PSG Small Talk Podcast: Di Maria Rescues Paris Against Napoli

Paris Saint-Germain lives to fight another day.

On Wednesday night, Paris welcomed Napoli to the Parc des Princes for a pivotal UEFA Champions League match. Unfortunately for the hosts, they did not have their best game and were largely outplayed for the 90 minutes. If not for a bit of magic from Angel Di Maria in stoppage time, the capital club would have lost the match and the threat of the UEFA Europa League could become all too real.

On the latest episode of PSG Small Talk, host Marc Damon, fresh off a Whole Foods run (potential podcast sponsor?), delivers one of his best analysis all from the confines of his automobile.

The 2-2 draw against the Italian club was interesting in many ways, from Kylian Mbappé’s poor performance to Thomas Tuchel’s tactical change after the half, but overall, you have to say the performance from the French giants was very poor. The defense continues to be the weak link and the midfield did the back line no favors.

Neymar Jr. was a rare bright spot on the night for PSG with his blistering runs down the flank and dribbles into the box. He created chances not only for himself but for his teammates. Speaking of which, his South American partner up front was shockingly poor. Edinson Cavani had yet another bad game and missed several chances to score that you would expect him to finish off. Is it time for Tuchel to consider benching the Uruguayan and moving Mbappé into the striker role?

Paris did not play particularly well but still could have won if not for silly mistakes by the defense. Marquinhos and Presnel Kimpembe both made vital mistakes that led to Napoli’s two goals. Both have experience in high-level matches and silly mistakes should not be happening. Thiago Silva’s absence was certainly felt but Kimpembe and Marquinhos should be better. We did learn that Thilo Kehrer can play in a Champions League match and that could be very important later in the group stage should PSG need a lift.

There are now three games left in the group stage and thanks to Di Maria’s goal, the road to the knockout stage is a little easier. It’s unlikely that PSG will play even worse against Liverpool and Napoli so the future remains bright but Tuchel has tough decisions ahead of him. Should he bench Cavani? Should he play youth players like Moussa Diaby? Should he start with a back three from here on out? Whatever he decides to do, we’ll be here to discuss.

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Posted by Ed

Ed is the founder of PSG Talk. When he's not blogging about Paris Saint-Germain he's usually in the backyard practicing his Zlatan scorpion kicks.