LEIPZIG, Germany — Georginio Wijnaldum scored his first two goals for his new club Paris St.-Germain on Wednesday but a stoppage-time penalty for RB Leipzig rescued a 2-2 draw in their Champions League Group A game.
The Dutchman, who had struggled this season after joining from Liverpool, struck in the 21st minute and headed in another goal six minutes before half time.
Leipzig, eliminated from competition with just one point from four matches, had taken the lead through Christopher Nkunku in the eighth minute and they missed the chance to double it when Andre Silva’s 12th-minute penalty was saved.
Substitute Dominik Szoboszlai did better from the spot in second-half stoppage time, however, to rescue a point for the Germans, semifinalists in 2020.
The French side, without the injured Lionel Messi, are in second place on eight points, one behind Manchester City. Club Brugge are on four with Leipzig bottom on one.
“We created a lot of opportunities but also gave a few away and that’s why they stayed in the game,” Wijnaldum said. “At times, we made it easy for them.”
“If you look at the end of the game, we lost the ball too often. We also did not convert our chances. Maybe Leipzig deserved the point.
“I work hard every day and I’m getting to know my team mates better. Let’s hope I can continue this form,” he added.
The Germans, looking for a win that would boost their slim chances of a knockout stage spot, had made a barnstorming start when Christopher Nkunku headed in at the near post eight minutes into the game.
The hosts could have doubled the advantage when they were awarded a penalty four minutes later but Silva’s tame effort was stopped by keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.
That proved to be the turning-point in the game as a quick PSG combination between Neymar and Kylian Mbappé allowed Wijnaldum to slot in the equalizer.
He struck again in the 39th, heading in his second goal of the evening and celebrating it only after a lengthy VAR review.
Mbappé went close to scoring on the stroke of half time but keeper Peter Gulacsi pulled off a reflex save to deny the French striker, who also missed a golden opportunity early in the second half.
With the French backline far from solid, Leipzig constantly found the spaces to get into the box but they struggled with their finishing and Szoboszlai missed the target with their best chance.
The Hungarian, however, made amends when he stepped up to take a stoppage-time penalty, awarded for a foul on Nkunku, and equalized to earn his team’s first point in the competition and keep them in the running for a spot in the Europa League. — Reuters