“Annihilated by Bayern, Paris is at flop level”
Paris Saint-Germain are again sidelined early in the Champions League. The superstars didn’t even score a goal against FC Bayern. Fierce criticism comes from home, and much is now in question. Kylian Mbappé expresses himself meaningfully.
Lionel Messi sneaked out of the catacombs of the Munich stadium without a word. Just as he had done before, immediately after the final whistle, when a streaker tried to harass him. Just as he had previously done on the grass for long stretches of the 90 minutes. There was a visible emptiness in Messi. Two and a half months after concluding his career by winning the World Cup with Argentina, the newly crowned FIFA World Player of the Year is back on the ground. Out with Paris St. Germain in the round of 16 of the Champions League.
There was nothing left of all the verbal aggression in the run-up to the pitch on Wednesday evening. The multi-billion dollar Qatar project has been sidelined – once again. The chronology of the PSG failure is one episode richer at European level. It is the fifth knockout round in the past seven years. Only the final participation in 2020 shimmers a little out of the fog of disappointment. Even then it was Bayern who separated PSG from the throne.
The malice from home was not long in coming after the renewed defeat. “Goodbye Champions League. Destroyed by Bayern, Paris is still at flop level,” wrote the newspaper “Libération” after the 2-0 defeat in the second leg. “Paris waited for the flames of Mbappé and Messi to turn the tide, but both geniuses stayed in their box,” added “L’Équipe” towards the supposed difference players.
They remained pale for over 180 minutes, with the exception of the final phase of the first leg, when Kylian Mbappé had shaken up the statics of the game. No goal in two games – sad negative statistic for PSG in a knockout duel since the 1994/95 season. And the realization: If the top stars don’t perform, the squad is too thin. “The Individualists help you to win many games. But there is always something explosive about it,” summarized Thomas Müller.
What’s next for Mbappe?
This time, Mbappé only caused explosives after the final whistle, when he acknowledged that his team had played at the “maximum”, so more was simply not possible. “We will question ourselves and return to our everyday life in Ligue 1,” said the secret pack leader of the star ensemble. There are games at Stade Brest on Saturday and then against Stade Rennes. And the question remains: How long will such games be attractive enough for players like Mbappé, who only lacks a handle cup as a major club title, which he apparently cannot win with his current team?
Mbappé has not yet been tempted to make a clear prognosis of his future. “The only thing that’s important to me at the moment is winning the championship,” said the 24-year-old. The next meaningful sentence followed: “And then we’ll see.”
Either way, PSG is once again threatened with a major upheaval in the summer. Messi’s contract expires in the summer, a return to Barcelona is just as important as a move to the USA. Mbappé’s future is unclear. And then, as is usual after such an end, the coach is of course also discussed. Christophe Galtier is the sixth trainer after joining Qatar who was unable to steer the project in the right direction internationally.
“I don’t know if it’s a lesson to learn, but it’s disappointing, frustrating,” the Frenchman told Canal+. He didn’t want to talk about his future either, although he himself knew that “the club had high hopes for this competition.” It wouldn’t be surprising if PSG made another attempt next season with a new name on the sidelines.
The other press reviews of the game
- “Le Figaro”: “Another European fiasco for Paris.”
- “L’Equipe”: “At the foot of a summit at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday, PSG stayed at the bottom of the pass, legs severed by a Bayern Munich who, while not exactly flashy, were playing mature enough to crush them.(. ..)”
- “Le Parisien”: “Paris still doesn’t have the level.”
- “RMC Sport” on the game statistics: “According to Uefa statistics, Bayern ran 122 kilometers in the Allianz Arena, compared to exactly 113.1 kilometers for the Parisians. A miserable difference that possession (52% for Paris) cannot justify.”
- The Sun: “AU REVOIR, Paris Saint-Germain – once again the Qatari oil dollars have failed to find glory in the Champions League.”
- The Guardian: “In a way, that’s just the mantra of modern PSG. Already bought? Ever failed? Doesn’t matter. buy again fail again. fail better. Fail with the two best forwards in the world available. Failing by losing the ball in their own penalty area and allowing Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting to lift the ball into an empty net. Failing by not scoring a single goal in 180 minutes of football.”
- “Mirror”: “Goals from Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Serge Gnabry sealed another miserable Champions League end for PSG.”
- “Marca”: “Bayern (again) puts an end to PSG’s dream in the Champions League.”
- “AS”: “Parisian drama in Munich. PSG, the club of Messi, Neymar and Mbappé, the sixth club to have spent the most money on transfers since 2011, has once again been eliminated from the continent’s biggest competition.”
- “El País”: “Choupo-Moting brings Bayern promotion and destroys PSG.”