran through to open the scoring in the sixth minute after the on-loan Moise Kean had intercepted a Dayot Upamecano back-pass.
Upamecano, the French international defender, was then penalised for a handball in the box but Di Maria’s 16th-minute spot-kick was saved by Peter Gulacsi.
Di Maria and Kean both then had goals disallowed for offside before the Bundesliga club equalised with three minutes of the first half remaining thanks to a former PSG player.
Nkunku, who moved from Paris to Leipzig last year, controlled Angelino’s pass 20 yards from goal and had the time to pick his spot low into the left corner of the net.
PSG had played well in the first half but were not at the races after the restart, in particular after Kimpembe gave away a penalty for a handball, which was spotted by the Polish referee following a brief VAR check.
Forsberg stepped up to convert from 12 yards, and PSG capitulated in the latter stages.
Gueye was given his marching orders as a foul on Amadou Haidara led to him seeing a second yellow midway through the second half.
Then, right at the end of stoppage time, Kimpembe picked up a second booking too to leave PSG with nine men for the final seconds and without two more players due to suspension for their rematch with Leipzig on Nov 24.