Saturday, December 7, 2019

Was comeback at Real Madrid a signal of intent from PSG?

David Nugent in Editorial, UEFA Champions League 27 Nov 2019

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On Tuesday night, Real Madrid and PSG played out a fascinating 2-2 draw at the Bernabeu in Group A of the Champions League. A 1-1 draw earlier in the day between Galatasaray and Club Brugge meant that both teams had already qualified for the last-16 of the competition.

However, the fact that both teams had made the last 16 with a game to spare did little to dampen the ferocity of the game. It was engrossing viewing from start to finish. The Parisians came back from two goals down in the last ten minutes to snatch a draw out of the hands of defeat, which ensured that PSG also topped the group.

PSG hoping to finally win the Champions League

The visitors are one of the favourites to win the Champions League this season. The competition is their holy grail, having already gained dominance in Ligue One. Looking at the way the Parisians approached a trip to Madrid, they could be contenders to finally win the competition.

It is very rare that teams go at Los Blancos on their home soil. It led to a very open game full of good attacking football. It also led to the visitors conceding two goals and a bunch of other chances. However, former Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas did what all top goalkeepers do by keeping his team in the match at times.

Better than the win at the Parc des Princes

If the game would have finished in a Real Madrid win, then everybody would have said same old PSG, losing when they face a quality team in the Champions League.

However, Tuchel’s side showed great character to come back and rescue a result courtesy of late goals from Kylian Mbappe and Pablo Sarabia, the second was a stunning effort from the one-time Real Madrid forward. The fact that they did not lay down like they maybe would have in previous seasons suggests that this seasons team could be a different proposition.

The richly deserved 3-0 home win over Real Madrid at the beginning of the group stages was impressive. However, the comeback at the Bernabeu was arguably more impressive.

It seems PSG recruited wisely in the summer in the likes of Idrissa ‘Gana’ Gueye, Sarabia and Navas. The former Everton star did not have his best game and Neymar replaced him at half-time. However, his performance in the first game illustrated his quality.

Navas was outstanding. It seems that the French club has found a goalkeeper they can depend upon. Sarabia was not on the pitch long, but he sure had a big impact. None of the trio cost a fortune, but all could be key assets in PSG’s Champions League campaign.

One of the favourites to win the Champions League

PSG started the season as one of the favourites to win the Champions League this season. Not much has changed, as the Parisians are now third-favourites to lift the trophy at odds of 7/1.

We have been here before with PSG though, seemingly every season in recent memory when it comes to the Champions League. The Parisians always make it out of their group but have flattered to deceive in the latter stages of the competition in recent years.

In German boss Thomas Tuchel, they have a shrewd tactician. They also have a squad of impressive talent. Looking at the current squad, the only weakness is in defence. However, Navas is the sort of goalkeeper who can bail out a team when needed.

For me, the fact that PSG managed to recover from two goals down at the Bernabeu is a sign that the French team may just be ready to be serious contenders to win the Champions League this season.

Will PSG win the Champions League this season?

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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