• Tom Abadie

BAYERN 2-3 PSG: HOW DID POCHETTINO'S TACTICS UNDO THE REIGNING CHAMPIONS?


After one of the best games of the season, Paris Saint-Germain goes back home with a 3-2 win in snowy Munich. The game was end to end, lots of actions, injuries and top tier individual performances. So, let’s take a closer look at how Paris got the win.


Open game


Both defences were very weak, but injuries certainly did not help. Sule, Marquinhos, Goretzka, Diallo, the defences and midfield were changed throughout the first half. This stopped both teams being solid and organised. Bayern’s high line gave a lot of space in their back for Paris to run into, and they did exactly that. First and third goal both came from Paris counter attacks where the German defence was not set up properly to keep Mbappé away from goal. The second goal came from a lack of attention from the Bayern defence who were trying to play the offside trap, leaving Marquinhos to score a poacher’s goal.


On the other end, as soon as PSG captain Marquinhos left the pitch after his goal due to injury, the French defence were nowhere to be found. Chupo-Moting was left alone to guide a header home, only for Muller to do the same in the second half. The lack of focus from end to end was clear, even if the constant reorganisation did not help. At this level however, whether Lewandowski is there or not, you will pay for those mistakes.


Efficiency in both boxes


With 6 shots, 5 on target and 3 goals, PSG were at the top of their game in front of goal, broadcasting their lethality. They rarely had the ball, but they countered so efficiently. Draxler was excellent in transition, while Mbappé just ran into space, making him a constant threat. Neymar was not the brightest of the Parisian jewels, but his passing helped move the PSG block up, out of their own half. They scored another goal which was called offside for a few centimetres, they could have scored more. They perfectly understood the weaknesses of this Bayern defence and exploited it to the maximum, learning from their mistakes from last summer’s Champions League final.


Generally dominated, Paris was staying above water even with this pressure. Gueye, Herrera and Danilo all worked very hard to contain the German attacking talent. Colin Dagba did his absolute best against Coman and was on the whole rather successful in his tackles. The hero of the night will however be Navas, yet again. His saves kept Paris in the game, and it really comes to show the difference that a great goalkeeper makes. On the other side, Neuer could have for example done a lot better on the first goal. Last night, Navas won PSG the game.


High expectations for next week


Bayern’s attackers were not efficient enough last night. However, that rarely happens back-to-back games. Between injuries and COVID cases, both teams will be depleted next week, and Bayern’s ego is strong. We should expect a big game with both teams going at it. Paris is not famous for knowing how to keep a result, although it is improving as shown by the return against Barcelona. With Lewandowksi having a chance of playing, the 31 one shots conceded tonight by Paris would certainly become goals next week with the Polish on the pitch.


It was one of the most entertaining games of the season, with some tactical intelligence shown by Pochetino and he’s made one step towards the semi-finals. However, a second top tier performance next week will be needed to go through as you can never write off Bayern Munich.