the incredible evening of a tinkered defense


To tell the truth, not many people were reassured when in the 28th minute, captain Marquinhos requested the change from the sidelines. Affected in the adductors, the central defender was very much in demand since the start of the game and he was holding out somehow against the assaults in Munich. As a last service before leaving the field, he even took care of the offensive work by quietly going to adjust Neuer in the box to give his team a 2-goal lead. That lead, it would melt away, with Bayern Munich falling back to 2-2 in the 60th minute, but it could have been totally swallowed up without a great Keylor Navas.

The Parisian goalkeeper had another great match, but we should not underestimate the overall defensive performance of PSG. Especially when after returning from the locker room, Abdou Diallo was forced to give up his place. PSG’s defensive line then looked like this: Bakker-Kimpembe-Danilo-Dagba. That is to say 2 third choices for the lateral positions, 1 usual incumbent and 1 convenience store. We didn’t give a lot of the skin of Parisians at that time. If Müller managed to equalize, Bayern ultimately failed to gain the upper hand.

A defensive line that finally held

If the marking was faulty on the two Bavarian goals scored from the head, the aerial play of Danilo and Kimpembe was there, with many wide centers. The Portuguese, who had been used for a time in this position by Thomas Tuchel, had started his game well in the middle and he was generally present in defense. It was much more complicated, from the start, for Colin Dagba, preferred to Thilo Kehrer. Manhandled by Coman, then by Davies after his entry, he did as best he could, not helped enough by Di Maria. More player than Kehrer, he took more risks in his raises.

On the left, Diallo had delivered a first period without relief before giving way to Bakker. The Dutchman struggled but, like Dagba, he held on, not blaming himself. And casually, with this fun team for some, scary for others, PSG did not crack in the second period, also well helped by the slaughter of Idrissa Gueye in excellent form. There is no doubt, however, that Mauricio Pochettino will prefer to count on the return of Florenzi and the recovery of Marquinhos and Diallo for next week.

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