Not for the first time in the Champions League, PSG choked in a knockout round from a commanding position. PSG looked box office for the quarter final draw after their prize possession Kyllian Mbappe struck 6 minutes before half time. Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti set his team up to hold PSG in the first half to no avail. Similar to the first leg, PSG targeted the right full back , in this case Carvajal. Just check out how narrow Carvajal was operating when the disallowed Mbappe goal was scored after 33 minutes. I really don’t get why a full back comes inside when there are competent center backs around like Militao and Alaba. Anyway that was a temporary reprieve as Mabppe made sure 5 minutes later. Now, Pochettino has his fans as a coach. I am not one of them. Why? Because he doesn’t have that winning mentality that is needed to cross that line, that big trophy line. Sure he proved at Spurs he can win matches but that final hurdle he struggles to cross. Here his game management left a lot to be desired. Going for the safety of two defensive midfield men Verratti and Gana from the start would have been advisable.
Okay, we can say the howler by Donnarumma gave Los Blancos the renewed vigor to pursue the tie. It was also the irrepressible, evergreen Luka Modric’s incise passing that got Real into the last 8 here. The partnership between Vinicius and Karim is right up there with Kane and Son. Karim makes his own luck as a striker. Watch his positional play for the third goal. In as much as being a striker is a science, it is also an art. I mean you don’t coach someone to be at the right place at the right time. But it is instinct. That instinct comes with time and experience. That is Karim Benzema. Karim deserves his props from soccer, he doesn’t get enough in my opinion. PSG with a second half collapse only rivalled by Manchester United’s appalling derby day Sunday showing.