Lionel Messi’s audacious Panenka penalty proved decisive as Paris Saint-Germain came from behind to beat RB Leipzig in a pulsating Group A encounter at Parc des Princes.
The 34-year-old had endured a quiet night by his standards, but two goals in seven second-half minutes from the Argentine magician turned the game on its head, as PSG extended their unbeaten run in Europe.
It took the hosts just 10 minutes to break the deadlock, Kylian Mbappe finishing a rapid counter-attack with a beautiful low right-footed shot that beat Peter Gulacsi at his near post.
Leipzig had offered a considerable threat on the counter-attack, though, and fired a warning when Andre Silva was denied only by the base of the post.
It was not heeded as, just moments later, the Portuguese forward was left unmarked to tap home Angelino’s cross.
The visitors raced into a deserved lead after the restart, and Angelino was the creator once again. The former Manchester City wingback delivered another sumptuous cross and this time Nordi Mukiele was the beneficiary, slotting a first-time shot past the helpless Keylor Navas, who was given the nod ahead of Gianluigi Donnarumma.
In response, Mauricio Pochettino made a double switch in personnel – Georginio Wijnaldum and Danilo replacing Ander Herrera and Idrissa Gueye – and the change in tactics prompted an immediate improvement, as Mbappe put the afterburners on before cutting it back to Messi, who restored parity.
And when Mbappe was upended in the penalty area seven minutes later, Messi stepped up and pulled off a ridiculous Panenka to complete the comeback.
The 34-year-old had the perfect opportunity to seal his hat-trick when Achraf Hakimi won another penalty in stoppage-time, but, selflessly, he allowed Mbappe the chance to score a fourth, and the Frenchman could only blaze his effort over the bar.
Victory sees Paris Saint-Germain reclaim top spot in the group, with Manchester City – who defeated Club Brugges 5-1 earlier on Tuesday – dropping back into second. RB Leipzig remain bottom of the group without a point.