Paris Saint-Germain – FC Barcelona: Xavi’s Substitutes Make Instant Impact (2-3)

PSG took the early initiative with their right-sided attack, but Barcelona eventually gained influence and exposed some flaws in PSG’s pressing with their central overloads. The second half saw Xavi’s substitutes having a decisive impact in the game, as an assist from Pedri and a goal from Andreas Christensen helped Barcelona to a win.
Tactical analysis and match report by Josh Manley.

This Champions League Quarter Final tie saw Luis Enrique facing off against his former team, in charge of a Paris Saint-Germain side looking for Champions League glory in Kylian Mbappé’s final season at the club. In the other dugout was Xavi, seeking to end his spell as Barcelona manager with a European trophy.

PSG lined up in a 4-3-1-2 formation here, with a back four of Marquinhos, Lucas Hernandez, Lucas Beraldo, and Nuno Mendes. In midfield there was a trio of Lee Kang-in, Vitinha, and Fabián Ruiz. Marco Asensio then started in behind the split strikers Ousmane Dembélé and Mbappé.

Xavi’s side started in a 4-2-3-1 shape, with Jules Koundé, Ronald Araújo, Pau Cubarsí, and João Cancelo in the backline. Frenkie de Jong returned to the midfield after injury, partnered by Sergi Roberto in the double-pivot, with İlkay Gündoğan as number ten. Lamine Yamal and Raphinha were the wingers either side of striker Robert Lewandowski.

PSG’s right-sided attack
With a lively atmosphere provided by the home fans, PSG started slightly the brighter of the two sides. In this early spell, PSG showed a focus on attacking down the right side, where they attempted to get Dembélé isolated against . . .

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Josh Manley (21) is a student and aspiring coach. Heavily interested in tactics and strategy in football. Watching teams from all top European leagues, but especially Manchester United and Barcelona. [ View all posts ]


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