PSG, a point of honor not to lose

Pablo Sarabia after the goal of the Parisian equalizer, November 26, in Madrid. Bernat Armangue / AP

Last week, it was tennis in Madrid: the capital was organizing the final of the new Davis Cup. Next week is COP25, the international conference on climate change. But savor rather this football match just finished, Tuesday, November 26 evening. A great battle, good football, and an unexpected draw for Paris-Saint-Germain (2-2) against Real, in this penultimate match of the first round of the Champions League.

"Total football", according to Zinedine Zinedane: "I, from the edge of the field, I feasted, like everyone else. " If the former No. 10 Bleus said in a post-match conference … "Zizou," as a Spanish journalist called, also said something else. The coach of Real Madrid obviously remains disappointed with the result, inevitably " cruel " for his team. Which team would have deserved "Put four or five goals" and so to win, it must be said.

Tonight, the PSG leaves with one point. The draw, after being led 2-0 at 79e minute (dubbed Frenchman Karim Benzema, opponent side). He leaves especially with a point of honor: to have dodged the defeat towards which it was heading straight ahead. "A question of mentality", a thing "Courage", to quote Thomas Tuchel.

Read also Real Madrid – PSG: despite Benzema, Paris gets 'happy' draw in Madrid

Yes, the German coach of the PSG believes that this match "Can give confidence" for the future. Yes, the denouement recalls that"It is necessary to fight, to always believe that it is possible. " It is necessary to appreciate the character of its players in the yard of their difficulties tonight, facing a team of Madrid much stronger than the one beaten (3-0), two months earlier: "We played too complicated, not fast enough. We did not find the necessary spaces. "

"An extraordinary guardian"

Having won tenacity if not winning: this is undoubtedly the main satisfaction Parisian evening, in this match that the club was approaching without excessive pressure. PSG were already assured of qualifying for the knockout stages since their fourth match (and their fourth victory) against Bruges.

With this draw in Spain, and even before his last group match against Galatasaray, PSG has however fulfilled an ultimate accounting goal: to secure the first place in Group A, which will allow him to face a second team in the next round. from another group. A good calculation, a priori.

If PSG waited for its fifth game of the season in the Champions League to cash goals, how much Keylor Navas he avoided Tuesday night? How many parries, how many decisive flights? His Costa Rican goalkeeper knew the terrain well, certainly. Last season, he was still playing for Real Madrid, with he had time to acquire three league champions in a row (2016, 2017, 2018). Already three more than in the history of Paris-Saint-Germain.

Keylor Navas prominently on November 26 in Madrid.
Keylor Navas prominently on November 26 in Madrid. Manu Fernandez / AP

Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos, Dani Carjaval, Isco: the Madrilenians gave work to their former teammate. Last scare at the end of the match: a free kick by Gareth Bale … on the left post. "We had a great goalkeeper with Keylor Navas tonight, we were also lucky and it's not forbidden", summarizes Tuchel.

The latter made three substitutions during the match, and it is not prohibited either. It's even recommended, especially when they have such a beneficial effect. The purpose of the equalization? A nice shot in the skylight of Pablo Sarabia, after an attempt by Julian Draxler (83e minute, 2-2). Two players entered at the 75e minute, instead of Mauro Icardi and Angel Di Maria.

News from the video arbitration

Neymar, less in legs, and back from injury (thigh), took place early in the second period. For his first European minutes of the season, the Brazilian has replaced Idrissa Gueye, a defensive midfielder. "We still have good relations with Neymar, I spoke with him"says Tuchel, who ensures not to have offended his player.

This season, the coach had for the first time all his offensive stars, after the wounds of each other. He had made the choice to establish Kylian Mbappé alongside Icardi and Di Maria, which the French liked: the first goal of the "remontada" in Paris, at the 81eIt's him, taking advantage of a misunderstanding between Thibaut Courtois and Raphaël Varane.

Read also PSG: Thomas Tuchel finally spoiled for choice to face Real Madrid

Despite his deficit of opportunities, the PSG thought he could equalize already thanks to a mistake of Courtois in the first period. Just before the break, the referee sends a red card to the keeper for a foul on Mauro Icardi. Penalty for Paris while Madrid leads 1-0. Alphonse Areola, former Paris substitute, now Madrid substitute, is already approaching the field to enter the game. A dozen seconds later, penalty and red card canceled! A decision taken after a video referee appeal for … a much earlier (and out-of-the-box) foul of Idrissa Gueye on Marcelo. Decision 'Weird', according to Thomas Tuchel, without the will to argue.

In the stands of Santiago-Bernabeu stadium, street vendors were distributing popcorn Tuesday night. We did not need to believe in the cinema. There were goals, twists and therefore a "happy end" for PSG. And for its 3,000 spectators, present in numbers to give voice throughout the game. "Never give up, always encourage," said one of their songs. It was a bit of an idea, also on the ground.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here