PSG Small Talk Podcast: Another Champions League Disappointment

Another year, another disappointment. Paris Saint-Germain crashed out of the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday after losing 2-1 to Real Madrid at the Parc des Princes. Over the two legs, the Spanish giants showed their class and put in a professional performance that Paris simply couldn’t overcome.

Cristiano Ronaldo all but ended the tie in the second half with an expert header in the 51st minute. The goal pushed the aggregate score to 4-1 and it was all over for PSG. Edinson Cavani leveled the score 20 minutes later but it was too little, too late for Les Parisiens. Casemiro tacked on another for Madrid in the 80th minute just to rub salt in the wound and Paris supporters spent the remaining minutes of the match reflecting on what went wrong.

For the second year in a row, PSG failed to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League–a fact that former manager Laurent Blanc is not soon to forget as he was sacked for only being able to get the club to this stage of the competition. Adrien Rabiot, who was outspoken after the 3-1 loss at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, summed up the result with his post-match comments:

In my opinion, we lost this tie at the Bernabeu. We tried to give it everything, but at the end of the night, the entire club is disappointed. For the moment, we can’t get passed the last-16, but that will change at one time or another, I’m sure of that.–Adrien Rabiot,

Speaking of outspoken, PSG Small Talk host Marc Damon breaks down the game and pinpoints exactly what went wrong. While a lot did go wrong for PSG, including a performance that lacked urgency and quality, some did go right. Alphonse Areola, for example, deserves a lot of credit for his showing over the two legs. You could argue PSG need a new keeper but Areola was certainly not the reason they didn’t advance. Another positive that Damon highlights is that there is a way forward for this team. Neymar Jr. will be back to lead one of the best attacks in all of Europe and the squad as a whole is pretty close to being complete. Essentially, a new manager–and there will be a new manager–will not have to overhaul the team but instead, make small tweaks to get them over the hump.

Now for the negatives. Marco Verratti was absolutely shocking during the match and Damon goes as far as to call him infuriating and selfish. Is the Italian doing more harm than good? Some are even beginning to speculate that the midfielder could be on his way out if the right transfer fee comes in. Verratti aside, it just wasn’t a good outing for PSG over the two legs and you have to ask yourself, how many Champions League players does PSG have? Major changes are sure to come in the summer but for now, all we can do is vent our frustrations.

If you would like to send in a question or topic for discussion, email and we may read it on the next podcast. As always, thank you for your support and please subscribe (iTunes | Google Play | Stitcher) and leave a review.

Tags Adrien Rabiot Alphonse Areola Champions League Dani Alves Edinson Cavani Kylian Mbappé Layvin Kurzawa Marco Verratti Marquinhos Nasser Al-Khelaifi Neymar podcast PSG Small Talk Real Madrid Thomas Meunier Unai Emery Yuri Berchiche

1 Comment

  1. PSG came out stale and without motivation for a huge match. When I saw the lineup I felt a bad feeling immediately. I expected a complete tactical shake up. That however is not the problem with Paris; it’s simply the fruit, but it is the root that must be addressed if Paris is to lift the Big Eared trophy.

    The true problem at the Club are that there is no true ethos/philosophy. What they do have is tons of money and a limited understanding of truly BUILDING a club. That is both the gift and the curse of QSI. The problem with that is when you spend enormous amounts of money for transfers and wages on talent, player power becomes the ethos/philosophy of the club which is detrimental to the club’s collective success. We’ve seen it with Ibrahemovic during his time and now with Neymar, with his spats with Cavani to his reported jealousy of Mbappé, not to mention players open revolt over a proposed change in formation. All of these things distract from the true goal of the club, especially when they are part of a league that they can often win rather comfortably. Once, plunged into the deep waters of the most elite club competition on the planet the inability to cope is exposed and players in front of their home crowd look like soldier mercenaries who were paid to fight another man’s war as opposed to battle hardened warriors who are fighting to protect their families, homes and everything they hold dear. That was the difference yesterday as Paris fell to Madrid in a tepid display.

    QSI has been both the gift and the curse in that they allow PSG the luxury of buying the top talent around the globe with the aim of exerting soft power through “immediate” sporting dominance. The problem is, that just as Rome wasnt built in a day, neither were Barça or Madrid. It takes time and a true philosophy/ethos, putting the right pieces together and a bit of good fortune. All of these ingredients are seemingly counter to the Qataris vision of immediate glory in their quest for influence and prestige. Until the ownership really understands what it takes to go step by step in building a truly “Big Club” results like we just saw and the Remontada will continue to be commonplace in this iteration of Paris Saint Germain.

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