Paris fans could potentially hold doubt in their minds after Manchester United ended their 15 year UCL group stage record of not being defeated at home. Still, a quick 2-0 turnaround for the French outfit puts them back on track?
The year of 2020 has been an odd ten months thus far, but critics who believe PSG will not qualify from their group could be soon given a reality check. The likes of Neymar, Mbappe & Di Maria are not going to roll over and allow their club’s history to be tarnished during their stint at the club.
PSG vs. Manchester United
Paris Saint-Germain began this season’s UEFA Champions League tenure by welcoming English giants Manchester United to the Parc des Princes. And sitting in the first place of Ligue 1 with good form, they were the bookmaker’s favourites to collect a comfortable win against United.
We should have known better, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has thrived away from home since his arrival as United manager, and that is precisely what he and his squad did.
The loss for PSG was more significant than most realise, PSG held one of the most unbreakable records in UCL history by remaining undefeated at home during the group stages since 2004. PSG went on to miss seven straight seasons without qualifying for the champions league but returned to the competition in 2012. The trend continued for the past decade, or so, PSG remained undefeated at home in all UCL home fixtures until last week when Manchester United played spoiler.
It is no secret that PSG boasts one of the most talented strike forces on the planet with Mbappe, Neymar and Icardi already scoring eight Ligue 1 goals this season. Capturing the fine domestic form and translating that into UCL competition is extremely difficult, so a hiccup loss to Manchester United should not become a worry for PSG fans.
The game itself was an underwhelming performance for PSG. However, Di Maria kept his former teammate in David de Gea busy in goal early on – missing his opportune moment at point-blank range. PSG manager Thomas Tuchel knew changes were to be made at half time, and with an appalling display during the first 45 minutes, it could not get any worse. The equaliser came for PSG, but their momentum failed to follow.
PSG was giving up the midfield battles, and this would continuously allow United to make the pushes forward they needed as the pressure became too much. Eventually, PSG were victims of a 2nd United goal and lost the game.
UEFA Champions League 2020/2021 Hopes for PSG
If we take a respectable opinion on where Paris could finish in this year’s UCL competition, let us look at the available betting odds. PSG odds to win the UCL at 13/1 puts them as the fourth favourites behind Bayern Munich, Manchester City & Liverpool.
Given that PSG has already given up a loss, another loss during their UCL stent could seriously damage their confidence heading into the reverse fixture matchups.
PSG will face a dangerous RB Leipzig after a comfortable win over Istanbul, but comfort may not follow them in the same fashion. Mbappe is already listed as questionable and travelling to German territory to find three points will be a task.
However, Manchester United humbled the German outfit with an embarrassing 5-0 scoreline, and this should give PSG the ambition to perform against a team they hammered 3-0 in the UCL 2019/2020 semi-finals earlier this year.
Last years finalists will not allow lower-level clubs like Leipzig to take an early advantage in the group stages, Mbappe is questionable for this week’s clash, but I expect a win in Paris with or without him. The talent-rich squad in Paris are going to remind Leipzig this is not German domestic competition and hand them a third back to back loss.
Paris has won eight of their previous nine fixtures in all competitions, and seven of those games ended with a clean sheet. Leipzig got off to an impressive start in domestic competition, but the depths of the UEFA Champions League will continue to prove too much for the Germans.
Can Paris Collect the Trophy?
Simply put, yes. There isn’t a single club in all competitions who have remained in top form for all of their fixtures. This early into the competition and it could be any of the top-10 rated teams who could collect the trophy when we compare each clubs’ respective performances.