The hosts started brightly in Israel, troubling PSG throughout a frenetic first 45 minutes, but it was not to be as PSG outclassed Maccabi Haifa in a 3-1 win to stay perfect through two Champions League group stage games.
It marks the first time ever that Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, and Neymar all found the back of the net in the same Champions League match. That proved too much for Maccabi Haifa, whose spirited first half simply ran out of gas.
Tjarron Chery put Haifa in front before the half-hour mark, sending a boisterous Sammy Ofer Stadium into a frenzy, and leaving PSG shockingly down a goal. Haifa goalkeeper Josh Cohen stood tall on a number of occasions to protect the early lead, but would eventually succumb to one of the greatest players of all-time.
Messi found PSG’s equalizer on 37 minutes, receiving great service from a shifty Mbappe, giving PSG something to savor after an otherwise shaky first-half that saw the hosts run PSG ragged.
After the break, PSG eventually wore Haifa down with pure class and skill. Mbappe would find PSG’s second on a great vertical ball by Messi, and Neymar put the game away late after latching onto a long-ball from Marco Verratti.
The overall performance from Haifa, especially in the first half, deserves plaudits as they troubled one of the world’s best teams for the full 45 minutes, but they just couldn’t keep up the tempo all game, succumbing to a supremely talented squad.
MORE: 2022/23 Champions League group stage standings & schedule
The Sporting News followed the Maccabi Haifa-PSG match live, providing score updates, commentary and highlights as they happened.
24th min — MHA — Tjarron Chery
37th min — PSG — Lionel Messi
69th min — PSG — Kylian Mbappe
88th min — PSG — Neymar
We all know that PSG, on paper, have one of the best teams in the world. They’ve proven as much time and time again, doing so on yet another occasion today in Israel.
Mbappe, Messi and Neymar are an unstoppable force up front.
Still, it does feel like PSG are beating teams on talent instead of on cohesion, chemistry, or tactics. The Parisians were second-best through significant periods in both their Champions League matches to date. Against Juventus, they took an early 2-0 lead before crumbling late and barely hanging on, while today they were troubled consistently through the first half by Maccabi Haifa.
Surely at some point, if this continues, a better team like Manchester City, Real Madrid, or Bayern Munich will put PSG to the sword during these spells of trouble, and the Parisians won’t be able to simply flex their muscles and come out in front after 90 minutes.
Competitive goals involvements for PSG in 2022-23 so far:
Neymar: 18 in 10 apps
Messi: 13 in 10 apps
Mbappé: 10 in 8 apps pic.twitter.com/90Lh2SI7oK
It was a spectacular performance from the hosts tonight in every facet of the game.
Maccabi Haifa were not afraid to venture forward, holding long spells of possession and forcing PSG to defend in earnest. They attacked the PSG penalty area and put the visiting defenders under pressure.
At the other end, the defense played bravely, throwing their bodies in front of shots and remaining tactically organized. They didn’t back down from 50/50 challenges, and often bested PSG in the air. The goalkeeper stood tall on a number of occasions, only beaten when the defensive line broke down in full.
Even the crowd mightily impressed, singing in full voice for the entire 90 minutes, even when PSG scored and celebrated in their faces. A performance the entire Haifa community can be proud of, even in defeat.
A spirited Maccabi Haifa start to the match simply ran out of gas, and PSG’s talent took over.
While the hosts can be extremely proud of their performance across the 90 minutes, this match ultimately marks the first time ever that PSG’s three-headed attacking monster Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, and Neymar all scored in the same Champions League game.
Three points for PSG as they head home to the French capital, but a lifetime of memories for the Haifa squad, who can still challenge Juventus for a third-place spot in the group if they produce a few more performances like this one.
88th min: GOAL! PSG! This one is over, as PSG outlast Haifa. Neymar the one to close the door, with Verratti pinging a brilliant switch to the opposite flank. The Haifa defense completely lost track of Neymar at the far end, and he’s wide open to receive the ball and bury the chance. PSG just too much class in this one!
