Di Maria double condemns lacklustre Real to defeat

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Di Maria double condemns lacklustre Real to defeat

Angel Di Maria scored a first-half brace against his former team as Paris Saint-Germain comfortably beat a listless Real Madrid 3-0 in their Champions League Group A opener in Paris on Wednesday. In the absence of the formidable trio of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Edinson Cavani, Di Maria provided two first-half goals as PSG suffocated Real throughout and Thomas Meunier added a third in stoppage time. Zinedine Zidane's Real, who eliminated PSG in the last 16 in 2017-18 and were also missing key players at the Parc des Princes, failed to muster a shot on target and suffered their first defeat of the season. PSG were off to an ideal start within the first quarter-of-an-hour when Di Maria poked a Juan Bernat cross past Thibaut Courtois at the near post from a tight angle. The Argentina international doubled his side's advantage just after the half-hour mark with another well-taken goal — the midfielder receiving at the top of the box and again beating Courtois to the near post with a curled, left-footed shot. The visitors thought they'd pulled a goal back through Gareth Bale just two minutes later. But a VAR review ruled that the Wales international handled the ball before volleying home. Di Maria nearly had his first-ever UCL hat trick midway through the second half but his chip in the box went over a desperate Courtois and onto the top netting. Right-back Meunier completed the rout in the 90th minute, capping off a swift counter-attack with a side-footed finish into a gaping net. Group leaders PSG will next visit Galatasaray on Oct. 1 while Madrid will host Club Brugge that same day.