The hosts started brightly in Israel, troubling PSG throughout a frenetic first 45 minutes, but it was not to be as PSG outclassed Maccabi Haifa in a 3-1 win to stay perfect through two Champions League group stage games.
It marks the first time ever that Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, and Neymar all found the back of the net in the same Champions League match. That proved too much for Maccabi Haifa, whose spirited first half simply ran out of gas.
Tjarron Chery put Haifa in front before the half-hour mark, sending a boisterous Sammy Ofer Stadium into a frenzy, and leaving PSG shockingly down a goal. Haifa goalkeeper Josh Cohen stood tall on a number of occasions to protect the early lead, but would eventually succumb to one of the greatest players of all-time.
Messi found PSG’s equalizer on 37 minutes, receiving great service from a shifty Mbappe, giving PSG something to savor after an otherwise shaky first-half that saw the hosts run PSG ragged.
After the break, PSG eventually wore Haifa down with pure class and skill. Mbappe would find PSG’s second on a great vertical ball by Messi, and Neymar put the game away late after latching onto a long-ball from Marco Verratti.
The overall performance from Haifa, especially in the first half, deserves plaudits as they troubled one of the world’s best teams for the full 45 minutes, but they just couldn’t keep up the tempo all game, succumbing to a supremely talented squad.