Mbappe and Barcola hand PSG 2-0 win over Real Sociedad

Kylian Mbappe of PSG celebrates his goal with Vitinha during the UEFA Champions League 2023/24 round of 16 first leg match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Real Sociedad (San Sebastian) at Parc des Princes stadium on February 14, 2024 in Paris, France.

Kylian Mbappe showcased his scoring skill, securing a crucial 2-0 victory for Paris Saint-Germain over Real Sociedad in the first leg of their last-16 tie in a thrilling Champions League encounter. 

The Parc des Princes witnessed Mbappe's magic just before the hour mark, breaking the deadlock and setting the stage for a comfortable lead.

Despite a lackluster first-half performance from PSG, Kylian Mbappe's clinical finish and Bradley Barcola's well-taken goal in the 70th minute provided the French champions with a solid advantage heading into the return leg in Spain. The significance of the win was not lost on Mbappe, who acknowledged the importance of scoring at key moments, saying, "We are happy with this first step. There is still a lot of work to do, but it is good to be going there with the advantage."

PSG faced immense pressure, aiming to avoid another early exit in the Champions League. Captain Marquinhos admitted to initial difficulties but credited a halftime talk for the improved second-half attitude. "We know how important it is to win at home, but it is not finished. We need to keep the same mindset...and play well to secure our qualification," he emphasised.

Real Sociedad, making their first Champions League knockout appearance in two decades, struggled without captain Mikel Oyarzabal and faced an uphill battle after going goalless in their last four games. PSG, unbeaten in 16 games, showed moments of vulnerability, especially in the first half when the away side threatened more.

Kylian Mbappe's 31st goal of the season, turning in Marquinhos' assist from a corner, eased the tension for PSG. The France captain, heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid, almost added another, displaying his relentless attacking style. Barcola's 70th-minute goal secured the win and heightened Real Sociedad's challenge in the upcoming clash.

As the focus shifts to the return leg on March 5, PSG remains cautiously optimistic, aware of their past setbacks in the competition. Supporters, while hopeful, understand the unpredictable nature of Champions League knockout ties, emphasizing the need for consistent performance. 

The stage is set for an intense showdown, with PSG looking to navigate the challenges and secure their spot in the quarter-finals.

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