PSG scored two goals against Borussia in nine minutes. And then the stars lost their value
Anatoly Romanov September 20, 2023, 00:24 Moscow time Audio version: Your browser does not support the audio element.
Mbappé could only score from a penalty.
PSG began their Champions League campaign with a victory over Borussia. Mbappé scored in the first round, but his game was not perfect.
In the match against PSG, Edin Terzic’s team prepared to defend with strength and patience. Dortmund played at the Parc des Princes with three central defenders in a 5-3-2 formation, the entire team sat behind the ball and was content with just over 20% of the possession. In general, everything went as Dortmund wanted, despite great pressure from the French champion. Only Sabitzer’s injury (the midfielder had to be substituted in the 14th minute) ruined the visiting coach’s spirit in the first half. Furthermore, it was Dortmund that took the first shot on goal; Malen did it, who would hardly score, but reminded goalkeeper Donnarumma that it was better not to make a mistake.
PSG had interesting player movements during possession. For example, the defenders formed a tight quartet at the back, or formally the right winger Hakimi rose to the center half or even the Dortmund penalty area. The “Eight” Vitinha, in turn, suddenly became a left midfielder: he provided width on his side and Dembélé on the right. Mbappé became the second striker in the area, forming a terrifying duo with Kolo-Mouany. The new coach of the Parisians, Luis Enrique, is searching, experimenting and will probably find something.
Arrangements before the start of the group stage of the Champions League
The Champions League draw gave us a “group of death” and a couple of interesting stories. But still disappointed
Of course, Borussia found it very difficult in some parts. Before the break, PSG took 11 shots on goal, however, like their rival, they only hit once (Dortmund took four shots). The hosts created their best chance midway through the half, when they filled the area on the right in front of the opponent’s box with a group of players, made a short combination and Vitinha hit the post. Dortmund simply got lucky here. There was also an episode with Sule’s handball, but the ball bounced off the defender’s chest and the referee did not award a penalty. And PSG star Mbappé lacked space. He faced the ball seven times in 45 minutes in the Dortmund area, but had no great opportunities.
At the beginning of the second half there was a “déjà vu effect”. Paris went on the attack: Sule played with his hand. However, this time Luis Enrique’s team managed to quickly open the left flank of the Borussia defense, from where Dembélé, who had made five passes before the break, cut off a pass to Mbappé. Kylian tried to shoot and the heavy Dortmund defender showed the goalkeeper a handball. The referee awarded a penalty that did not raise any special questions. Mbappé shot from the penalty spot into the bottom left corner, but goalkeeper Kobel missed the ball, guessing where to jump.
For Terzic’s team, conceding a goal meant changing the game. Borussia had little success in counterattacks, they needed to show themselves in a positional offensive. But before the guests had time to recover from the first goal conceded, they received the second. Hakimi and Vitinha together destroyed the entire Dortmund defense! Ashraf’s next participation in the attack produced the desired result. The former Borussia player upset his former club and, before putting the ball in the net, he knocked the more experienced Hummels to the grass with a spectacular feint. Two hits, two goals.
Open football was, of course, more interesting to watch than one-way traffic. The Parisians were able to score the third goal on counterattacks, and Dortmund had two or three chances to rekindle the intrigue with their goal. In one of the episodes, substitutes Reus and Bynoe-Gittens played a “two”, and the 19-year-old Englishman shot against the post from outside the area. Then, the players suddenly “lost their minds”: out of nowhere they started a fight. For some reason, only the Germans received cards, although Marquinhos knocked his opponent to the grass.
However, overall PSG controlled the match and moved well without the ball. Dortmund finished the second half without a shot on goal.
Mbappé finished the match with 72 touches of the ball (including 12 in the area), five shots, one pass and four dribbles. In the end he was close to scoring, but wasted two chances. Kylian never scored in the game.