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Mbappe Inspires Late PSG Comeback in Draw At Real Madrid

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Pablo Sarabia (centre) had muted celebrations. He was a Real Madrid player from the age of 12 to 19

Paris St-Germain came from 2-0 down to hold Real Madrid in a hugely entertaining Champions League game with both sides already assured of their place in the last 16.

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Real’s place was booked shortly before kick-off after Club Bruges’ 1-1 draw with Galatasaray.

Karim Benzema put Real 2-0 up with a close-range finish and a header.

But Kylian Mbappe scored after a defensive mix-up and Pablo Sarabia fired a brilliant equaliser.

Gareth Bale almost won the game for Real Madrid deep into injury time but his free-kick hit the post.

The French champions will finish top of Group A as a result.

Excellent Real unlucky to draw

Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema’s double had put Real Madrid seemingly in control

This was among Real’s best performances since the return of Zinedine Zidane as manager in March.

Only a fine performance by PSG keeper Keylor Navas, a summer signing from Real, stopped this from being a thrashing – the Costa Rican making 10 saves in total.

Benzema tapped them into a deserved lead after Isco’s shot had hit the post.

Navas held out again and again, including three stops to deny Dani Carvajal and two to keep out long-range Toni Kroos strikes.

The hosts did escape a Thibaut Courtois red card and potential PSG penalty thanks to a video assistant referee reprieve at the end of the first half.

PSG were given a free-kick just outside the box after Courtois fouled Mauro Icardi – with the goalkeeper shown a red card.

The foul appeared to be inside the box so referee Artur Soares Dias consulted with VAR to see whether it should be a penalty. However they instead spotted an Idrissa Gueye foul on Marcelo near the halfway line earlier on in the move – and the red card and potential penalty were wiped out.

Real were dominant again after the restart but lost Eden Hazard – who had a role in Benzema’s opener – to a second-half injury when he was fouled by Belgium team-mate Thomas Meunier. Bale came on to a round of applause from the home fans.

The game looked done and dusted when Benzema headed home Marcelo’s cross. That was the Frenchman’s 64th Champions League goal, which puts him fourth on the all-time list.

After their implosion, Real almost won it right at the end, with Bale’s wonderful free-kick beating Navas but hitting the far post.

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