Paris Saint-Germain picked up a 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund in their first UEFA Champions League match post-Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr. The capital club didn’t score in the first 45 minutes but then registered two goals in the second half.
Many likely wondered how the French giants would do without the two superstars, but the team passed their first test. Furthermore, CBS Sports’ Jonathan Johnson believes PSG is better without Messi and Neymar.
Johnson appeared recently on the latest PSG Talking episode and noted what he sees as the difference in this squad now that Messi and Neymar are gone.
“Has to be work-rate,” Johnson said on PSG Talking. “It’s not embellishing or over-exaggerating that with Neymar and Messi on the pitch, there wasn’t the same sort of defending from the front. And that desire to sort of run, close the opposition down, and really try to put as much pressure on the opponents as possible.”
Johnson isn’t alone in recognizing that PSG is improved by not having those two players. The Athletic’s Liam Tharme put together a tactical piece stating that the French side is stronger under Luis Enrique.
It will be interesting to see if this trend continues as the group stage continues. Should PSG go deep in this tournament, then many will see them moving on from the two superstars as an intelligent move. However, if they falter, then many will second guess their decision.