Watch in the USA:
Neymar, Messi and Mbappe score in the same #UCL games for the first time ever. 🔥
The ball from Marco Verratti. 🥶 pic.twitter.com/kShyNvbCIg
For some reason, the official is having a VAR check, and is completely surrounded by the PSG players. Neymar is booked in the aftermath, and replay shows its for a rude celebration, mocking the Haifa players or supporters with an gesture. Silly from the Brazilian, who’s withdrawn by Galtier almost immediately.
85th min: Verratti clips an opponent at the top of the PSG penalty area, and this is a dangerous set-piece for the hosts. Imagine if this finds the back of the net? Sammy Ofer Stadium would explode!
It’ll be Chery, the Haifa goalscorer, to take the free-kick with his left, with Haziza also standing over it. Haziza departs, so it’s Chery’s to take…he hits it well but it goes a few feet over the crossbar.
83rd min: Well, we knew this game couldn’t keep up the pace for a full 90 minutes. It’s all gotten a bit messy now. Mbappe’s fouled in midfield and PSG will kill some more time, as Achraf Hakimi comes on in place of Mukiele, who’s upset with being withdrawn. Maccabi Haifa appear to be running out of steam.
75th min: Marquinhos goes down emphatically after Pierrot technically puts a hand on the Brazilian’s face. Yellow card for the Haifa striker. It’s all a bit soft, really.
72nd min: The game has opened up a bit since the goal. There’s more action in the Haifa 18-yard box, with Mbappe and Messi continuing to probe, but the home defenders are there to clear. PSG will bring Vitinha off, with Fabian Ruiz entering the pitch. Haifa counter bringing Din David on for Atzili.
69th min: GOAL! PSG! Stop us if you’ve heard this before: Kylian Mbappe scores after being sent free by Lionel Messi! A vertical ball from Messi breaks the Maccabi Haifa back line, and Mbappe is clean through after getting by Seck. The French superstar makes no mistake, finding the gap between a diving Cohen and the far post.
Watch in the USA:
Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi connect again, this time Messi with the assist, Mbappe with a delicious finish. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/OhwK9Ifi1X
64th min: Chance, PSG! A HUGE DOUBLE STOP! First Josh Cohen saves brilliantly, diving down to his left after Messi got free. Then Cornud recovers well to reach the ball first, with a sliding clearance to deny Mukiele who was charging down the rebound. PSG starting to turn the screw, but the hosts are so far up to the task!
Josh Cohen said he wanted to make a big save on Lionel Messi, and he just made two.#UCL
63rd min: The Haifa defense continues to stand tall. A rip from Mbappe is blocked very bravely by the substitute Abdoulaye Seck, while Messi’s follow-up from a tight angle is saved by Cohen.
60th min: Kylian Mbappe is a menace, and he very nearly earns a penalty, going down under a challenge from Haziza right on the edge of the penalty area. The referee points for a free-kick and shows Haziza a yellow card. Mbappe wanted a penalty, but replay shows that not only was the location of the foul correct, but it’s also a very soft foul, and a bit of a flop. Still, PSG have a dangerous free-kick…and it’s into the wall from Neymar. Mbappe sends it back in from the other end, but it’s cleared well by the Haifa defense.
58th min: The game has slowed in pace, mostly because Haifa have taken the air out of the ball. They’re holding heavy possession and PSG are forced to chase the ball. A few deep shots fail to trouble Donnarumma, but his goal kicks are giving the ball right back to the hosts.
52nd min: Chance, Haifa! A long-range effort by Cornud is SO NEARLY redirected in by a streaking Pierrot, but the ball whizzes over the bar! Donnarumma was fooled, and Pierrot should have scored. A missed chance for Haifa!
