Exasperation for Ronaldo but Mbappe on target again for PSG
£99m star fails to score again as Juventus win 2-0 France’s World Cup winner hits two against Angers
Two of the biggest stars of the World Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo and Kylian Mbappe, enjoyed very different afternoons as they played in front of their home fans for the first time since the tournament in Russia.
Ronaldo was making his home debut for Juventus after his £99million move from Real Madrid and he ended the afternoon frustrated after failing to score – although there were smiles after a 2-0 win over Lazio.
The Portuguese was largely anonymous in the first half and had only one touch in the opposition box. Instead it was Miralem Pjanic who gave Juventus the lead, shortly after Sami Khedira had hit the post, with a 25-yard volley into the bottom corner on the half hour.
The 33-year-old Ronaldo did better in the second half. He almost laid on a second goal with a series of stepovers on the left of the penalty area before putting in a cross that Mario Mandzukic somehow ballooned over.
But with the game in the balance Ronaldo seemed certain to score in the 75th minute. Joao Cancelo rolled the ball across to his compatriot but Strakosha did just enough to stop him from tapping it in from six yards. Instead, it ricocheted off Ronaldo’s feet and fell to Mandzukic to stroke into an empty net as the Portuguese threw his arms up in frustration. It made the game safe and Max Allegri said he felt Ronaldo was settling in well and was glad his arrival had not overshadowed his team-mates.
“Italian football is completely different to in Spain. Ronaldo understands that and he is settling in very well,” said Allegri, whose have won both of their games so far this season.
“There was a risk of us getting carried away by the enthusiasm created by Ronaldo’s first home appearance,” added the coach, who picked Blaise Matuidi and Federico Bernardeschi ahead of Paulo Dybala and Juan Cuadrado.
“I have a very strong squad and have to evaluate everyone. We needed these characteristics in midfield today,” he said. “There are times we are too frenetic and others when we go to sleep. We have to find a better balance.”
But there was no cause for frustration for Mbappe, however, as the star of France’s World Cup-winning side got straight back into his stride with Paris St-Ger- main. The 19-year-old forward came off the bench to score twice in the last eight minutes as PSG beat Guingamp 3-1 last weekend and he was decisive from the start in front of his own fans yesterday as a fine volley proved decisive as the champions triumphed over Angers by the same scoreline.
Indeed, it was the feared front three of Mbappe, Edinson Cavani and Neymar who all scored at the Parc des Princes as PSG kept up their 100 per cent start to the new campaign.
Cavani got PSG off to a good start after Neymar was given too much space by the Angers defence. The Brazilian’s pass was deflected in the 12th minute and Cavani had no trouble converting on his first league start of the season.
German defender Thilo Kehrer then gave away a 22nd-minute penalty. Thomas Mangani equalised for Angers and new PSG coach Thomas Tuchel took his compatriot off at half-time.
Mbappe restored the home side’s lead early in the second half before combining with Adrien Rabiot before setting up Neymar for PSG’s third goal.
In Spain, Barcelona beat Real Valladolid 1-0 thanks to a goal from Ousmane Dembele, although they were thankful to VAR for ruling out an injuruy-time equaliser by Keko for offside.
Anonymous: a frustrated Ronaldo, left, but Mbappe celebrates