Sunday, November 27, 2022

Juventus 1-2 PSG: Key Talking Points As Kylian Mbappe And PSG Pile More Pressure On The Old Lady

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, UEFA Champions League 3 Nov 2022

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While PSG might have already booked their spot in the knockout stage of this year’s Champions League ahead of Wednesday’s showdown in Turin, Les Parisiens picked up a 2-1 victory away at Juventus.

Although the French giants might have failed to clinch top spot in Group H after Benfica secured a 6-1 romp against Maccabi Haifa, Christophe Galtier’s side cruised their way to the knockout stage without breaking much of a sweat.

Wrapping up their group stage adventure thanks to goals from Kylian Mbappe and Nuno Mendes on either side of the half-time break, PSG also piled more pressure onto a struggling Juve side.

While the Old Lady might have put in a much-improved display on Wednesday night, Leonardo Bonucci’s first-half strike turned out to be just a minor boost for the downbeat Italians.

Crashing out of this season’s Champions League and coming under real scrutiny, we have taken a look at the key points following their midweek battle in Turin.

PSG extend on their recent purple patch

Although PSG might have been disappointed to have eventually settled for a second-place finish in Group H behind Benfica, Wednesday’s guests are in the midst of a real purple patch.

Making the trip out to Turin coming off the back of an action-packed 4-3 victory at home against Troyes, Galtier’s star-studded squad have now won each of their last five matchups across all competitions.

Still yet to suffer a single defeat since opening the 2022/23 campaign, the former Nice boss finds his side tipped as one of the standout contenders to claim a first European crown this season.

Booking their spot in the knockout stage of this year’s tournament after cruising their way to a 7-2 romp against Maccabi Haifa last week, PSG have continued to gain a reputation for their success in the final third.

Holding a five-point buffer at the top of the Ligue 1 table as they return to domestic duties against Lorient this weekend, Les Parisiens have their sights set on making real history this year.

Can anyone stop Mbappe?

Appearing to breeze their way to another Ligue 1 title this season and breezing their way to the knockout stage without breaking much of a sweat, Kylian Mbappe has played a crucial role in PSG’s extended flurry.

While there might have been recent speculation that Mbappe could be looking to secure a move away from the French capital when the January transfer window opens up, the 23-year-old is certainly firing on all cylinders.

Opening the scoring on Wednesday night following a wonderful solo strike after just 13 minutes, the World Cup-winner has already notched 19 goals for club and country since opening the 2022/23 campaign.

Likewise, along with mustering six strikes in just his last four appearances across all formats, Mbappe also broke another milestone record on Wednesday night.

Aged 23 years and 10 months, he became the youngest Frenchman in the history of the competition to notch up his 40th goal in the competition – a record that was previously held by Arsenal legend Thierry Henry.

A Champions League nightmare for Juve

While Juventus might have managed to put in a far more gritty display on Wednesday night, their performance will not offer much joy to the frustrated fans around Turin.

Coming under a huge amount of scrutiny last week as they came crashing out of this year’s Champions League following an infamous 4-3 loss away at Benfica, the Old Lady have endured a public European struggle.

Although the former Italian champions might still have some European football on their agenda in 2023 after dropping down to the Europa League, Massimiliano Allegri finds an unsustainable level of pressure on his shoulders.

Despite the Juventus hierarchy insisting that the 55-year-old will not be given the sack, Wednesday’s hosts have failed to find any kind of stability since opening the new campaign.

While the Old Lady might have been without 12 first-team stars here, things don’t get any easier for Allegri’s side.

Still sat outside the top-six in Serie A, Juve will be next seen on Sunday night when they welcome Inter Milan to Turin.

Match Report:

Juventus: Szczesny, Gatti, Bonucci, Sandro, Kostic, Rabiot, Locatelli, Fagioli, Cuadrado, Miretti, Milik

Subs: Soule, Chiesa, Barrenechea, Barbieri

PSG: Donnarumma, Hakimi, Ramos, Marquinhos, Bernat, Vitinha, Verratti, Ruiz, Soler, Mbappe, Messi

Subs: Mendes, Sanches, Pereira, Ekitike

Goals: Juventus: Bonucci (39′) – PSG: Mbappe (13′), Mendes (69′)

Yellow Cards: Juventus: Gatti, Fagioli, Milik – PSG: Verratti

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Carlos del Cerro Grande

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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