Champions League: Three Takes On Paris Saint-Germain vs Real Madrid

Paris Saint-Germain opens its 2019/20 UEFA Champions League campaign on good terms. They begin with a surprising and dominant 3-0 win against Real Madrid. As for Real Madrid, they lose their opening Champions League game for the first time since 2006.

Both clubs are on a mission. They’re looking to rectify their failures from last year’s tournament. Since the surprising and controversial selling of Ronaldo in 2018, Real Madrid has not been the same since. Their winning ways have dropped significantly and they’ve put up many mediocre and embarrassing performances. At this point, Real Madrid is on a mission to save the club from hitting rock bottom.

PSG, on the other hand, are looking to play well and build enough momentum and concentration that can take them far into the tournament. Furthermore, they want to build a team strong enough to be a true contender for the title.

Three Takes From The Match:

Odds Not In PSG’s Favor: Coming into this game without Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani, and Neymar put PSG at a huge disadvantage. Regardless of their situation, PSG couldn’t make excuses. Stepping onto the pitch with concentration is the reason for PSG’s victory. Angel Di Maria captained the team, leading the charge, and playing a significant role in his team’s victory.

Team chemistry and concentration is how PSG was able to defy the odds and earn the win. Lacking focus and team chemistry is the reason for PSG’s woes in the past two Champions League tournaments. Despite being without their three stars, PSG could not allow themselves to be humiliated at home. Playing as a team allowed PSG to take the pressure off their shoulders.

If PSG can build on this win and finish their Group play with a convincing win record, they’ll have the focus that’ll take them the distance. Furthermore, having a healthy squad can help them further.

Cracking Under Pressure: Coming into this game with a mediocre record in La Liga play, Real Madrid was already under pressure. This loss intensifies that pressure. Luka Modric, Isco, Nacho, Marcelo, and Sergio Ramos did not play. However, the likes of Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, Eden Hazard, Raphael Varane, Ferland Mendy, James Rodriguez, and Tony Kroos in the lineup gave Real Madrid a significant advantage. However, they didn’t take advantage.

Within 33 minutes, Real Madrid trailed 2-0. Bale managed to drill the ball into the back of the net less than a minute later only for the goal to be nullified due to a handball. Near the end of the game, another goal was erased due to offside. Soon after, PSG put the icing on the cake and it was over.

Real Madrid failed to get a single shot-on-target. The offensive attack was foiled at every turn. Although maintaining an 85 percent pass accuracy and over 550 passes, Real Madrid’s attack could not get much going. The defensive struggles continued and the lack of offensive support made things worse.

Based on the outcome of the match, Real Madrid cracked under pressure. When that happened, the team lost its concentration and confidence. Furthermore, they allowed PSG to take advantage of their frustrations.

Following this loss, it’s safe to say that Real Madrid lacks not only consistency but confidence, as well. At this point, to say that Real Madrid a mess would be a major understatement.

Historical Facts: Real Madrid’s failure to register a shot-on-target is their first in over 570 games, dating back to 2003-2004. The club’s 3-0 loss is their biggest defeat under Zinedine Zidane in Champions League play.

In addition, it’s the first time since 2016 that Real Madrid has failed to score in a Champions League game under the managing of Zidane. Furthermore, Real Madrid has lost back-to-back Champions League games for the first time since April 2013.

In PSG’s case, this win gives them their first victory over Real Madrid in Champions League play. Also, PSG has scored a goal in 25 consecutive matches, which is the fourth-longest streak in the history of the Champions League tournament.

Where Do Both Clubs Go From Here?

For now, both clubs are returning to their regular league play This Sunday, PSG will play Olympique Lyonnais as they look to stay on top of French Ligue 1. Real Madrid, on the other hand, takes on Sevilla in a La Liga clash.

PSG is looking to keep winning games just to boost their confidence. Real Madrid is looking to get their act together and snap out of their slump. Zidane and his squad are at the bottom of their Champions League Group. The 13-time European Champions cannot afford any more disappointing results. That goes for La Liga and Champions League play. The club must find a way to return to its old successful form.

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