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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

3 Things We Learnt From Barcelona Shock Defeat At Parc des Princes

Paris Saint-Germain: Kevin Trapp; Layvin Kurzawa, Presnel Kimpembe, Marquinhos, Thomas Meunier; Adrien Rabiot, Marco Verratti (Christopher Nkunku 70’); Julian Draxler (Javier Pastore 76’), Blaise Matuidi, Ángel Di María (Lucas Moura 61’); Edinson Cavani.
Goals: Di María (18’, 55’), Draxler (40’), Cavani (71’).
Barcelona: Marc-André ter Stegen; Jordi Alba, Samuel Umtiti, Gerard Piqué, Sergi Roberto; André Gomes (Rafinha 58’), Sergio Busquets, Andrés Iniesta (Ivan Rakitić 73’); Neymar, Luis Suárez, Lionel Messi.
Goals: None.

3 Things we learn

1. The Emery effect is certainly in evidence
PSG made a worryingly slow start to life under coach Unai Emery, who replaced Laurent Blanc in the summer. However, the energy that characterized the Spaniard's enormously successful Sevilla side is finally in evidence at the Parc des Princes, and they’re reaping the rewards. Barça struggled to cope with their opponents’ high pressing in the first few minutes, and PSG had no trouble adapting to a more counterattacking strategy as the game wore on. It was a perfect demonstration of game management from the hosts, who’ll certainly be confident heading into the second leg at Camp Nou. Perhaps for the first time, the French side are now looking genuinely like a side that could win the Champions League.
2. Barça's tactical gamble backfired
Though there were no real surprises in Barça's team selection, there certainly was one in how they set up. Instead of Lionel Messi starting out on the right of a front three, the Argentine instead played just behind center-forward Luis Suárez, with André Gomes given the task of shuttling between central midfield and the right flank depending on whether Barça had possession. It was a very peculiar decision from Luis Enrique, and one that — needless to say — didn’t pay off. Neither Suárez nor Messi did much defensively, allowing PSG to easily build out from the back and stretch Barça’s strained midfield by sheer weight of attacking numbers. The Catalans lacked their usual balance, and it'd be a surprise if we saw such a strategy adopted again in the second leg.
3. Adrien Rabiot is a gem
Though it was an all-round excellent performance from PSG's midfield, the real star of the show was young Frenchman Adrien Rabiot. Having spent a long while in the French side's reserves, Rabiot used to be frequently linked with a move away from the Parc des Princes. He added creativity to PSG’s attack and steel to their defence. His wiry frame is backed up by impressive physical strength, and given he’s still only 21 years old, it's looking increasingly like he’s going to establish himself as one of the world’s top midfielders in Years to come.Source(Sbnation).

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