At one point in Paris Saint-Germain’s UEFA Champions League return group stage fixture against Manchester United, it seemed as if manager Thomas Tuchel’s side was nearing a disaster. PSG was level with the Premier League side at a 1-1 score over the second half, which would have dropped the club to third place in Champions League Group H had the result held to a finish.
However, goals from Marquinhos and Neymar willed PSG through for a win and all three points from the fixture. PSG now has nine points in Champions League group stage play with one game left remaining. The path for PSG to clinch a spot in the Champions League knockout stage is clear.
For one, a win for PSG in its upcoming home Champions League group stage fixture against Istanbul Basaksehir will clinch the club the group regardless of what happens in the Manchester United and RB Leipzig fixture. For instance, if both PSG and Manchester United win, both clubs will stand at 12 points but the former will finish top of the group due to the goal difference in the head-to-head matches tiebreaker. Manchester United won the first contest by a 2-1 score while PSG claimed a 3-1 win in the away fixture. In essence, Neymar’s late goal against Manchester United proved to be more than just a consolation goal.
If PSG finishes with a draw against Basaksehir, the club will still clinch a spot in the Champions League knockout stage but as the second place team in the group. For example, if PSG draws with Basaksehir and there is a winner in the Manchester United and Leipzig fixture, PSG will stand at 10 points while the latter winner moves into a group-winning 12 points. But in the case that both fixtures result in a draw, PSG will remain in second due to the three-team head-to-head tiebreaker.
The worst-case scenario for PSG is that if the club loses to Basaksehir and the Manchester United and Leipzig fixture ends in a draw, Tuchel’s side will then be looking forward to the Europa League knockout stage draw.
For PSG, it is merely simple as the club needs to finish with a win or draw against Basaksehir to progress on through to the knockout stage.
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