As play stops, the trainers are out for Sundgren, and it looks a concerning one. Unsure what happened, but the Swedish international will have to come off holding h is chest, with Haifa forced into the game’s first substitution. Trainers are taking their time with Sundgren, who’s clearly shaken up.
49th min: Like they were in the first half, PSG remain very sloppy in possession. Atzili takes a shot from distance on a counter, but it’s collected well by Donnarumma who goes down low to smother the ball. In the aftermath, Atzili gets a deserved yellow card after getting worked by Vitinha in midfield.
46th min: The second half is under way in Haifa! It will be fascinating to see how Christophe Galtier tactically counters what Maccabi Haifa threw at PSG in the first half. We’ll be lucky to be treated to another 45 minutes of similar energy and pace!
It’s a brilliant first half from the hosts, utterly spectacular. They were brimming with confidence and swagger through the entire 45 minutes, and seemed to catch PSG on their heels. The opening goal was wonderfully executed, and they’ve locked down PSG for the most part.
To the Parisians’ credit, they were unlucky to not earn a penalty as Josh Cohen took down Neymar, and Lionel Messi is inevitable. The match is indeed very much there for the taking in the second half, and the visitors very well could assert their dominance, but it will take plenty of hard work to break down the extremely energetic home side.
🚨 𝗥𝗘𝗖𝗢𝗥𝗗: Lionel Messi has now scored a Champions League goal against a 39 different teams:
🇦🇷 Lionel Messi: 39
🇵🇹 Cristiano Ronaldo: 38
🇫🇷 Karim Benzema: 34
🇪🇸 Rául: 33
🇵🇱 Robert Lewandowski: 31
45+2 min: Chance, Haifa! WHAT A RIP from Chery! He’s absolutely bursting with confidence, and produces a long-range howitzer that only stays out thanks to a wonderful diving save from Donnarumma.
45+1 min: Into first-half stoppage time, Marquinhos heads just wide off a corner, a good chance for PSG. Haifa will want to get to halftime with a level score, or the mood of the match shifts greatly.
43rd min: Haifa have a sniff on net down the right side of the penalty area, but Atzili rushes his shot to avoid an onrushing Marquinhos, and he drags it wide across the face of goal. The hosts are working incredibly hard and matching PSG toe-to-toe so far in this first half.
37th min: GOAL! PSG! Lionel Messi finds a way past Josh Cohen, and we’re level in Israel! It’s Kylian Mbappe down the left who roasts Daniel Sundgren and whips in a lateral ball. Messi is wide open at the top of the six-yard box, settling the whipped ball well and poking into the open net.
Watch in the USA:
Mbappe with the dance moves, Lionel Messi with the finish, his 126th #UCL goal.
PSG level it up. 💫 pic.twitter.com/nW7iQdMSwi
33rd min: Haifa goal disallowed! Pierrot is through on goal, past Marquinhos, and he stays strong under pressure to deposit the ball past Donnarumma, but the flag is up. Replay shows he was a good step offside.
29th min: Chance, PSG! JOSH COHEN STONEWALLS NEYMAR! The Brazilian is through on goal and is flattened by the American goalkeeper! Replays show that Cohen didn’t get much of the ball, but got a lot of Neymar’s legs, and he seems a lucky boy to get away with no penalty conceded. VAR does not intervene.
23rd min: GOAL! HAIFA! THE HOSTS ARE IN FRONT!!! THIS IS NOT A DRILL! A decent spell of possession for Haifa sees a ball into the box from Haziza finds Tjarron Chery making the run, and his outstretched leg puts the ball past Donnarumma! It’s off a rare giveaway from Marco Verratti, which almost never happens.
Maccabi Haifa’s first Champions League goal since November 2002. 🤯 https://t.co/Y8sVeoJOzI
Watch in the USA:
MACCABI HAIFA STRIKE FIRST TO STUN PSG. 😳 🍿 pic.twitter.com/m0kiDBJ3Yb
19th min: Chance, PSG! Lionel Messi has flubbed it! The Argentine is free on goal, and even though it’s one-on-four, he has a big opening, and you’d expect him to score, but the Haifa defenders get in the way of the shot to block his effort. The green shirts are EVERYWHERE!
