Tuesday, 22 May, 2018

Neymar 'regrets PSG move — European Paper Talk

Paris Saint Germain 5 Metz 0 Nkunku stars as PSG run riot Real Madrid quartet facing axe if they lose to PSG, including Manchester United, Liverpool & Chelsea transfer targets
Cary Erickson | 12 March, 2018, 03:28

The answer to this: Yeah, pretty much everyone.

"Falcao will start, but he's not at his best level yet", cautioned Monaco coach Leonardo Jardi before the match. Behind PSG, Ligue 1 has less competitive depth than the Bundesliga has behind Bayern Munich.

PSG have also let slip the quality of players they want to sign for Conte in the summer, with AC Milan's Gianluigi Donnarumma and Juventus' Alex Sandro believed to be on their shortlist. The scenario could have been very different if it faced tougher opponents, like Atletico Madrid or Manchester United, earlier in the tournament.

Kylian Mbappe got on the scoresheet on the stroke of halftime with a neat finish at the near post after he was sent through by Verratti. With world record signing Neymar leading the way, PSG was putting Europe on notice.

"When players put the PSG shirt on, they have a responsibility".

Asked about the speculation over his own future, the former Sevilla boss said: "This is normal, the criticism is normal. A process is to win, but also to lose", he said in a press conference broadcast on the club's website.

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Captain Thiago Silva headed in the fifth goal from a corner near the end.

This situation isn't uncommon at Stamford Bridge; Carlo Ancelotti, Roberto Di Matteo and Jose Mourinho (twice) all won titles in their time at the club only to be dismissed a short while later. Their exit at the hands of Real on Tuesday marked the second straight edition of the Champions League in which Les Parisiens failed to progress past the round of 16.

He was denied a hat-trick when his header was incorrectly ruled out for offside before Mbappe scored the goal his industrious display deserved moments before the interval. They still packed the Parc des Princes for the visit of rock bottom Metz.

Faced with a goal deficit to overcome, PSG's tactics did not change to a more aggressive attempt to find the net. He clearly has a fractious relationship with the Chelsea hierarchy, precisely what saw him leave Juventus, over several issues most notably transfers with his controversial comments in the public eye not going down well in the boardroom. Perhaps introducing Draxler from the outset would have moved the needle in attack.

Kawashima denied the 18-year-old Weah again two minutes from time, diving at his feet.

There isn't a plethora of world class managers available right now but a left-field appointment like Thomas Tuchel could be the man that finally brings Chelsea's all-conquering youth system into the first team. And even then, their ability to meet those ambitions still turns on their their environment. In the end, he was a small fish who couldn't navigate the waters of PSG's expectations. With a loaded squad, he was unable to move PSG further up the ladder towards Europe's elite.