An under-strength PSG side secured a shock victory over Real Madrid in their Champions League group opener. FOX Sports Asia takes a look at the key talking points.
1. No Neymar, no Cavani, no Mbappe – no problem!
Real Madrid were widely tipped as favourites to win the encounter and with good reason. Paris Saint Germain were missing the services of their entire front three – Neymar through suspension while Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe nursed their respective injuries.
Surprisingly enough, it was the home team which put in a fantastic collective display, swatting Madrid aside with little problem to put in a very strong statement on the opening day.
2. Angel turns devil
Scoring against his old teams is fast becoming a habit for Angel Di Maria.
Following his goal against Manchester United in last year’s Champions League, he scored two in 19 minutes against Madrid to put the game to bed in the first half itself. While Thibaut Courtois may be a little disappointed at letting the first goal in, the Belgian had absolutely no chance for the second one as Di Maria belted an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner to put his side two goals to the good.
3. 90 minutes – 0 shots on target for Madrid
A side crowned Champions of Europe just 2 years ago is now struggling to open up games – the most alarming statistic being that this Madrid side failed to have any shots on target in the entire 90 minutes against PSG.
Zinedine Zidane’s struggle involves dragging his team up to the level of Europe’s elite clubs but on the evidence of this performance, there is a long way to go.
4. PSG ready for Champions League glory?
A team that has unfortunately been knocked out of the competition time and again by virtue of some very strange circumstances, this finally seems like the year PSG claim their holy grail. A win against Real Madrid proved how easily they can cope with the loss of their first choice front-three and with what we have seen on day 1, they might go all the way this year!
5. Big questions for Zidane
For a man so often criticized for a supposed lack of tactical acumen, this was an acid test that he failed to clear. The absence of PSG’s first-team stars was supposed to be a boon for Zidane but instead turned into his worst nightmare. Real
Madrid looked like a side lost at sea while PSG seemed to know every nook and cranny on the pitch. Madrid’s up and down start to the season was supposed to be forgotten as soon as the Champions League started but the loss to PSG means Zidane has even more questions to answer now than when he took the job.