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In its quest for a first Champions League, PSG found Wednesday in the quarter-finals Bayern Munich who deprived them of a first coronation last August. The opportunity for Parisians to take their revenge.
The quarter-final PSG-Bayern Munich will have a taste of déjà vu, Wednesday April 7. First because it is a repeat of the final of the 2020 edition of the Champions League, won 1 to 0 by the Bavarians. Deja vu because Mauricio Pochettino also crossed paths with the Germans last year while still officiating on the Tottenham bench. A meeting that ended with a scathing 7-2 at home. The Parisians therefore have the heavy task of cauterizing these two wounds, even if they refuse to speak of “revenge”.
Switch off the memory of the Estadio da Luz
The last time PSG crossed paths with Bayern, last summer in Lisbon, the German club shattered their dream of finally lifting the Cup with big ears, after an evening that had left Neymar in tears on the lawn . More than seven months after this heartbreak at the Estadio da Luz in Portugal, the ambitions remain intact: “[La finale perdue] is in the head, always, but it should not be used, it is another context, on two matches, “assured the striker Kylian Mbappé on TF1.
🗣 Marquinhos: “We will have to play a very big match. There is no revenge compared to last season, it’s a different context, each match has its story, after if some people want to use that to motivate, why not. “
– RMC Sport (@RMCsport) April 6, 2021
“[La finale d’août 2020] is not a benchmark match for us, analyzes Mauricio Pochettino, the Parisian coach. We were only spectators of this final [il est arrivé au PSG avec son staff en janvier dernier, NDLR]. Sporting revenge still exists, but I don’t believe it is revenge. “
At the same time, Isar sank under the bridges of Munich, but Bayern remain the same dominant formation. Unbeaten for 19 games in the Champions League, the “Rekordmeister” leaves as the favorite of this double confrontation.
“I don’t know about the opponent but for us it has nothing to do with it. It’s a new game, a new team and a new coach. Everything is different in Paris. We want to advance to the semi-finals and in the final. For that we have to be very focused. That is our task, “said Hansi Flick, Bayern coach.
The humiliation against Bayern, the beginning of the end of Pochettino at Spurs
Among Bayern Munich’s 19 consecutive Champions League games without defeat, there is one that must leave a bitter taste in Mauricio Pochettino’s mouth. 1er October 2019, the Bavarians had humiliated the Tottenham of the Argentine in his stadium in London.
It was the shock of group B, between the future European champions and the unfortunate finalist of the previous edition. If Tottenham had opened the scoring, Bayern then regained the advantage by Lewandowski and Kimmich to lead to the break (2-1). Before defeating their opponents in the second half thanks to a new goal from the Polish center forward and especially a quadruple from Serge Gnabry.
Final score: 2-7. A month and a half later, the London club separated from the coach who had brought him to the Champions League final a few months earlier.
Absent weight on both sides
Serge Gnabry will be one less concern for Mauricio Pochettino this evening. The Germany international tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday. Hansi Flick will also have to do without the striker Robert Lewandowski, touched to a knee with the Polish selection.
Serge Gnabry has tested positive for Coronavirus. The FC Bayern forward is feeling fine and is now quarantining at home. ℹ️ pic.twitter.com/AAnzZ5HtLK
– 🏆🏆🏆FC Bayern English🏆🏆🏆 (@FCBayernEN) April 6, 2021
In the absence of the two men, the technician should therefore logically renew the attack which played Saturday against Leipzig (1-0), with the former Parisian Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting in tip, Kingsley Coman and Leroy Sané on the wings , and Thomas Müller in free electron.
“Bayern are well organized, defend high. We must not give them opportunities to counter us,” said “Poche”.
The Bavarians are above all “a strong workforce” as noted by Pochettino, whose ranks are also depopulated. The absences of Marco Verratti, Alessandro Florenzi (Covid-19), Leandro Paredes (suspended), Layvin Kurzawa (calves) and Mauro Icardi (thigh) deprive him of five holders of success (4-1) at Camp Nou, last February against Barça.
“We lack players, but the most important thing is collective strength, said the technician. For us, it is about proving to ourselves that we are capable of beating a rival like Bayern who has showed that they are the best club in Europe today. It is this challenge that motivates us. “