I wouldn’t call myself a PSG fan, it’s just that I have a ridiculous amount of love for some of their key players. So I really wasn’t sure how I felt about this. Plus, there’s Zlatan versus Cristiano that was absolutely scintillating.
There was also the matter of facing Di Maria for the first time since we lost him to United. So, since I have to get to the the next Liga match as well, let’s get into the meat of this.
Paris SG: Kevin Trapp; Serge Aurier, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Maxwell; Marco Verratti, Thiago Motta, Blaise Matuidi; Angel Di Maria, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani
Real Madrid: Keylor Navas; Danilo, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Marcelo; Toni Kroos, Casemiro, Isco; Jese, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lucas Vasquez
So, I am a HUGE fan of Thiago Silva. In fact, I consistently call him my boo. So please excuse me fawning over him throughout this post. The only thing that could have made him more perfect for me was if he’d played at Madrid. He likes to attempt to sneak into my list of favorite players along with a couple of other Brazilians.
Just as I kind of expected, Di Maria and Matuidi immediately seemed like they were going to be the threat against us. And Varane was getting some work against Ibra.
Matuidi was given a yellow in the 9th minute for a tug on Casemiro.
In the 11th minute, Navas had an easy save after Matuidi showed a bit of life for PSG and had a shot from distance.
My Boo had a header toward goal in the 14th minute off a freekick, but it was high. I kept forgetting that he was going against us! It was so hard!
Marcelo played a ball into the box in the 17th minute that Cristiano couldn’t quite get to. It was very end-to-end.
Vazquez sent a ball in the 19th minute that couldn’t quite find Cris’ head. I still adore this kid. Ronaldo too. Then in the 20th minute, Cris went down in the box but got no call. It wasn’t a penalty.
After PSG had a break in the 24th minute that was mostly a whole lot of us watching Di Maria run down the pitch, we picked up possession and tried to make our way back down to our attacking end. Then Kroos played the ball brilliantly into Jese who only needed to chip it over Trapp, but the keeper made an excellent save.
I liked our passing a lot and our defense seemed to be quite strong. I keep saying it, I love the Ramos and Varane combo. It’s my current favorite of our centerback options.
Aurier was the other one giving us some terrible problems. He links up with Di Maria absolutely fantastically and really it was the two of them giving us the most problems on defense.
Trapp was the one giving us issues at the other end, saving a couple of good chances. One was off a header by Cris that brought out an excellent save by him.
PSG were bringing the ball down field consistently well but had nothing once in front of goal, thankfully. Cavani and Zlatan were almost non-existent. We, on the other hand, were either being snuffed out by My Boo and Trapp or weren’t quite on target.
The match ended after just a few seconds of added time. PSG 0 – 0 Real Madrid
No changes at the break and the first real action came in the 47th minute when Cavani brought down Casemiro, earning us a freekick.
In the 49th minute, Cavani had a shot go just wide of the post. It gave me a heart attack. Navas wouldn’t have gotten to it.
Verratti picked up a yellow in the 51st minute for a challenge that both he and Thiago Silva went into on Cris. Sir Tans-A-Lot took the freekick that glanced off Ibra’s head and out.
I thought Varane had one of his better matches of the season. He was very solid against Ibra and Cavani. So mature for so young. Then again, he’s been with us for 4 years now.
We had a great chance in the 55th minute. Isco put an excellent pass through to Cris. Then Cris played it across to Vazquez but Little Lucas (he needs a better nickname) couldn’t find the net.
Isco had a header in the 56th minute that looked like he got more of Aurier than the ball. It was by no means either players’ fault. Both players turned out to be fine. Then off the corner, Trapp came out to punch the ball against Varane. The Baby ended up getting a foul called on him for his effort to head it.
In the 59th minute, Navas took a freekick due to Cavani being offside. It wasn’t well taken and Di Maria cut it out. Lucky for us nothing came of it, though PSG did continue to push forward. We were starting to give the ball away a little cheaply and PSG had quite a bit of possession.
The Pony earned his requisite yellow card in the 60th minute for leaving his foot in against Verratti. Zlatan took PSG’s earned freekick and it went directly into the wall (who probably could have been called for encroachment).
Di Maria had a shot in the 65th minute that took a funky deflection off Marcelo. Navas was already down but he got up to grab it and it really didn’t trouble him too much.
PSG made two substitutions in the 66th minute. Lucas Moura replaced Cavani while Pastore replaced Di Maria.
I was amazed by Verratti’s speed in the 68th minute. He was able to keep Jese from getting his cross in when he just took off down the wing. It was absolutely the speed I’ve missed from Jese.
In the 69th minute, Lucky Luka came in for Isco!!!
We had another great chance in the 74th minute. Modric took off and played the ball across to Jese who tried to one touch it into the net. The ball deflected back to Marcelo, who had also made the break. He touched across to Cris but Cris’ volley was barely wide of the post.
