Paris: Vintage Angel Di Maria scored twice to anchor Paris St Germain outgun Real Madrid 3-0 in their opening Champions League Group A game on Wednesday.
With the formidable attacking trio of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Edinson Cavani out of action it was Di Maria who provided two first-half goals as PSG suffocated Real throughout and Thomas Meunier added a third in stoppage time.
Real, European champions 13 times and three years in a row from 2016-18, failed to muster a shot on target and suffered their first defeat of the season.
PSG lead the standings on three points, ahead of Club Brugge and Galatasaray, who played out a goalless draw earlier on Wednesday. "We lacked intensity, we never got into the game, we created very few chances," Real coach Zinedine Zidane told a news conference.
Although PSG’s win could be seen as a statement, the French champions still have a long way to go before putting three consecutive last-16 eliminations behind them for good including last season’s embarrassing defeat by Manchester United.
"We played at a very very high level tonight, but it’s not easy to show this in every game," said PSG coach Thomas Tuchel.
With Neymar suspended and Mbappe and Cavani injured, Argentine Mauro Icardi started up front after playing his first half hour for PSG in a Ligue 1 game against Strasbourg last weekend.
He had little impact, though, as Di Maria made sure his compatriot’s lack of match time went unnoticed in PSG’s first European game since a shock 3-1 home defeat by United sent them out of last season’s Champions League.
- Angel Di Maria scored twice in a vintage performance to help Paris St Germain outclass Real Madrid 3-0
- Real Madrid failed to muster a shot on target and suffered their first defeat of the season
- PSG lead the standings on three points, ahead of Club Brugge and Galatasaray