Tactical Analysis: PSG 1-2 Man City: Post Match Reactions and how Pep Guardiola’s team passed the test with their second-half comeback
It is advantage Manchester City in the Champions League after a superb semi-final win away to PSG on Wednesday night.
Pep Lauds his players for second half masterclass
“It looks easy but it’s not easy,” he said. “I played when I was young and it’s not easy. “PSG scored four goals in Camp Nou and three goals against Bayern Munich. They have the quality to do it.
“You play cautious sometimes, but in a good sense. “I was not complaining. I said at half-time, I understand why they were like this but try to play our game. Go out there and try to do it.
Pochettino: We didn’t match Man City in second-half
Pochettino said after the game: “There were two different halves, we did well in the first half but it is difficult to eliminate a team like City. We deserved to be ahead but they were better than us and dominated the second half. The two goals were accidents, but they created more than us. It was one half for each team.
“The two goals are very disappointing. It is difficult to accept but that can happen, and it has happened in a semi-final. It is very painful.
“It is difficult to explain why they were better but we were better in the first half. It was difficult to cope, their physical condition, they were more aggressive. We didn’t show the energy you need. The red card could be yellow, could be red, it was an action.
“The second leg, in football you need to believe. They have the advantage.
Reactions from BraggsSports
It may sound silly when talking about the two most expensive players in world football [Neymar and Mbappe], but the gap between Kylian Mbappe & Neymar and Angel Di María really isn’t as big as it’s made out to be. El Fideo is still so effective and hard to stop at 33 years old.
Verratti gave Rodri a proper midfield lesson. At the elite level, the ball moves faster than the feet.
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Zinchenko and Foden? What a players, I am speechless.
Kevin De Bryune? You could only measure Kevin’s Master class through how red his face was during the game.
The Neymar hate is so old now. Not only because he does get fouled a lot but he’s just always been a fun and effective player. At the worst, I look of some of his embellishments as part of his deep understanding of football as theater. The truly unforgivable thing he’s done so far that we know about was that time when he got fake dreads.
Ruben Dias has a mad aura about him, he is the near perfect mix between a vintage and a modern defender. He’s just 23.
There comes a point in a top CM’s career where they master every principle of midfield play. Usually takes at least 10 years of pro football. Gündogan has clearly reached that level.
Ilkay Gündogan had more touches (116) and completed more passes (103) than any other player against PSG.
He finished the game with a 96% pass accuracy. 🎯 pic.twitter.com/LdwEm8PaAF
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 28, 2021
The reactions are endless
Tactical Analysis: How Pep Guardiola’s team passed the test in Paris with their second-half comeback
A cross that crept in at the far post. A free-kick that found its way past a Paris Saint-Germain wall that inexplicably broke. A wild foul from Idrissa Gueye that left PSG down to 10 men. None of that begins to tell the story of how impressive this was from Manchester City.
May you permit me to put this in other words; From the Keylor Navas error, to the non-existent free-kick wall to the horror Idrissa Gueye challenge on Gundogan. PSG have made countless individual errors but collectively it’s a team performance lacking maturity and who have been unable to keep their emotions in check.
Pep’s 3-2-4-1 system is the first on-ball 3 at the back team who excel at pressing (because they don’t play a 3 at the back off the ball). Ferran Torres is their top scorer and they beat Dortmund and PSG because of set pieces/lucky goals, but the system is superb – it has an overload in the build-up, compactness in defensive transition, positional play in the final third, & a top press plus counterpress.
It’s revolutionary because it’s the first system to include all of those components and it does so by using an inverted fullback, so that definitely deserves to be remembered, but as I say, the lack of goalscorers and way they’ve won has been underwhelming.
Some could say that Pep did ‘nothing tactical and simply gave them the hairdryer treatment.’ He literally changed the entire press from a 4-3-3 to a 4-4-2 which resulted in a far better press overall from City. Especially in the second half.
Man City played well. Smart rather than irresistible. You feel that was the game plan last night and it worked. The goals were perhaps fortunate, but the key was their response to the early setback. It was pure calmness and composure. This team is very very patient.
Just after the Idrissa Gueye red card, you could see Man City killing PSG with quick switches of play. PSG was only defending with 7 players. Pochetino could not keep his 4-3-2 defensive shape. There’s so much space down the sides. This gave PSG much more lesser advantage on the ball.