Jese was then replaced by Denis in the 73rd minute. I need more Denis. He’s another on the list of players I love and am afraid we’ll lose in the next transfer window.
Vazquez earned a yellow in the 78th minute after a challenge on Aurier.
In the 80th minute Verratti was replaced by Ezequiel Lavezzi.
Cris earned a freekick in the 84th minute and ToniLive stepped up to take it. The delivery was fabulous and nearly had Casemiro but My Boo got his head on it.
Denis was booked in the 86th minute for a late challenge on Pastore. Then in the 87th minute, Aurier picked up a yellow for going in on Casemiro.
Denis had a late chance but he fired very wide under pressure. And he probably should have sent the pass across to Cris.
The match ended PSG 0 – 0 Real Madrid.
Bonus Cristiano awesomeness:
Bonus Zlatan thigh:
Benitez: “We played an exceptional match”
by Alberto Navarro (Paris)“We had more chances to win, quite a bit more control over the game than PSG and more shots on goal than them”, he added.
Rafa Benítez assessed the game against PSG in his post-match press conference. The Real Madrid manager highlighted the performance of his players: “I was certain the team would do well because I get to see them working on a daily basis. We had more chances to win, quite a bit more control over the game than PSG and more shots on goal than them. To have put them under pressure as we did, given all the injuries we had to deal with, means I’ll be leaving here a very happy man”.
“It’s difficult to say if this was our best match of the season so far because we’ve played some good games. The intensity was relentless for the full 90 minutes and we maintained our tempo with and without the ball. Keeping your tempo is what matters at this level. I can’t take anything away from the team’s performance. Given the circumstances, we played an exceptional game”.
“I’m not worried about possession but rather the image of the team. We defended when we needed to and attacked and held onto the ball when the match required that of us. Real Madrid were fantastic tonight”.
“There’s a noticeable effect when you lose a player of Benzema’s quality, but those who did play deserve as much praise as possible. Kovacic had a minor muscle injury so we decided not to take a risk with him”.
Tactical plan for the game
“I wanted a courageous, incisive team that would look to attack the opposition’s goal. We saw how much of a threat Jesé, Lucas Vázquez, Cristiano Ronaldo were, as well as Isco, who joined in with the attacks from deep. We lacked that little something in attack, but the overall performance was exceptional”.
Ibrahimovic, Di María and Cavani kept quiet
“The team were exceptional in defence and [PSG not scoring] was more to do with our players’ great performances than any fault of their forward men”.
Ramos: “We’re happy after a really good performance”
by Alberto Navarro (Paris)“We played against a top team and we knew that this was a difficult place to come to”, said Casemiro.
Sergio Ramos was a starter for Real Madrid in the draw at the Parc des Princes, and after the final whistle he offered his thoughts on the match: “There’s no doubt that it was a difficult game against quality opposition who compete really well, and that’s what the Champions League is all about. We’ll return home happy after a really good performance”.
“We competed really well, perhaps we lacked a little bit of cutting edge up front, but we’re happy at having come away with a positive result from a difficult ground to go to. These games are like cup finals and the team that makes the fewest mistakes takes the points, and the fine details determine the result”.
“The injuries mean we’re not in our best shape, but you have to look forward. We shouldn’t settle for anything or make excuses, we have strength in depth, with players coming in eager to contribute. Today we saw that with Jesé [Rodríguez] and Lucas [Vázquez], who are able to perform well and compete, and they help us to improve as a team”.
“It’s a long match and you can’t always press high up. We have to take away positive conclusions, and we went after the match. You have to pace yourself physically in terms of pushing the pressing up, we managed the flow of the game as needs to be done”.
Casemiro: “This is the way to win trophies”
“We played against a top team and we put in a really good performance. There’s no doubt that we’re all contributing and working hard, we’re developing into a really solid unit. This is the way to win trophies. I’m not worried about the draws, because we put in a really good display against a top team. We knew that this was a difficult place to come to”.
“Today we showed that we have a terrific squad. Whoever plays is ready to do so. The players who came in, who aren’t usually starters, played really well”.
Denis Cheryshev: “It was a pretty even game”
“The team put in a focused performance and we had our opportunities, but we didn’t put them away and it’s a good result here. There were periods when we dominated and periods when they dominated, and this can be considered a fair result because it was a pretty even game”.
“They’re a fantastic side, they were playing at home with their fans behind them and facing them is always difficult. We put in a focused display at the back, we were really compact, defended well and at the end of the day it’s a good result and we have to follow it up at the Bernabéu”.
“We have to be ready for when we’re called on. Jesé and Lucas had good games and our job is to keep on pushing, have a positive mindset and carry on working hard”.
We may have only gotten the draw but I thought that was an excellently played game. Do we have things to improve? Of course! But I think it was a good idea of what we may face against Barcelona in a couple of weeks.
¡Hala Madrid y Nada Mas!