AS Saint-Étienne – Paris Saint-Germain: PSG’s New System And The Fantastic Four Left Saint-Étienne No Chance (0-4)
In a game where every moment was controlled near perfection, PSG confirmed that the new 4-4-2 system might be the way to go for Tuchel. Very defensive and down to ten men after thirty minutes, there was not much Saint-Étienne could do, the stéphanoise force was mostly visible in the stands with a spectacular display of pyros.
Tactical analysis and match report by Simon Piotr.
PSG coming to Saint-Étienne in a 4-4-2 shape was no surprise from the French leaders, who simply maintained this system after the collective display in the Champions League against Galatasaray, probably their best game in three months. However, with Angel di Maria replacing Pablo Sarabia on the right wing, this meant that the « Fantastic Four » Neymar-Mbappé-Icardi-Di Maria were starting together for the first time this season. In midfield, Leandro Paredes started over Marco Verratti, who probably was not fit enough to get back in the team.
About the hosts, after playing their last games in a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 system with irregular results - defeat against Reims after a large victory against Nice - Puel chose to set his team up in a circumstantial 5-3-2 shape. This kind of defensive tactical move often happens against PSG in order to prevent the Parisian attacking force and Puel was no exception this time around.
PSG going full whack in the first half
Right from the kick-off, les verts’ intentions were crystal clear. Seeing them kicking the ball out of the pitch without stepping out to press was a first sign of the defensive . . .