Real Madrid 2-2 PSG: 5 Talking Points and Tactical Analysis | Champions League 2019-20

Modified 27 Nov 2019
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#4 A real creative contrast between di Maria, Icardi, Mbappe and Neymar

Mbappe wheels away with the ball in tow after converting from close-range to halve the deficit late on
Mbappe wheels away with the ball in tow after converting from close-range to halve the deficit late on

Plenty is said about PSG's firepower and how they're blessed with attacking riches, but how did they individually fare against tough opposition on this occasion? On his 200th PSG appearance, Angel di Maria flattered to deceive. Isolated for large periods, Tuchel insisted he moved infield to receive possession in central areas but remained largely frustrating on the ball and unconvincing without it.

It felt like it took him a whole half of football to play one perfectly-weighted pass for a teammate and unsurprisingly, PSG almost changed the game completely from that move.

If not for Gueye's needless push on Marcelo in the build-up, this would definitely have been a different spectacle. Nonetheless, the Argentine's touch was heavy and decision-making not much better as he seemed rattled against his former employers, not displaying the same free-flowing attitude he had during the first group fixture in Paris.

Mauro Icardi started eager to prove himself against the toughest opposition he's faced this season, particularly after the quiet outing he endured against them on matchday one. Despite almost breaking the deadlock twice in quick succession early on, he was essentially chasing shadows for large periods and cut a frustrated figure before ultimately being replaced by goalscorer Sarabia with 15 minutes to play.

This underwhelming showing wasn't entirely his fault, but that won't be remembered in the months to come unless he's able to maintain scoring form when it matters most against Europe's best.

Mbappe was making his 100th PSG appearance here and marked it with an important goal against a side it seems inevitable he'll be joining at some stage in his career. There were good and more frustrating parts to dissect within Kylian's display, giving Sergio Ramos and Real's backline a real problem once he got going, though you could see a united effort from the hosts to nullify his threat at every turn, forcing him off-the-ball wherever possible.

The fact Benzema was regularly coming back to press highlighted the fact Zinedine Zidane clearly had a plan to stop the youngster whom this week he admitted he loves so much.

Although his movement was good, the 20-year-old's blistering speed seems too quick for even his teammates to account for at times, which was an overriding feeling here too. di Maria wasn't on the same wavelength, he could have had two assists for Icardi and will be ruing his missed opportunity in stoppage-time - narrowly missing from a tough angle with both Neymar and Sarabia in space with the goal gaping to his left.

As for Neymar, there were brief moments where the forward sprinkled his magic through midfield and threatened - a promising outside-of-the-boot pass which Courtois pounced upon with Mbappe lurking among the highlights. That being said, annoying tendencies and poor decision-making again reared its ugly head as he was dispossessed far too easily (a game-high 18 times!) and essentially a passenger out of possession.

His involvement in the equaliser cannot go unnoticed, darting past Kroos before a one-two with fellow substitute Julian Draxler helped set Juan Bernat forward in space, but it wasn't exactly a memorable Champions League return for PSG's world-record signing.

Published 27 Nov 2019
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