Lionel Messi finally made his first start for Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday but the disjointed French giants had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Club Brugge in Belgium to begin their Champions League campaign.
Argentine star Messi lined up with both Neymar and Kylian Mbappe for the first time, after being limited to just 24 minutes in a PSG shirt since his shock exit from Barcelona.
Ander Herrera, who scored twice in the weekend win over Clermont, gave PSG the lead by steering in Mbappe’s cross on 15 minutes, but Brugge soon levelled through Hans Vanaken.
Messi curled against the bar from the corner of the area but PSG then lost Mbappe to injury in the second half and despite building a team with the aim of winning the Champions League, have already complicated their chances just of making it out of a difficult Group A.
PSG struggled to deal with the home side’s aggressive pressing throughout and needed goalkeeper Keylor Navas to tip Charles de Ketelaere‘s well-struck effort over the crossbar to keep them level.
Messi began to find more space as the Belgian side tired late on but the 34-year-old was unable to unpick the Bruges defence, leaving boss Mauricio Pochettino to ponder how to get the best out of his all-star front three.
They next host Manchester City, the team that eliminated them in last season’s semifinals and who began their campaign with a remarkable 6-3 victory against RB Leipzig on Wednesday.