Champions League: against Newcastle, PSG one step away from qualification or doubt

Paris Saint-Germain have no room for error if they don't want to find themselves with their backs against the wall in the Champions League and must therefore win on Tuesday against Newcastle (20:1 GMT) after two defeats out of four matches in the group stage. This statistic is already the worst in C2011 under the QSI era, Qatar's sovereign wealth fund. And an elimination at this stage of the competition would also be a first since <>.

PSG, with Kylian Mbappé, had suffered in the first leg at Newcastle. AFP - FRANCK FIFE

By: RFI Follow


Read More

The Parisians have lost as many in the Champions League this season as they have in the last 18 group stage matches they had played so far. Before facing Dortmund's "yellow wall" on the final day on 13 December, Luis Enrique's players must therefore recover and above all take their revenge at the Parc des Princes against the Magpies after the debacle at the beginning of October (4-1) in the north of England.

Stifled by the atmosphere of St James' Park, they had sunk psychologically, physically and technically. Just like at the San Siro at the beginning of November against AC Milan (2-1) while they had beaten the Italians (3-0) at home two weeks earlier.

With this second defeat, the Parisians are no longer the leaders of this Group F, the "group of death", where all the cards were reshuffled on Matchday 4 - Dortmund (7 points), PSG (6 pts), Milan (5 pts) and Newcastle (4 pts).

Qualification possible as early as Tuesday if...

A defeat to Newcastle would considerably complicate PSG's task, as they would no longer be in control of their destiny on the sixth and final matchday. Conversely, a win against England on Tuesday could already open the doors to the knockout stages, combined with a win or draw for Dortmund in Milan. For this fixture, the teammates of Kylian Mbappé, captain due to the withdrawal of Marquinhos with a hamstring injury with Brazil, arrive with confidence thanks to their success on Friday in Ligue 1 against Monaco (5-2) and with their place at the top of the league consolidated. "It was difficult at times, at times we suffered. But winning is the best way to prepare, and in this way it's even better," Luis Enrique said after the match.

Without Marquinhos and Zaire-Emery

Effective in attack with Ousmane Dembélé's first goal - and what a goal it was - his players were also regularly caught in the deep, giving rise to lightning counter-attacks. The Red and Blue, who still have to do without Marquinhos (thigh injury) and young star Warren Zaïre-Emery (ankle) who were absent from training on Monday, continue to concede far too many chances. It's often inconsequential in Ligue 1 but it's rarely forgiving in the Champions League.

In goal, Gianluigi Donnarumma, who made some great saves on his line, made his first big mistake since the start of the season on a poor restart, provoking a new debate about his kicking game. Not necessarily reassuring before Newcastle and their pressing.

In midfield, Fabien Ruiz, lined up to replace "WZE" who forfeited, put in a good performance against the Monegasques and his profile looks valuable alongside Manuel Ugarte and Vitinha (or Lee). Marco Asensio, who was present in training on Monday, could play his first minutes on Tuesday, in a centre-forward position in support of Mbappé and Dembélé.

For their part, the Magpies reassured themselves this weekend by inflicting a heavy defeat on Chelsea (4-1) after two defeats between the Premier League and C1.

NewsletterGet all the latest international news straight to your inbox

Subscribe now

Keep up to date with all the latest international news by downloading the RFI app


Most read



Ukraine: Massive drone attack on Kyiv and its region



Guinea: Claude Pivi, the mystical soldier turned public enemy number one



Hamas releases 17 hostages, Israel releases 39 Palestinian prisoners on second day of truce