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Champions League: Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe double as PSG hit seven to reach last 16 | Football news

PARIS: Kylian Mbappe and a Lionel Messi in vintage form both scored twice as Paris Saint-Germain crushed Israel’s Maccabi Haifa 7-2 on Tuesday to secure a place in this season’s last 16 Champions League with one group game left.
Neymar was also on target and the Brazilian also forced an own goal from Maccabi defender Sean Goldberg before Carlos Soler rounded out the defeat when the Parisians scored seven goals in a Champions League game for the first time since November 2017.
Victory means PSG have qualified together with Benfica from Group H, although it will take until the last day of next week to decide who advances in first place and therefore benefits from a theoretically friendlier draw in the next round.
Maccabi Haifa, who saw Senegalese defender Abdoulaye Seck score both goals, will be eliminated along with Juventus, but the Israeli champions can still lead the Italian giants to third place and Europa League football after the break before the World Cup.
The upcoming tournament in Qatar is certainly a factor in Messi and Neymar’s excellent form early in the season, and together with Mbappe, they are setting up the style to regularly make Maccabi look dazed and confused in defence.
Mbappe’s latest goals – his fifth and sixth in the Champions League this season, taking him to 16 in all competitions – came a day after reports emerged in France about the dazzling details of his new contract with PSG.
Le Parisien newspaper reported Monday that the Qatar-owned club paid the French striker a total of 630 million euros ($627.8 million) before tax over the duration of the three-year deal he signed in May.
The net amount would be just under half that amount. The reported figures are higher than the €555 million gross that Messi earned in his last four years at Barcelona, ​​according to Spanish daily El Mundo.
After a difficult first season in Paris, Messi now looks more like the player he was in Catalonia, opening the scoring here in the 19th minute.
Mbappe put the ball back to the Argentine, who hit it off before sending a shot over goalkeeper Josh Cohen into the far corner of the net with the outside of his left boot.
Mbappe then needed treatment after being sent to the billboards by Seck, but recovered quickly and made it 2-0 just after half an hour with a superb curling attack into the same corner.
It was from much the same spot in the penalty area that Neymar made the 3-0 after being set up by Messi, but the Israelis then pulled one back when Seck headed in from a dead ball from Omer Atzili.
Then came what was probably the outstanding goal of the evening, when Messi made brilliant contact with Mbappe before working his way into a firing position and burying a shot into the bottom left corner.
It was his eleventh goal of the season, meaning he has now equaled his tally for all of the last campaign.
The goals kept coming after the break, albeit not for Messi.
Seck pulled back a second goal with a looping header over Gianluigi Donnarumma, but then Mbappe made it 5-2 when he checked a cross from Achraf Hakimi and scored a superb shot into the far corner from the left side of the penalty area.
The hapless Goldberg gave PSG their sixth and Messi crashed a shot off the crossbar before substitute Soler sealed the win.

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