Los Blancos has all the pedigree in this tournament but Paris has the edge in terms of world class players to choose from. This is the blockbuster tie of the Round of 16 and old rivalries and friendships renewed. Messi lining up for PSG , so many goals for the Argentine for Barca against their clasico rivals. No Sergio Ramos for PSG through injury also no former Barca attacker Neymar who started from the bench as did former Real stopper Keylor Navas. Neymar’s back heel pass was key to the only goal of the game. The Brazilian is refreshing to watch when contributes assists instead of trying to dribble through and trying to score from impossible situations Messi’s goals have dried up since going to Ligue 1, but that is only because he has a different role in Paris now. Burden of goals now is more heavily skewed towards his strike partner Kylian Mbappe who ironically is said to be on the radar of Los Blancos in what will be the transfer of the century. Look, all good players miss penalties, but Messi’s record hasn’t been all that good from the spot. This was his fifth miss of 23 penalties attempted in the Champions League. Big players insist on taking penalties because of ego and wanting to maintain status as top scorers, but the time has come from the great one to pass on the task to someone else. Real Madrid were surprisingly meek in front of goal for a side with Benzema and Vinicius.
One would have thought the scrapping away of the away goals rule will at least galvanize away sides go out and win matches but nope. They allowed Paredes to run the show in midfield with Casemiro deeper than usual. In truth it should have been more than 1-0 PSG, the home side had 8 shots on target to zero Real Madrid. The only way to stop Mbappe is to double team the French International, even that doesn’t guarantee stopping him. Watch that goal. Vazquez and Eder Militao doubled on him but the phobia stemming from the previously awarded penalty made both of them afraid of having an attempt at winning the ball. In fact Carvajal who fouled Mbappe for the foul was subbed for Vazquez by Ancelotti to save a possibility of a red card and maybe try something different on the right back position .The tie is by no means over at 1-0 but this is a huge confidence boost to take to the Bernabeu for PSG. More is needed from Luka Modric and Toni Kroos in three weeks time. They were anonymous for large amounts of times in the match. I want to see more dare from Ancelotti. Clearly, matching the 4-3-3 by PSG isn’t going to cut it. Go three at the back, five across mid and two upfront. This will require that oen of Asensio or Vini has to drop to the bench.