It was a disastrous night for Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday in their 4-1 loss to Newcastle United on Matchday 2 of the UEFA Champions League. So, what exactly went wrong for the French giants?
Manuel Ugarte was one of the two midfielders in the starting 11 for the 4-2-4 formation manager Luis Enrique rolled out. The Uruguayan was asked whether the loss to the Premier League side was tactical or mental.
“I think it’s a bit of both,” Ugarte told Le Parisien (h/t Canal Supporters). “We expected to have a better match, but the difference was very big in the game. Newcastle played very well and did very good pressing. Now it’s done. We have to think about the next match.”
PSG must turn the page on this result when they welcome AC Milan on Oct. 25 at the Parc des Princes. The French giants are in second place in Group F, so these back-to-back games against the Serie A side could determine which team falls by the wayside and into the UEFA Europa League.
Is PSG not ready for big-time matches?
There have been plenty of options and diagnoses as to what went wrong for the Ligue 1 giants in St. James’ Park. RMC Sports’ Jérôme Rothen believes that a rebuilding PSG isn’t ready for the big-time matches like the one against Newcastle.
“PSG, at the moment, is not ready to play in these atmospheres, in these matches,” Jérôme Rothen said on RMC Sport (h/t Canal Supporters). “[Wednesday] was a fiasco. You shouldn’t be afraid of words. It’s reality. You lose 4-1 at Newcastle. All Newcastle that it is, with its supporters … It’s not the supporters who score goals.
“You have to have extra soul, you have to have pride, you have to have an ego, you have to want to fight. Champions League matches outside it is very difficult. It’s much more than a home game. You have to come out big and clean from this kind of match. The problem there is that they came out dirty. They were dirty from start to finish.
“They did nothing. (…) This puts into perspective everything good we have said since the start of the season. (…) I was very disappointed by the collective. There were too many flaws.”
Whether Rothen believes PSG is ready or not, Enrique and Co. will need to prepare themselves because if they don’t secure at least four points in their two matches against AC Milan, they’ll be in a challenging spot to qualify for the knockout rounds.