Paris Saint-Germain – Real Madrid: PSG Completely Dominate Real Madrid (3-0)
On the first Champions League day, PSG displayed an impressive performance against Zidane’s side. The hosts were dominant on literally every aspect and Thomas Tuchel showed how versatile he can be tactically on big nights.
Tactical analysis and match report by Simon Piotr.
The clash of the biggest teams of group A felt like it came a bit too early for us to see the best game possible. Indeed, both teams have been somewhat struggling since the beginning of the season. Madrid specifically are still searching for a new identity, finding a way to add new players in the mix, like Hazard, in poor physical form too. What was clear was that we could expect a game between two not fully ‘ready’ teams yet.
After starting the season in a 3-4-3 or 4-4-2 shape, Paris had to deal with the absence of their three star players in attack (Neymar suspended, Cavani and Mbappé muscularly injured). Therefore, Tuchel chose to start with all his best players available, resulting in a 4-3-3 system with a back four of Bernat, Kimpembé, Thiago Silva and Meunier. Marquinhos acted as the holding midfielder with Verratti and Gueye alongside him, and players upfront were Icardi, Di María and Sarabia. The same players could have made a logical 3-4-3 system as well, with Marquinhos in central defense but the German coach had something else in mind for this night.
Real Madrid started the game in the same 4-3-3 setup we see recently. The Spanish side had to deal with an even more weakened squad as Ramos, Modrić, Isco, Marcelo or Nacho were unable to play. The starting . . .