Thursday, April 25, 2024

PSG 2-0 Real Sociedad: What Were The Main Talking Points As Kylian Mbappe Drags The French Giants To A First-Leg Advantage?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, UEFA Champions League 15 Feb 2024

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Putting in a professional performance on Wednesday night, PSG claimed a first-leg Champions League advantage as they secured a 2-0 victory against Spanish outfit Real Sociedad.

While Luis Enrique’s side might have been largely frustrated throughout the first-half, the French icons came flying out of the traps after returning from the interval.

With attacking talisman Kylian Mbappe eventually breaching Sociedad’s defence 13 minutes after the break, PSG were a more than worthy winner on home soil.

Heading out to Spain in a fortnight with a 2-0 aggregate lead as Bradley Barcola doubled PSG’s buffer 12 minutes after Mbappe’s opener, Enrique’s superstar squad certainly sit firmly in the driving seat to punch a quarter-final ticket next month.

Failing to muster a single shot on target in the French capital and now without a win from any of their previous five appearances across all competitions, Sociedad face what is a major uphill battle when they return to the Reale Arena on March 5th.

On a night when PSG avoided what could have been a potential European banana skin on Wednesday night, we have taken a look at the main talking points.

Enrique knows he will be measured by European success

While PSG might be cruising towards another Ligue 1 crown in 2024, it is no secret that Enrique has found some mounting scrutiny over his long-term future in the French capital.

However, only just limping their way to a crucial Champions League knockout stage ticket back in December and avoiding what would have been an infamous group-stage collapse, the former Barcelona boss knows that he will only be measured by PSG’s European success this season.

Putting in a gritty performance on Wednesday night and more than deserving of their first-leg advantage here, Enrique’s men are desperate to get their hands on a maiden Champions League crown this year.

Simply looking to finish off the job when they travel out to Sociedad in a fortnight, PSG are enjoying an extended purple patch on either side of the festive break.

On a run that stems all the way back to a 2-1 defeat prior to November’s international break, the Blues are unbeaten in all of their previous 17 straight appearances across all competitions.

Who else but Mbappe?

With continued rumours that Mbappe will finally be heading for the PSG exit on a free transfer this summer, the 25-year-old was always going to be the centre of attention on Wednesday night.

Left as an unused substitute during PSG’s 3-1 victory against Lille last weekend, the 25-year-old has made it abundantly clear that his only priority is on spearheading Enrique’s squad to a maiden Champions League crown this year.

Now in the final six months of his current deal and with a potential record-breaking move to Real Madrid firmly on the cards, Mbappe has enjoyed another remarkable free-scoring romp this season.

In fact, bagging the opener here, Mbappe has registered a stunning 44 goals and a further 26 assists in his 68 Champions League appearances.

Despite the public speculation over what the future holds in the French capital, the future Ballon d’Or winner certainly has a leading role to play in PSG’s charge for the history books this season.

Sociedad extend on their attacking struggles

Springing what was a major Champions League upset back in December as they eventually topped Group D ahead of Italian heavyweights Inter Milan, Real Sociedad were desperate to make another European statement on Wednesday night.

However, always knowing that they faced a stern examination over the next fortnight, Imanol Alguacil’s side are now seeking what appears to be a Champions League miracle.

Failing to pick up any kind of momentum last weekend as they suffered a 1-0 defeat at home against Osasuna, Sociedad are facing a real uphill battle in their bid to clinch another top-four finish among Spain’s elite this season.

Failing to muster a single shot on target in Paris, Alguacil will certainly have a mounting headache over his side’s extended issues in the final third.

In fact, remarkably drawing a blank in all of their previous five straight appearances across all competitions, Sociedad have also not found the net in over 500 minutes of action.

Match Report

PSG: Donnarumma, Hakimi, Marquinhos, Pereira, Beraldo, Zaire-Emery, Ruiz, Vitinha, Dembele, Mbappe, Barcola

Subs: Asensio, Hernandez, Kolo Manie

Real Sociedad: Remiro, Traore, Zubeldia, Le Normand, Galan, Merino, Zubimendi, Mendez, Kubo, Andre Silva, Barrenetxea

Subs: Sadiq, Zakharyan, Turrientes, Pacheco, Aramburu

Goals: Mbappe (58’), Barcola (70’)

Yellow Cards: Le Normand, Traore

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Marco Guida

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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