For its first trip to the Champions League, PSG fell on a bone on Wednesday. Helpless, the Parisians lost 4 to 1 against the English Newcastle.
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Newcastle pulled out all the stops for their return to the Champions League at St James’ Park. In the excited atmosphere set by his Toon’s Army, the Magpies crushed PSG 4 to 1 on Wednesday October 4. The Parisians seemed clueless in the face of English envy.
Unrecognizable, especially in the first period, the Parisians who played with four attackers conceded four goals scored by Miguel Almiron (17th), Dan Burn (39th), Sean Longstaff (50th) and Fabian Schär (90+1). Lucas Hernandez reduced the score in the 56th minute for Paris, which will host AC Milan (3rd, 2 pts) on October 25.
PSG misses the test by fire
Luis Enrique, the coach who arrived in the capital in the summer, said on the eve of the match that we were going to see, in this famously hot stadium, what PSG was made of. For the moment, this reshuffled team with numerous recruits and the departures of Messi, Neymar and Verratti, is made of soft wood.
Like Lens, we can congratulate Newcastle. Big match, excess of function and extra soul… #NEWPSG
— Nabil Djellit (@Nabil_djellit) October 4, 2023
St James’ Park, which is the beating heart of Newcastle, perched on a hill, returned to the Champions League after more than 20 years, thanks to increased financial power with the takeover by the Saudi sovereign fund in 2021. And its supporters intended to show their passion in front of Europe.
They did it beyond measure on Wednesday night. Under their sound blows, the Parisians seemed timid or even lost on the pitch, losing in numerous duels. The Magpies applied incredible pressure, haranguing the crowd after each successful tackle. PSG tried to exert their usual pressure themselves, but after the quarter of an hour of play, the Black and White pushed them back, with aggression and tenacity.
Marquinhos at fault
Paris symbolically cracked via its captain Marquinhos, who missed a restart from his area and offered a goal to Almiron (17th, 1-0). In the process, a sign of the excitement of the entire team, Ugarte, sovereign at the bottom of the middle since the start of the season, himself missed an easy pass.
In the 39th minute, Donnarumma thought he was saving his team with a Dantean triple save, but the ball had in fact crossed the line after Burns’ header, and the stadium could roar with happiness after a check of the video assistance (2-0) .
PSG’s 65% possession at half-time seemed useless with few chances, a poorly taken free kick here, a recovery next to Dembélé on a knockdown by Mbappé there.
A third bamboo blow occurred on Longstaff’s goal as soon as he returned from the locker room (50th, 3-0). The Parisians, Mbappé in the lead – unrecognizable on Wednesday evening – returned to the field with their arms hanging.
The reaction of pride finally arrived. Warren Zaire-Emery, at the height of his 17 years, sounded the charge with an incisive first ball before delivering a caviar on the head of Lucas Hernandez for the first goal of the French international in the Parisian colors (56th, 3 -1).
PSG rebalanced the debates at the end of the match, notably thanks to the entry of Barcola and Vitinha, while Newcastle seemed blunted. But the damage was done. Schär even added to this little humiliation by hitting the top corner at the very end of the match (90+1, 4-1).
Luis Enrique’s test, with the tenure for the first time together of Ramos, Kolo Muani, Dembélé and Mbappé, failed. The technician, who likes his teams to impose their intensity, showed all his frustration on the sidelines. Marquinhos in particular was surprised to wipe out some well-felt blowers.
However, during the first day on September 19, Paris ideally began its European campaign by dominating Dortmund at the Parc des Princes (2-0). Newcastle, who had brought home a good point from Milan (0-0), took the lead in the group thanks to the draw between Dortmund and Milan (0-0).
The consolation is there for Paris, still second before hosting Milan at the end of October. But it was in the way that PSG worried on Wednesday evening, and with an average start to the season in Ligue 1 (5th in the ranking), Luis Enrique is already under pressure.