Atalanta Bergamo – Paris Saint-Germain: PSG Dominate But Leave It Late (1-2)
Carried by a big Neymar night, PSG managed to give a good response to Atalanta’s notorious 3-4-1-2 system. Despite the Italians taking the lead in the first half, the French side managed to turn the table after Mbappé’s entrance and went for a very dramatic finish.
Tactical match report and analysis by Simon Piotr.
Atalanta had a great season’s ending in Serie A, playing well and suffering no defeat despite some fatigue in the end. As for PSG, with the early ending of Ligue 1, the Parisians remained four months off-competition and only played two domestic finals before flying to Portugal. These were actually pretty mediocre games where it was hard to see where Tuchel wanted to go with his team. The tactical identity and the physical shape seemed to be on Atalanta’s side, but PSG had more talent and European experience, game on.
Gasperini’s side lined up in their trademark shape: Sportiello replaced an injured Golli in goal; the back three was composed of Djimsiti, Caldara and Tolói; Gosens and Hateboer as wing-backs; the pair Freuler - De Roon in midfield; and the front three was composed of Gmez, Zapata and Pašalić.
On the French side, the starting eleven was very much defined by the absence of several key players. As a matter of fact, PSG were missing three of their four best outfield players at kick-off. Di María was out due to a suspension, Mbappé started on the bench because of a recent ankle injury, while Verratti should probably remain out until the end of the competition after a calf injury in training.
Given less choice to build his team, Tuchel . . .