Icardi opens PSG account to claim victory at Galatasaray
Istanbul (AFP) –
Mauro Icardi scored his first Paris Saint-Germain goal as the French champions beat Galatasaray 1-0 to move four points clear at the top of their Champions League on Tuesday.
The Argentina forward, who joined the Parisians from Inter Milan during the summer, opened his account for the club to maintain their perfect start to their European campaign after downing Real Madrid 3-0 two weeks ago.
The Turkish champions sit third in the standings with a single point from the draw at Club Brugge on September 18 and have not registered a win in four games in all competitions.
Thomas Tuchel was without Neymar, serving the last match of his European suspension for abusing a referee on social media, and Kylian Mbappe who started on the bench as he continues to recover from a thigh injury as Icardi led the attack in Istanbul.
Fatih Terim brought in Ryan Donk and Jean Michael Seri to his side after Saturday's Super Lig draw with Fenerbahce as Algeria attacking midfielder Sofiane Feghouli dropped to the bench.
The first sight on goal for either side came as Angel Di Maria tested Galatasary goalkeeper Fernando Muslera on two minutes.
Icardi, returning to PSG's starting line-up after recovering from an injury sustained in the victory over Real, was shown a yellow card in the seventh minute for a foul on captain Muslera.
Galatasary's first chance of proceedings came three minutes later as Seri's shot curled the wrong side of Keylor Navas's left-hand post.
Five minutes into the second half, Di Maria, who starred in the victory over Real a fortnight ago, wasted a one-on-one to claim the lead as Muslera saved his weak shot.
- Icardi strikes -
A matter of seconds later, Icardi opened his PSG account to break the deadlock after some tidy interplay.
Marco Verratti found winger Pablo Sarabia inside the box who squared a pass to on-loan Inter forward Icardi at the back post.
Icardi was substituted on the hour mark for World Cup-winner Mbappe.
Playmaker Feghouli came onto the field a minute later, replacing Younes Belhanda, who played in a face mask due to a jaw problem.
Falcao, who moved from Ligue 1 side Monaco in September, has a chance to equalise for the Turkish side with 20 minutes to go but his right-footed free-kick from 20 metres out skimmed the crossbar.
The away side held on to claim victory and move four points clear at the top of the group as Tuchel brought on midfielder Ander Herrera for Di Maria during the final 10 minutes.
Next for PSG is a trip to Club Brugge who drew 2-2 at Real Madrid earlier in the day despite leading 2-0 at half-time at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Galatasary host the Spanish giants on October 22.
© 2019 AFP