This is our exclusive PSG vs Manchester United Tactical Review. PSG vs Manchester United was one of the highlight fixtures of the group stages in the UEFA Champions League. It was Paris St. Germain, the finalist of the last edition who hosted Ole’s unpredictable United side. The backdrop before the match was the iconic comeback victory of United against PSG. PSG was hungry for revenge. Both teams were coming after convincing wins in their respective leagues. But this time also the Red Devils had the final laugh as Manchester United triumphed over the French champions with a 2-1 margin on their own backyard at Parc des Princes once again.
PSG’s Lack of Creativity in Midfield
The biggest talking point of this game can be PSG’s lack of creativity in the midfield, which cost them the game. PSG started with the midfield trio of Danilo Pereira, Idrissa Gueye, and Ander Herrera, none of them is a creative midfielder cost PSG a lot in the midfield.
Danilo Pereira mostly dropped in between the two centre backs in transition making himself the third centre back leaving a void in the midfield. Gueye was ineffective as the dynamic midfielder as his lack of technical skills made him susceptible to United’s press in the midfield, as a result, there was hardly any transition from the central areas of the pitch in PSG’s offensive transition. Herrera was the player who was somewhat comfortable on the ball but he was subjected to 3 vs. 1 situation in midfield, as a result, he was often dispossessed of the ball.
As a result, the connection between PSG’s midfield and forward line was totally cut off as a result we have seen Neymar dropping deep to recover the ball and start the offensive transition.
Fight for Supremacy in the Flanks
Both PSG and United were fighting for the supremacy in the wide areas, United deployed a 2 vs. 1 situation in the defensive transition on the flanks. As a result, Mbappe and Neymar were often playing against 3 men in the wide region.
Despite their trickery and skills most of the time they were outnumbered in the flanks, as a result, United recovered the balls and found their way to attack. On the other hand, PSG was reluctant to double cover the United wingers, as a result, there were a lot of 1 vs. 1 situation where Rashford and Martial were one is to one against the PSG full-backs.
United’s Mid Block
United were the controllers of the midfield mainly due to their excellent mid-block in the midfield which stopped PSG’s advance to the attacking regions more often than not.
United shifted a lot from their 4-2-3-1 formation to the 3-5-2 formation, with Telles dropping from left-wing to left midfield and Bissaka moving a bit forward, as a result, they totally outnumbered PSG in the midfield forcing them to play the ball wide to the wingers where they created a 3 vs. 1 situation making it hard for PSG wingers.
The mid-block was the reason why PSG’s tactics to play out from the back totally collapsed in both the halves. Tactical fouling was also an integral part of United’s successful midfield block.
Martial and Rashford also joined the midfield trio in tandem with their attacking duties to create a numerical overload in the centre of the pitch.
PSG’s Dependence on the Front Three
PSG depended a lot on their front 3 to create the attacking sparks in their game. Due to lack of creativity from the midfield PSG forwards were forced to drop off a lot in the deeper region of the midfield to recover the ball. Di Maria and Neymar were the forwards who dropped a lot. Neymar used his dribbling skills a lot to shake off the United midfielders and defenders. Neymar looked the most dangerous in the first half with his skills at display.
Mbappe joined the party in the second half, he was seen to be combining very well with Kurzawa on the left to create a ruckus, Mbappe and Neymar were the sole sparks of creativity in PSG’s dismal display today.
Di Maria was totally off-colour today, he was intimidated a lot by United’s physicality. He never looked comfortable and also missed a lot of chances in both halves. Di Maria’s bad display put a lot of pressure on both Neymar and Mbappe which created an added load on their shoulders.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka Masterclass
It needs no saying that Aaron Wan-Bissaka was the main man in the United defence. His balanced approach to his game is the reason behind United’s victory.
He overlapped and retreated with his pace at tandem. He alone stopped Mbappe and Kurzawa from spilling venomous crosses in numerous occasion throughout the match. He also assisted in the team’s mid block and helped the team to take control over the midfield.
His attacking game was also on display as he assisted the team in counter attacks with his pacy runs down the flank. The right side was under constant pressure throughout the game but Bissaka never panicked and didn’t sacrificed on his attacking duties and took care of both.
That’s all about the PSG vs Manchester United Tactical Review. United’s victory in Paris has initiated the cycle of points in the group of death. It looks exciting as RB Leipzig has also started their campaign well with a victory over Istanbul. PSG will have their chance to avenge the victory on second leg at Old Trafford. For now it is nothing short of exciting in the group of death. Time will tell which two teams will qualify into the knockouts from this group.
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