Nothing about Paris Saint-Germain’s loss to Borussia Dortmund last Tuesday made sense.
PSG hadn’t lost a match since last November and all of the club’s superstars were in Thomas Tuchel’s starting lineup. Fans expected a much better performance than what was delivered.
The 2-1 loss to the Germans puts PSG on the verge of crashing out of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 for the fourth consecutive year.
If you ask supporters why they think the Ligue 1 leaders came up short against Dortmund, some will blame Tuchel and his tactics while some point to the team’s overall mentality when it comes to high-pressure Champions League matches.
At his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s match against Girondins de Bordeaux at the Parc des Princes, Tuchel was asked for his assessment of the defeat now that he’s had time to digest everything that happened.
“For me, a game against Dortmund is very hard. I have to analyze it. The energy within the stadium, the atmosphere, the context. The Dortmund team are playing within that, and you can feel that in the stadium, on the pitch, but you cannot feel it outside when you watch videos.”
“It is the same with Liverpool, for example. They will play more aggressively, and it really creates a special atmosphere. That made them even more brave and aggressive, so we watched the game a few times, obviously, so it might give some tactical solutions, but those are all a part of the context. It is quite difficult to evaluate that.”
“For me, the lack of will and determination…We didn’t have the same as Dortmund. We also lack the ability to adapt to situations and do whatever it takes. It wasn’t our best performance, but it wasn’t a terrible game either. We played 14 games until then. They played just seven. We had one day less to recover, and you could feel that on the pitch.”
Luckily for Tuchel, the return leg on March 11 will be in front of his home supporters and Dortmund won’t have the Yellow Wall boosting their confidence. However, unless he can out-tactic Lucien Favre and get the best out of Neymar Jr. and Kylian Mbappé, PSG could be looking at another early Champions League exit, which would no doubt lead to his dismissal at the end of the season.
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