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Champions League

Messi, Mbappe score twice as PSG thrash Maccabi

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Lionel Messi surrounded by Maccabi Haifa players

Paris St Germain’s Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe both scored twice with Neymar also on target as the French club’s fearsome attack tore apart Maccabi Haifa in a 7-2 win to send them into the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday.

The irrepressible trio were too much for a Maccabi side to handle, although the Israelis showed great heart in the Group H clash with Abdoulaye Seck scoring twice.

Messi got the ball rolling in the 19th minute with a sumptuous opening goal with the outside of his left foot and Mbappe curled in his side’s second in the 32nd.

Mbappe and Messi then combined to play in Neymar three minutes later with the Brazilian’s shot going in off the post.

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Seck replied almost immediately with a header but Messi dispatched a left-footed shot inside the post just before halftime after linking with Neymar again.

Maccabi again reduced the arrears in the 50th minute with a looping header but PSG were not done and Mbappe sent another curler past goalkeeper Joshua Cohen before Neymar’s low cross was turned into his own goal by Sean Goldberg.

Messi, who was denied a ninth Champions League hat-trick by the crossbar, then set up Carlos Soler to wrap up the scoring with six minutes remaining.

PSG top the group on goal difference with 11 points with Benfica in second place, well ahead of Juventus and Haifa who are both on three points.

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