When Lionel Messi decided to depart the French capital and Neymar Jr. was transferred to Al-Hilal this past summer, many thought Paris Saint-Germain would struggle this season and maybe even give up the Ligue 1 crown. With the season well underway, it’s safe to say that could be further from the truth.
To be fair, PSG did get off to a slow start. There was the scoreless draw against FC Lorient, the 1-1 draw against Toulouse FC, and the loss to OGC Nice at the Parc des Princes certainly had supporters wanting to check out the best UK betting app on MightyTips. The UEFA Champions League match against Borussia Dortmund at home is where things started to turn a corner.
PSG hosted the German side and thoroughly trounced them 2-0 with goals from Kylian Mbappé and Achraf Hakimi. It was an important win because of the other teams in the group. AC Milan and Newcastle United FC pose a more significant threat to PSG’s ability to top Group F, and the win started the Champions League group stage off on the right foot for Les Parisiens.
Typically, after a big Champions League win, PSG falls asleep domestically. That wasn’t the case this season. PSG hosted rivals Olympique de Marseille and absolutely destroyed them. The 4-0 scoreline should have been much worse for the visitors, but it was a solid performance, especially from newcomer Gonçalo Ramos, who scored a brace.
With such a young squad, new manager Luis Enrique is bound to experiment, and he did just that against Newcastle at St. James’ Park for matchday two of the Champions League. By going with four attackers, he exposed PSG’s midfield and defense, and the hosts defeated PSG handily by a scoreline of 4-1.
Humbled, PSG rebounded with wins away at Stade Rennais and at home against RC Strasbourg Alsace. Those victories provided the confidence for PSG to welcome AC Milan to the Parc for matchday three Champions League and escape with a convincing 3-0 win to take command of Group F. The goal from Kang-In Lee is an absolutely must-see.
As things stand now, PSG sits just two points behind AS Monaco in Ligue 1 and tops a very difficult Champions League group halfway through the group stage. For a rebuilding year, that’s better than many expected, and the best news is that the team is growing in confidence, and players are discovering their roles in Luis Enrique’s system. Right now, it certainly seems like PSG can challenge for the Ligue 1 title and potentially make some noise in Europe.