Beaten on the first leg at the Parc des Princes (1-2), PSG must absolutely win this Tuesday in the semi-final return leg of the Champions League to reach the final. Since the arrival of the Qatari owners, the capital club have only succeeded twice in reversing a bad situation after the first match.
A center-shot from Kevin de Bruyne and a direct free-kick from Riyad Mahrez through the wall put PSG in a difficult position ahead of the Champions League semi-final return this Tuesday at the Etihad Stadium (at 9 p.m. on RMC Sport 1). Dominated at home by Manchester City (1-2), the Ile-de-France club no longer has a choice and must at all costs win in England.
Despite only a 7% chance of qualifying, Paris dreams of playing a second consecutive final on the European stage. But since the arrival of Qatar within the club, PSG have only too rarely managed to qualify after a (rare) poor performance in the first leg. But such a feat has already happened in two memorable games.
>> Manchester City-PSG, all the information before the half-return
The crazy evening of PSG-Dortmund
A little over a year ago, European football was still wondering if the coronavirus would really impact its daily life. But the start of the health crisis had prompted UEFA to impose a closed session in the knockout stages of the Champions League between Paris and Borussia Dortmund on March 11, 2020. Beaten in Germany on a double from the already essential Erling Haaland (2-1), the Ile-de-France club had signed a big match at the Parc des Princes to reach the quarter-finals (2-0). Author of the goal of hope in the first leg, Neymar had assumed his role as leader for the return.
Scorer with a beautiful diving header shortly before half an hour into the game on a corner from Angel Di Maria, the Brazilian then controlled the tempo of the duel against BVB. It is again the Auriverde star who initiated the collective action concluded by Juan Bernat just before half-time for the goal of the break. Rarely worried afterwards, the team then coached by Thomas Tuchel had perfectly mastered Borussia’s rare attempts.
After overthrowing Dortmund and well chambered Cyborg Haaland, the PSG players then celebrated their fantastic qualification with supporters gathered around the Parc des Princes. Neymar but especially Angel Di Maria or Lavyin Kurzawa had then led a superb communion with the ultras.
A moment of incredible intensity with a lot of songs and smoke. Without a doubt, a Parisian qualification on Tuesday against Manchester City should give rise to such a celebration for the team’s return to France.
The heroes of Chelsea-PSG
Before thinking of celebrating with Ile-de-France fans who are not traveling across the Channel, Paris must absolutely win by scoring at least two goals at the Etihad Stadium. Winning in Manchester, PSG has already done it but against United this season in the group stage (1-3).
If this shock against the Red Devils can serve as an example for the partners of Keylor Navas and Kylian Mbappé, they could also be inspired by the fabulous qualification acquired at Stamford Bridge during the 2014-2015 season.
After a sluggish draw at the Parc des Princes (1-1) in the round of 16 first leg of C1, the group which was then led by Laurent Blanc and made up of stars like Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Edinson Cavani had signed a great collective performance on the return to London, March 11, 2015.
In a tense match against José Mourinho’s team, Paris even conceded the opener on a Gary Cahill goal in the 81st minute. On the verge of elimination, a header from David Luiz against his former teammates then offered the extension to PSG.
There again, the suspense was there and the Ile-de-France club once again found itself at the foot of the wall after a penalty caused by Thiago Silva and transformed by Eden Hazard (2-1, 96th). But the Brazilian defender (now under contract with the Blues) had finally snatched the qualification for the quarter-finals by equalizing moments before the final whistle.
If the workforce of PSG has evolved a lot since the feat against Chelsea, Marquinhos and Marco Verratti were already holders at Stamford Bridge. Another nod to history, the referee of this Chelsea-PSG was none other than Björn Kuipers. The experienced Dutchman will officiate again this Tuesday evening in the Champions League semi-final return leg between Manchester City and PSG.
>> Manchester City-PSG, it’s Tuesday from 9 p.m. on RMC Sport 1