17th min: Chance, Haifa! The hosts are UP for this match! A ball into the box nearly finds the head of Frantzdy Pierrot who’s free on goal, but Donnarumma comes out to punch!
14th min: There’s a bit of needle into this one as well, and the referee has to get between Neymar and Dolev Haziza, who are into a bit of a scuffle battling on the touchline.
11th min: Maccabi Haifa are not backing down, making for an entertaining match! A shot from extremely far out is an awkward one as it bounces, and Donnarumma makes a great diving save.
Down the other end, Kylian Mbappe is clean through, but a stunning defensive recovery from Sean Goldberg ends the chance before he can get a shot off past Cohen! What a match this is turning out to be!
What an atmosphere! #UCL #MaccabiPSG @CBSSportsGolazo pic.twitter.com/Nb9h0jHyMv
8th min: A host of chances for PSG as Neymar has a shot deflected just wide left, out for a corner. The delivery from the Brazilian is headed just over the bar, but it’s a second corner, which is then out over the far end line for a third set-piece. Cohen deals with that delivery for a fourth corner, which is taken quickly and short. Maccabi Haifa clear it for a. moment, but it’s right back at them again.
5th min: Goodness me, Maccabi Haifa are pressing incredibly high! They put Donnarumma and Sergio Ramos under heavy pressure inside their own penalty area, but it’s eventually worked out wide. The goalkeeper was almost caught in possession by Atzili!
2nd min: Chance, PSG! An early save from Josh Cohen on Kylian Mbappe! The American will be quite busy tonight, there’s no escaping that fact for Maccabi Haifa.
The scene behind Josh Cohen’s goal: pic.twitter.com/y55Gued8Y3
1st min: The match is under way in Haifa, Israel! PSG look to stay perfect through two Champions League group stage matches, while Maccabi Haifa search for a memorable upset.
While the hosts look for an upset, Lionel Messi remains superstar Lionel Messi, and the kids all love him.
Se på disse søte små da helten, Messi, gikk forbi😍 pic.twitter.com/ws5QJWyOwZ
9 mins to kick: Josh Cohen one of four Americans in Champions League starting lineups today!
MORE: Profile on Josh Cohen | Profile on James Sands
Weston McKennie, Gio Reyna, Josh Cohen, and James Sands all get a #UCL start for their clubs today.🇺🇸
Their games kick off at 3pm ET on @paramountplus 📺 pic.twitter.com/GkEVNPrAMs
21 mins to kick: Fans are in place and the atmosphere is electric! The Champions League always brings the heat no matter where in Europe the matches take place.
Not long now until kickoff…
The atmosphere is building in Haifa as Messi, Mbappe, and Neymar have all been confirmed to be in tonight’s #PSG starting eleven against Maccabi Haifa#MACPSG #UCL pic.twitter.com/BfoAPVOuNe
49 mins to kick: Today’s venue, Sammy Ofer Stadium in Haifa, Israel, is a gorgeous venue right on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean. Have a look!
El espectacular Sammy Ofer Stadium espera por el partido entre Maccabi Haifa y PSG en la #Champions. pic.twitter.com/wS1MdVgX8i
Estádio Sammy Ofer 🇮🇱
Capacidade: 30.780 lugares.
Daqui a pouco, 16h, Maccabi Haifa e PSG se enfrentam na cidade de Haifa, em Israel.
72 mins to kick: PSG starting lineup is in, and it’s just about how we thought. Nordi Mukiele comes in for Achraf Hakimi, who takes a rest against a weaker opposition. A chance for the new right-back to make a statement. Gianluigi Donnarumma starts in goal, while Danilo comes in at center-back for Presnel Kimpembe. The deadly front three all start. Interestingly, Keylor Navas isn’t even in the matchday squad. The Costa Rican could be on his way out.
