Galatasaray 0-1 Paris Saint-Germain: Icardi's first goal secures gritty Champions League win

Paris Saint-Germain took control of Champions League Group A after Mauro Icardi's first club goal gave them a 1-0 win over Galatasaray.

PSG forward Mauro Icardi   -  Getty Images

Mauro Icardi scored his first goal for Paris Saint-Germain to give them a 1-0 win over Galatasaray in its Champions League Group A clash on Tuesday.

Argentina forward Icardi joined PSG on a season-long loan from Inter last month, and tapped home from close range in the second half after a slick passing move.

In the face of a hostile atmosphere in Istanbul, PSG showed its mettle and would have won by a greater margin but for Angel Di Maria's poor finishing.

PSG's victory moves them four points clear at the top of the group, with Real Madrid five points adrift after being held to a home draw by Club Brugge.

The catcalls and boos from the Galatasaray fans at the Ali Sami Yen Stadium did not knock PSG off their stride early as they swarmed forward in the early stages.

Read: Real Madrid 2-2 Club Brugge: Ramos, Casemiro save host after first-half horror show

Di Maria had two glorious opportunities to give PSG the lead but a combination of disappointing finishing and fine goalkeeping kept the scoreline goalless.

Argentina international Di Maria first shot straight at Fernando Muslera when clean through, and then saw the Galatasaray goalkeeper produce a brilliant reaction save to push a shot over the bar.

PSG goalkeeper Keylor Navas kept out a curling free-kick from Jean Michael Seri early in the second half before Di Maria squandered yet another chance when he broke clear only to fluff his lines as Muslera advanced off his line.

Thomas Tuchel's men took the lead seven minutes after the break as some neat build-up culminated in Pablo Sarabia's low cross for Icardi, who calmly stroked the ball into the net.

Icardi was replaced by fit-again Kylian Mbappe on the hour mark and the France striker tested the reflexes of Muslera with a low angled shot that he blocked at his near post.

Galatasaray sporadically threatened with a late aerial bombardment as they sought an equaliser but PSG stood firm with little difficulty.


What does it mean? PSG in control of Group A

Without Brazil forward Neymar, who served the final match of his two-game European ban, PSG is sitting pretty at the top of Group A with maximum points from two matches. Madrid has been left to play catch up after their 2-2 draw with Brugge, who PSG faces in back-to-back matchdays as it looks to reach the knockout phase at a canter.

Gritty Gueye key for PSG

This was a game in which the midfield battle was crucial and former Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye produced a disciplined display. Gueye chased, harried and scrapped for every ball as he impressively shielded the PSG back four.

Forgettable night for Babel 

Ryan Babel has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years but this was a throwback to some of the Dutch forward's underwhelming displays of years gone by. He struggled to make an impact against the PSG defence and when things did not go his way his demeanour was less than impressive.

Key Opta Facts

- PSG has won three consecutive away matches in the Champions League for the first time since February 2013 under Carlo Ancelotti.
- Galatasary has failed to score in six of its last seven Champions League matches, as many times as in its previous 22 games combined.
- Icardi has now scored five goals in eight Champions League matches for PSG and parent club Inter; all five of his goals have come when his side have been trailing or drawing.
- Tuchel was shown a yellow card in the 39th minute, in the process becoming the first ever manager to be shown a card in the Champions League.
- No Turkish player started in this match for Galatasaray, while only one Frenchman did so for PSG – Presnel Kimpembe.

What's next?

Ligue 1 leaders PSG returns to domestic action on Saturday with a match against second-placed Angers at the Parc des Princes while Galatasaray head to Ankara to face Genclerbirligi in the Turkish Super Lig.

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