The 2019-20 season has been one of peaks and valleys for Paris Saint-Germain as most of them have been in recent years.
Since last August, PSG has had to overcome injuries, controversy, and frustrating losses, but prior to football being suspended due to the coronavirus, PSG was still vying for four trophies: Ligue 1, Coupe de France, Coupe de la Ligue, and the UEFA Champions League.
Throughout the campaign, certain games have stood out more than others and I’ve compiled some of the more memorable fixtures that played a significant role in telling the story of the season.
August 11, 2019
Paris Saint-Germain vs. Nîmes Olympique
This is the game the PSG Ultras were waiting all summer for. It was the first home game of the season and the fans were seething at Neymar Jr. after credible reports revealed that he was trying to orchestrate a transfer back to FC Barcelona. Things have cooled off since but it’s not every day that you see fans chanting insults at a member of their own team with such vitriol.
August 18, 2019
Stade Rennais vs. Paris Saint-Germain
The 2-1 loss was the first sign that this season could be a difficult one for second-year manager Thomas Tuchel. PSG was outclassed by Julien Stéphan’s squad and 16-year-old Eduardo Camavinga had his coming-out party against the Parisians.
August 25, 2019
Paris Saint-Germain vs. Toulouse FC
PSG won this match 4-0 but this match is memorable because of the injuries suffered by Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappé. Cavani’s hip injury kept him out for 52 days and allowed Mauro Icardi to take over the starting striker role. Mbappé’s hamstring injury was the first major setback of his career and kept him out of action for a month.
September 22, 2019
Paris Saint-Germain vs. Real Madrid
PSG passed the first major test of the season with flying colors when they hosted Real Madrid at the Parc des Princes for the opening match of the Champions League group stage. Former Madrid forward, Angel Di Maria, scored a brace against his old club and Thomas Meunier added a third goal in stoppage time before the final whistle.
October 22, 2019
Club Brugge vs. Paris Saint-Germain
Kylian Mbappé had just started to come back into the team following his hamstring injury and against Club Brugge in the Champions League group stage, he started the match on the bench. The Frenchman was brought on in the 52nd minute and 30 minutes later, he had recorded his first Champions League hat-trick of his career.
November 26, 2019
Real Madrid vs. Paris Saint-Germain
PSG had handed Real Madrid an embarrassing defeat at the Parc des Princes two months prior but things changed dramatically for the return leg at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. Neymar was forced to start on the bench as he was just coming back from injury and Los Blancos were in form and closer to full strength than they were previously.
Tuchel’s squad went down 2-0 early but managed to rally in the second half thanks to goals from Mbappé and Pablo Sarabia. The 2-2 result was the first time we saw this team go up against a difficult opponent on the road and battle back from adversity.
December 7, 2019 & February 1, 2020
Montpellier HSC vs. Paris Saint-Germain
Paris Saint-Germain vs. Montpellier HSC
The Ligue 1 matches against Montpellier HSC were memorable for the same exact reason. In both fixtures, Mbappé was subbed off by Tuchel before the final whistle and the Frenchman got into a public altercation with the manager who tried to explain his decision. This led to speculation that the “feud” could lead to major issues for the club in their quest for the Champions League.
— beIN SPORTS (@beinsports_FR) December 7, 2019
Mbappe reacted furiously when substituted by coach Tuchel in PSG's defeat of Montpellier in the French League. Courtesy GOAL. pic.twitter.com/lxo5n9s3BI
— BamSports1 (@Sports1Bam) February 2, 2020
February 23, 2020
Paris Saint-Germain vs. Girondins de Bordeaux
After pushing for a transfer the entire month of January, Cavani returned to the squad and started against Bordeaux with a chance to score his 200th goal as a PSG player. In the 25th minute, El Matador scored a brilliant glancing header off Angel Di Maria’s cross into the box. Cavani was already PSG’s all-time leading scorer but hitting the 200 goal marker cemented his legacy.
March 11, 2020
Paris Saint-Germain vs. Borussia Dortmund
This is the big one. After losing 2-1 to Dortmund in the first leg of the Champions League tie, there was no margin for error. With so much on the line, PSG answered their critics with a thrilling 2-0 win to advance to the quarter-finals for the first time since 2016.
As exciting as the match was, it only got better when the players went to celebrate with fans who were locked out of the stadium due to the coronavirus crisis. The images from that night will live on forever.
Do you agree with the matches I chose? Which ones would you add to the list? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @PSGTalk.
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