For Haifa, American Josh Cohen retains his spot in goal, while new loan signing Pierre Corund, at Maccabi Haifa from Real Oviedo, starts at left-back opposite another new arrival, Swedish international Daniel Sundgren.
97 mins to kick: PSG were handed one of the longest trips possible as they travel east from the French capital to Haifa, Israel on the banks of the eastern Mediterranean Sea, which is about a 4.5 hour flight. In fact, Maccabi Haifa are the eastern-most participant in this year’s Champions League group stage! Theoretically, a trip to Shakhtar Donestk would be just slightly further east, but the Ukrainian club hasn’t played in their home city for years due to unrest in the area.
📺 From Paris to Haifa – The Parisians trip for #MACPSG. 🔴🔵#UCL pic.twitter.com/IT6ebLjiig
2 hours to kickoff: American goalkeeper Josh Cohen, went from former NCAA Division II player at UC San Diego to the Champions League, where he will take on some of the greatest players in the world. The Sporting News spoke to his former head coach at UCSD to learn more about the 30-year-old who comes from humble beginnings and is now looking to shock the world.
Maccabi Haifa manager Barak Bakhar rested creative midfielder Tjaronn Chery over the weekend, but he returns for today. The Greens are without midfielder Ali Mohamed who came off injured in the 36th minute last week against Benfica, while Mahmoud Jaber misses out as he recovers from a broken leg.
Maccabi Haifa starting lineup (4-3-3): Cohen (GK) — Corund, Goldberg, Batubinsika, Sundgren — Abu Fani, Lavi, Chery — Haziza, Pierrot, Atzili.
Maccabi Haifa subs (12): (Lineups released one hour prior to kickoff)
PSG boss Christophe Galtier rested defender Marquinhos over the weekend against Brest in the 1-0 win, and he should be ready to captain the side on the road, as should full-back Nuno Mendes. Both came on as subs against Brest. Nordi Mukiele is chosen at right-back as Achraf Hakimi takes a breather.
Galtier made it clear against Juventus last weekend that he would not be tempted to slot Keylor Navas in goal for the European tournament, instead sticking with the in-form Gianluigi Donnarumma in net, and that rings true, with Navas not even in the matchday squad.
MORE: PSG hang on for narrow 1-0 win against Brest in Ligue 1 play
PSG starting lineup (3-4-3): Donnarumma (GK) — Danilo, Marquinhos, Ramo — Nuno, Verratti, Vitinha, Mukiele — Neymar, Messi, Mbappe.
PSG subs (10): Rico (GK), Letellier, Hakimi, Bernat, Bitshiabu, Ruiz, Sarabia, Soler, Zaire-Emery, Ekitike.
UK: The Champions League group stage match between Maccabi Haifa and PSG from Sammy Ofer Stadium in Haifa, Israel will be televised on BT Sport 6, and it can be streamed on both the BT Sport app and website.
USA: In the United States, the Group H match will be streamed in English on CBS’s subscription-based platform Paramount+ and on the Univision Spanish-language streaming service ViX+.
Canada: Every Champions League match all season long is streamed in Canada via DAZN.
Australia: Every Champions League match all season long is streamed in Australia via Stan Sport.
Odds via Caesars (USA), Sports Interaction (Canada), & SkyBet (UK).
PSG understandably are heavy favorites, with the French side bringing an all-time talented attack to Israeli minnows Maccabi Haifa (ranked No.169 in the UEFA club coefficient list compared to PSG at No. 7). The spread is a whopping 2.5 goals, indicating bookmakers believe Maccabi Haifa will present little resistance.
It’s hard to find betting openings in a match like this expected to be so lopsided, but the over total goals should profit, even as high as 3.5. The Maccabi defense has been poor this season despite a hot start for the team overall, struggling to keep clean sheets both domestically and in European play.