SSC Napoli – Paris Saint-Germain: Napoli come to life after the break and draw with Neymar-dependent PSG (1-1)
The group to watch in this season’s Champions League edition is definitely group C. Liverpool’s shock defeat away against Crvena Zvezda – two hours before PSG and Napoli kicked off – only made things more interesting, as Liverpool were held on their point tally of six.
Going into this match, Napoli had collected five points and PSG four, which made the clash in the volcanic Stadio San Paolo a very interesting fixture between two top sides that both needed a result.
Carlo Ancelotti fielded his go-to formation in big games, holding on to the 4-4-2 shape with the eleven names that Napoli fans got accustomed to this season. Fabián Ruiz has fought himself in the team as a playmaker from the left, while the rest of the names – Mertens, Insigne, Koulibaly, Allan, Hamšík and others - can be considered household and do not need further introduction.
Marquinhos – who had been deployed as either a defender or a holding midfielder – was in the starting eleven, so it was a surprise to see in what shape PSG would operate. It turned out to be a 3-4-2-1 formation, with Kylian Mbappé as the striker combined with Ángel Di María and Neymar just behind him as attacking midfielders.
The fact that both nominal starters Presnel Kimpembe and Edinson Cavani were benched in a very important game is peculiar, as Thilo Kehrer got the nod to start in defense, and Julian Draxler made his first Champions League start of the season in a double pivot 4-2-3-1 is one of the most frequently occurring formations in football. The two most defensive midfielders are called a ‘double pivot’. alongside Marco Verratti.
PSG wants to dominate the ball
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