Koeman’s team bled out of his tremendous defensive weakness
The PSG sides tore behind and not even Ter Stegen avoided the drama
Messi, beyond the penalty he scored, had no influence on the game
1.- Mbappé, yes; Messi, no trace
He governed the game with such authority that Mbappé not only crushed Barça but also took Messi ahead. Beyond his three goals was the dominance of the scene by the French forward. He slipped into the Barça defense with excessive ease, conquering the game from all areas. First with his prodigious dribbling at 1-1, then with the astuteness of a goalkeeper at 1-2 before dedicating himself by initiating a comfortable counterattack with a wonderful shot.
2.- Without any defense
As soon as the game started, Mbappé left the left wing to tear the Barça defense through the center, winning Dest’s back. It was the first warning in which the PSG forward intimidated Barça in such a way that, in the end, he got his way. And the goal came in a play where Mbappé moved, again, towards the center to leave the left-handed lane to Kurzawa, the side.
He rode alone because Dembélé, the true origin of PSG’s goal, did not follow him, because he allowed Kurzawa to have all the time in the world to put together the play that Veratti then embellished with a precious touch before Mbappé moved into the area of the Barça as if he were playing in the garden of his house.
The problem was not the superb shot but how easy the ball came to the young French genius, while Barça accumulated defenses a few meters from a Ter Stegen shake. Beaten and desolate Ter Stegen. Many defenders who seemed transparent to the enormous talent of Mbappé.
3.- Not even with Ter Stegen
Up to three stops, each more decisive, signed Ter Stegen. First to Kean, then to Kurzawa, and then again to Kean. But he received three goals unable to sustain the panic generated by Mbappé’s uncontrollable dynamism. The others were shooting but the one who was shaking, really, was the liquid striker. It wasn’t fixed anywhere, but it appeared everywhere. Initially he had to move on the left wing, but it was a lie. A football lie because it caused so much danger that the German goal had to multiply in his work. Not even with his hands could Ter Stegen avoid another European disaster. One more.
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4.- Condemnation of set pieces
In a single night all the defensive dysfunctions that have punished Koeman’s Barça in these months were seen. First, because he could not detect the arrival of the sides of Paris SG (Kurzawa in 1-1 and Florenzi in 1-2), whose depth undressed the Catalans. The traditional lateral foul that punished laziness was still missing because Kean, who practically finished only in the small area, was defended with his eyes. This allowed Pochettino’s team to gain a comfortable advantage because Barça did not recover tactically from Mbappé’s draw.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.