Wednesday, September 19, 2018

PSG fail their big Champions League audition

David Nugent in Editorial, UEFA Champions League 15 Feb 2018

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For the last few seasons, big-spending French giants PSG have looked like potential Champions League winners. However, the Parisian side have in the last few seasons flatter deceived when it really matters.

No doubt this season looked to be PSG’s strongest squad, with the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar joining Unai Emery’s squad in the summer the signings were a big signal of intent by the clubs rich owners.

On Wednesday night, PSG had the chance to prove they were good enough to compete with the best when they visited European champions Real Madrid. However, Los Blancos recorded a 3-1 win to give themselves a major chance of progression in this competition.

Never a better time to face Real Madrid

Real Madrid are no doubt one of the best teams in the European game on their day. The fact they are the European champions proves that. However, Zinedine Zidane’s team have looked very vulnerable this season.

Los Blancos finished second in their Champions League behind Tottenham, while the team from the Spanish capital are currently fourth in their domestic league. It is fair to say that things are not going well at the Bernabeu at the moment by the club high standards.

If ever there was a chance of PSG seeing off the European giants it was during this tie. The Parisians may still pull it back in the second leg, as PSG are strong on home soil and Real are vulnerable at the back.

However, they also have the European experience to go to Paris and get the result they need to progress.

Still lacking in European know-how

For all the money PSG have spent, the Parisians still seem to lack any know-how in the Champions League. Neymar enjoyed European success at Barcelona, while Mbappe made it to the semi-final of Europe’s elite competition last season with Monaco.

Boss Unai Emery enjoyed major success with Sevilla in the Europa League. However, since his appointment as PSG boss, the Parisians have blown a number of opportunities to deep into Europe’s elite competition, including last season when they threw away a 4-0 goal advantage against Barcelona.

The majority of the blame for the collapse was placed on the shoulders of Emery for the Barcelona loss. In fact, there was even talk of the club from the French capital dispensing with the services of the Spaniard. Emery will need every bit of his tactical acumen to guide his side past the European champions in the second leg.

Still could make it through

As previously mentioned PSG could well still make it past Real Madrid and into the next round. After all, the French giants only need a 2-0 win at the Parc des Princes in the second leg. However, Real are a really potent attacking force going forward and it is hard not see Zidane’s side scoring in Paris.

The first leg defeat at the Bernabeu has now seen the Parisians odds of winning the trophy drift to 10/1, despite the fact they started as one of the favourites to win the Champions League.

The summer signings of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar were supposed to help PSG challenge for the big trophies at home and abroad. The duo have helped Emery’s side dominate the French top-flight.

However, after Wednesday’s result, their presence in Champions League is now hanging by a thread. The French side may have just failed their audition for the place at the top table of European football.

Can PSG still progress to the Champions League last eight?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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