⚽ Galatasaray S.K. vs. Paris Saint-Germain
?️ October 1, 2019
? Türk Telekom Stadium
? UEFA Champions League
Stats via WhoScored
Possession: 50% – 50%
Shots: 8 – 16
Shots on Target: 1 – 6
Pass Success %: 76% – 78%
Aerial Duel Success: 42% – 58%
Dribbles Won: 10 – 6
Tackles: 17 – 13
Player ratings (1-10, 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
Keylor Navas (5)
The Costa Rica keeper was called upon to make one save—a Jean Michaël Seri free-kick—but remained focused throughout the 90 minutes. His passing out of the back helped launch several attacking moves for PSG and he didn’t have any mental errors that PSG supporters are used to from goalkeepers in the Champions League.
Juan Bernat (6)
Typically one of PSG’s most consistent players both going forward and on defense, Bernat was a lot more defensive against Galatasaray. He won three aerial duels and completed 87 percent of his passes but wasn’t a threat down the left flank and didn’t get many balls into the box. There was one half-chance where he tried to volley the ball over the Galatasaray keeper that would have been impressive but it was off target.
Presnel Kimpembe (8)
Prior to the match, I thought that Abdou Diallo may start in place of the Frenchman but this is why Thomas Tuchel is the manager. Kimpembe was an absolute BEAST in the air, winning seven aerial duels to go with his six tackles. His physicality is unmatched in the PSG locker room and it’s become clear Tuchel prefers to pair his physicality with Thiago Silva’s style of play.
Thiago Silva (7.5)
Speaking of the Brazilian, he had a solid game but just happened to be slightly outperformed by his fellow center-back. Captain Silva played well out of the back, recording a 91 percent pass success rate and won two aerials. His clearances in front of Navas’ goal were critical as well. Galatasaray’s Radamel Falcao was limited to only two total shots thanks to Silva’s marking.
Thomas Meunier (6)
While his pass success percentage was a bit lower than you would like to see (75 percent), he did link up well with those in front of him and played them into space. His shot late in the second half though was ill-timed as a simple pass to Kylian Mbappé would have resulted in a much better shot on goal than his blast into the 50th row. He wasn’t forced into any major defensive efforts, though, and overall, he had a decent game from the right-back position.
Marco Verratti (7)
I feel like if Verratti doesn’t pick up a yellow card in a Champions League match you have to at least give him a six. His pass to Pablo Sarabia in the second half, which ultimately led to PSG’s only goal, was so crisp it looked like it was straight from the training ground. His movement was excellent and he carved through Galatasaray’s defense with inch-perfect passes.
PSG’s center-back-turned-defensive-midfielder had another solid performance in his new role. If I didn’t see him play a lot better against tougher opponents, I probably would have rated him higher but that just goes to show how high the bar is for him right now. He won eight aerial, five of which came in the second half as Galatasaray tried to level the score. There was one moment in particular where Falcao got a header on target and nearly scored but Marquinhos was there to clear the ball off the line.
Idrissa Gueye (8)
The Senegal international has yet to have a bad game for PSG. That kind of consistency, especially with a new team, is unheard of! His ability to receive a pass or intercept his opponents and then quickly turn and launch the attack created numerous chances for PSG. He is extremely confident on the ball and looked completely unfazed by the raucous Galatasaray supporters. I would have liked to see him make more tackles (2), but that really goes to show how little Galatasaray created going forward.
Angel Di Maria (5)
Oh, Di Maria…I wanted to give you a higher mark. I really did. The reason I can’t is that he wasted sooo many scoring chances. It started from the opening few minutes when he fired a shot on target on a breakaway—instead of passing to Mauro Icardi in the center of the box—and aimed the attempt right at the keeper for an easy save. It only got worse from there, including a second-half chance where the Argentine was one-on-one with the keeper for the easy score but again, fired his shot right at Fernando Muslera. You hate to be too harsh on him but you know the quality is there, Di Maria just needs to score consistently on the big stage.
Pablo Sarabia (7)
I may have had one foot off the Sarabia bandwagon but I’m back on, baby! The Spaniard has struggled since joining PSG this past summer but against Galatasaray, we got a glimpse of what he is capable of. His movement was fantastic and he consistently found ways to challenge Galatasaray’s defenders. PSG’s only goal should really be credited to him. It was Sarabia’s pass and perfectly timed run into the box that led to an easy tap-in for Icardi. He could have easily taken the shot himself but that kind of play will certainly ingratiate him with his teammates.
PSG just picked Galatasaray apart 😵 pic.twitter.com/ZA7RmudK7c
— Bleacher Report Live (@brlive) October 1, 2019
Mauro Icardi (6)
The striker was given the nod over Kylian Mbappé in a somewhat surprise move from Tuchel. Both players aren’t 100 percent fit but it was Icardi who was given the first opportunity to lead the attack. Until his goal in the 52nd minute, Icardi was mostly absent and never really jumped off my screen. That’s Icardi for you though. He’s not like Mbappé in that he can sprint past defenders and he’s certainly not like Neymar Jr. who can dance around defenders. Icardi’s game is all about poaching goals and he did just that on Tuesday night for his first for PSG since joining on loan from Inter Milan.
Kylian Mbappé (4)
I expected the Frenchman to make an appearance after 60 minutes, as he did last Saturday against Girondins de Bordeaux, and that’s exactly what Tuchel had in mind when he brought him on for Icardi. Unfortunately, Mbappé had nowhere near the same impact as he did against Bordeaux. He did record two shots, one of which forced a good save from Muslera, and he finished the match relatively healthy. It’s clear he’s not fully fit and it will be interesting how the club handles their young star with a tough home match against second-place Angers SCO coming up.
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