Both the teams are plagued by injuries but French Champions did manage to beat Los Blancos despite having an inferior squad than them.
The 2019-2020 season of the world’s most prestigious club tournament, the UEFA Champions League is well and truly underway. Paris Saint Germain took on Real Madrid in one of the most awaited fixtures of the group stages of the competition.
The French giants defeated the Spanish side by three goals to nil on Tuesday. We at Khel Now take you through the talking points from the game.
5. Did Angel Di Maria fill the gap left by Neymar and Mbappe?
The Argentinian was often unplayable against his former employers, ghosting past defenders, dragging them out of position and making a general nuisance out of himself. Di Maria scored a brace in the first half, slithering into the gap left by a wandering Varane and a naive Militao to slot past Courtois for his first before finishing expertly past the Belgian from 20 yards for his second.
Di Maria did not hold back in his celebrations against his former club, with his delight scarcely hidden by his leaping body.
4. Was Eder Militao’s lack of experience a cause for Real’s downfall?
The young centre half was asked to deputize for Sergio Ramos, during the Spaniard’s suspension. While Militao is one of the most talented defenders on the planet, he often found himself caught out of position, getting dragged out by the runs of Icardi and Di Maria.
His lack of awareness was the cause of the first goal as he allowed a slippery Di Maria to glide past him and beat Courtois at his near post. Militao will have to learn from experience and will hope to improve from this one.
Sergio Ramos, for all his hot-headedness, is a true leader at the back for Real. Something that they seem to severely lack at the moment.
3. Was VAR right to rule out Gareth Bale’s goal?
Had the goal been allowed, it would have gone down as one of the greatest Champion’s League goals of all time. Gareth Bale has got a few of those, hasn’t he? The Welshman juggled this way and that before delicately lofting a ball over Navas into the net. Quite sensational.
However, enter VAR. The ball was seen to have grazed Bale’s right hand while he juggled it back and forth, and the goal was deemed to be invalid. The trajectory of the ball, however, was not altered by it hitting his hand, sending the football world into a heated debate over VAR yet again.
2. Do Hazard and his new teammates have work to do to get on the same wavelength?
Several times in the game, the Real Madrid attacks were stopped in their tracks when Hazard and Benzema or Bale were caught waiting on each other. While all individually brilliant players, the trio are often guilty of failing to gel together.
In previous attacks at Real, Karim Benzema has excelled by dropping slightly deep, providing room for his teammates to get into the box. Eden Hazard is, without doubt, one of the most talented players in the world. However, he is not the kind of player who operates in the box. Hazard instead enjoys taking on players in front of him, enticing them into committing and eventually dancing past them.
These two contrasting styles of the attackers are yet to combine into a smoothly operating front line.
1. Was the game won in midfield?
For all Di Maria’s persistence and guile, there were a couple of players who worked even harder than he did. The game was always going to come down to a midfield battle, and PSG came a long way this time.
The midfield trio of Marco Verratti, Idrissa Gueye and Marquinhos before he was replaced by Ander Herrera, ran rings around the Madrid midfield all game long. Verratti played like a man possessed and looked as though he was set free with the calmness of Gueye beside him to allow him to make moves to the edge of the Madrid box.
Marco Verratti is the definition of a dictator in football. Have a look at the amount of passing chains he created throughout the game. Absolutely underrated due to the team he plays for but he is an elite player. pic.twitter.com/ofcK5ueer1
— UtdArena. (@utdarena) September 18, 2019
A sign of a good midfield is the ability to dictate the pace of the game, speeding it up and slowing it down as they liked. Throughout the match, PSG played at their own pace right until it was time to turn it on. More often than not, when they attacked a chance was not too far behind.
PSG now top Group A of the competition while Real Madrid are condemned to last place this gameweek.