Paris Saint-Germain – Liverpool: With kind regards from a little Italian (2-1)
You expect the game changer of PSG – Liverpool to have a Brazilian nationality (Neymar or Roberto Firmino), to be the best teenager in the world (Kylian Mbappé) or even to act as a living pharaoh (Mohamed Salah). Well, in the end, the hero of the day appeared to be an Italian: Marco Verratti. PSG says grazie.
Tactical analysis and match report by Guillaume Maebe.
Probably the best fifteen minutes of football the Parc des Princes has seen this season was played yesterday evening. Quite dazzling it was, the way Paris Saint-Germain opened their must-win game against Liverpool. Not only tactically, also the passion on display and the ‘over my dead body-mentality’ the players showed going into every duel was something the city of light had not seen of their football club for a long, long time.
The stars were already looking bright long before the game. Although PSG missed Thomas Meunier – his grandfather died yesterday – and Adrien Rabiot, who reportedly clashed with manager Thomas Tuchel and thus started on the bench – Neymar and Mbappé recovered from injuries on time. Together with Edinson Cavani and Ángel Di María, the golden square, they were the biggest assets to break down a Liverpool side that featured almost the same eleven players compared to their 3-2-victory at home. Two differences, though: Firmino replaced Daniel Sturridge and Dejan Lovren came in for Trent Alexander-Arnold, moving Joe Gomez towards the right back. The midfield was formed by Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Georginio Wijnaldum.
Neither team wanted to lose, knowing a defeat would heavily decrease the chances on going through . . .