Paris Saint-Germain – Benfica: Schmidt’s Pressing Halts PSG Again (1-1)
In a repeat of last week’s result, Benfica were able to leave Paris with a draw having once again shown a strong display of pressing. Their compactness against the ball prevented PSG from playing in dangerous areas, resulting in a game of few chances in open play.
Tactical analysis and match report by Josh Manley.
Roger Schmidt’s Benfica side have been highly impressive in the early stages of this season, and proved themselves against one of Europe’s strongest sides last week as they were able to hold PSG to a draw in Portugal.
Benfica would now face PSG again, this time away from home. They lined up in a 4-2-2-2 shape here, with Alexander Bah, António Silva, Nicolás Otamendi, and Álex Grimaldo in the defensive line. In central midfield there was the duo of Florentino and Enzo Fernández, while Fredrik Aursnes and João Mário were the wide attacking midfielders ahead of them. Up front, Rafa Silva played alongside Gonçalo Ramos.
PSG meanwhile were without Lionel Messi for this game due to injury, so it was Pablo Sarabia who started in the frontline of their 3-4-3 shape alongside Neymar and Kylian Mbappé. Marco Verratti was partnered in midfield by Vitinha, while Achraf Hakimi and Juan Bernat were the wing-back. In the back three, there was the trio of Danilo, Marquinhos, and Sergio Ramos.
Throughout the game, neither team created much from open play. From PSG’s point of . . .