After Paris Saint Germain’s 1-0 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League, head coach Christophe Galtier explained his rather passive approach to the game in the post match press conference. PSG was remarkably defensive in the opening 60 minutes, almost exclusively refusing to press and creating next to nothing in the attack. Instead of attacking, the team remained in its’ shell until Kingsley Coman scored a goal and Kylian Mbappe came on.
Galtier feels that the game plan was required due to the personnel at his disposal. “The game plan was dictated by the personnel available. The circumstances meant that I saw no other way than to try to contain Bayern until we enter a second phase when Kylian comes on.”
PSG did completely change as a team once Mbappe came on. The former Monaco player provided a constant threat in behind and the team started pressing ferociously, scoring two offside goals and coming very close to finding an equalizer. PSG fans can be quite happy with how the team finished the game.
But the same cannot be said for the tepid first 60 minutes. And Galtier acknowledges this. “If you think I enjoyed watching my team against Bayern for the first 60 minutes, then you’re disrespecting me. PSG must play attacking, attractive football, not spectacular but effective. And if the players can bring entertainment, we’ll not deprive ourselves of it.”
The last line may be really damning to PSG’s players. Can they really not provide entertainment without Mbappe, despite having Lionel Messi and (the likely injured) Neymar in the squad? Either way, Mbappe will likely be fit to start the next leg in Munich and PSG will be expected to play how they did in the last 20 minutes of the game the entire 90 minutes long. We’ll see how that goes.