Kylian Mbappe scored from the penalty spot but Paris Saint-Germain was held to a 1-1 draw by Benfica in the Champions League on Tuesday in a game overshadowed by reports claiming the France star is so unhappy at the club he wants to leave in January.
PSG would have qualified for the last 16 from Group H with two games to spare by beating the Portuguese giant at the Parc des Princes.
It took the lead when Mbappe slotted in a penalty five minutes before half-time. However, Joao Mario levelled from the penalty spot for Benfica just after the hour mark and the result conserves its unbeaten record this season.
The sides are level on eight points at the top of the group, five ahead of Juventus and Israel’s Maccabi Haifa, which claimed a stunning 2-0 win over the Italians earlier on Tuesday.
PSG, which is top of Ligue 1, should still advance comfortably to the knockout phase but all is far from rosy in the French capital.
The club was unsettled ahead of this match by reports that Mbappe wants away already, a little over four months after turning down a move to Real Madrid to sign a new three-year contract in Paris.
Lionel Messi, who had scored PSG’s goal in a 1-1 draw in Lisbon last week, was missing from tonight’s game and without the Argentine it lacked some inspiration.
Starting from a position on the left of the attack, Mbappe -- the world’s top-earning footballer according to a recent Forbes magazine report -- appeared isolated at times and only showed flashes of his brilliance before the penalty came late in the first half.
Juan Bernat was fouled by teenage Benfica defender Antonio Silva in the box, and Mbappe sent goalkeeper Odisseas Vlachodimos the wrong way from the spot.
It was his 12th club goal in 13 games this season, one more than Neymar and four more than Messi. He is also now PSG’s all-time top scorer in the Champions League with 31 goals, one more than Edinson Cavani.
Mbappe came close to scoring again early in the second half with a curling shot that ended up just the wrong side of the far post, and instead Benfica equalised in the 62nd minute.
English referee Michael Oliver awarded a penalty after reviewing images of Marco Verratti’s needless challenge on Rafa Silva just inside the area, and Joao Mario smashed in the spot-kick.
Mbappe then had the ball in the net with an acrobatic volleyed effort late on, but the goal was disallowed for a clear offside, before he was substituted off in the dying minutes.
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