AS Saint-Étienne – Paris Saint-Germain: Tinkering Tuchel Ultimately Finds The Right Balance (0-1)
This past week has been one of confidence building, for both AS Saint-Étienne and Paris Saint-Germain. For the home side, a welcome victory over Strasbourg saw them end a run of four matches without a win, thereby solidifying their hopes of a Europa League campaign next season. PSG had left Old Trafford with a comfortable two goal advantage into the second leg of their Champions League tie with Manchester United. The capital club’s position atop the Ligue 1 table is never in doubt either. That being said, this match would prove to be a stern test for PSG.
Tactical analysis and match report by Carl Carpenter.
PSG were still without their South-American superstars, Edinson Cavani and Neymar. Thomas Meunier and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting also missed out due to injury. Apart from these absentees, PSG started the match with a relatively full-strength side, even though they understandably also had one eye on the second-leg with Manchester United the upcoming week.
The only changes from last week’s victory in Manchester came in the form of goalkeeper Alphonse Areola deputizing for Gianluigi Buffon, and Leandro Paredes’ inclusion in the side over Marco Verratti. Marquinhos dropped into his more familiar center-back role alongside Thilo Kehrer and captain Thiago Silva in the center of defense. Manager Thomas Tuchel, in order to further wrap his playing staff in cotton wool, only chose to select six options on the bench rather than the usual seven. Interestingly, Juan Bernat played in a much more central position than . . .