Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 Liverpool: 5 Talking Points and Tactical Analysis | UCL 2018/19
Paris Saint-Germain registered a hard-fought 2-1 win over Liverpool at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday in the UEFA Champions League as they kept their hopes of reaching the knockout stages of the competition alive in Group C. The hosts started the game brightly and took the lead as early as the 13th minute through Juan Bernat, who has now scored in back-to-back Champions League games this season.
Bernat took advantage of a situation that was presented to him after Virgil van Dijk failed to get enough connection on a clearance as the ball fell kindly towards his path and he tucked it away with relative ease. The home supporters welcomed the early lead by raising the decibel levels and PSG continued to show flashes of brilliance through Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
The pair of them worked in tandem for PSG's second goal of the night after Neymar sent Mbappe bursting down the left flank for the Frenchman to cut back a low cross into the center for Edinson Cavani, who was denied by a fine block from Alisson Becker. However, the rebound off Alisson rolled perfectly into the path of the onrushing Neymar, who made no mistake from six yards out to double his team's lead in the 37th minute.
Jurgen Klopp's men were handed a lifeline during first half stoppage time when Sadio Mane was brought down by a poor challenge from Angel Di Maria that resulted in a stonewall penalty to the visitors. James Milner stepped up and sent Gianluigi Buffon the wrong way while converting the penalty to breathe more life into the game ahead of the half-time interval.
Liverpool picked up the tempo in the second half and had several chances to restore parity, but Buffon was hardly tested as the visitors failed to hit the target on a number of instances. Despite dominating possession and outnumbering the PSG defenders more than once in the second half, Liverpool were unable to salvage something from the game and will now have to win against Napoli at Anfield next month if they are to qualify for the knockout stages.
On that note, let's take a closer look at all the major talking points from the riveting clash at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday in the UEFA Champions League:
#1 High-octane start pay in dividends for PSG
Paris Saint-Germain meant business right from the start and were rightfully rewarded for their high-octane start when Juan Bernat opened the scoring for the hosts in the 13th minute. You could sense the goal was coming, especially considering the fearless approach PSG adopted right from the referee's whistle to kick-start proceedings.
Marco Verratti set the tone for the hosts' imperious start to the game when he produced a lovely dink over Virgil van Dijk for Edinson Cavani, but the striker failed to control the ball with just Alisson Becker to beat as the ball petered away from him. Verratti continued to pull the strings in midfield and initiated the move that eventually resulted in Bernat's goal on the night.
The goal proved to be the perfect testament to PSG's attacking onslaught early on as they thoroughly dominated proceedings with the likes of Neymar, Mbappe and Verratti ticking the right boxes. Furthermore, the raucous atmosphere generated by the home fans also played a huge part in rallying the players, who were in desperate need of a result to boost their credentials in the competition.