Paris Saint-Germain With Work to Do on European Glory Quest
Paris Saint-Germain are invariably among the contenders to win the Champions League, along with the likes of Manchester City, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Barcelona. But unlike those four clubs, as well as AC Milan, , Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United, they have never lifted the trophy before.
By European soccer standards, PSG are still the new kids on the block. Whereas most of the continent’s giants were founded in the late 19th or early 20th century, PSG only came into being in 1970.
Despite being the major outfit from France’s capital, PSG did not immediately become one of Ligue 1’s leading lights. Indeed, they won only two titles before 2013.
And while Qatar’s investment means they are regularly crowned domestic champions these days, their arch-rivals Marseille like to remind PSG that they remain the only team in France to have won the European Cup or Champions League.
PSG have experienced more than their fair share of disappointment in this competition over the last decade. On more than one occasion, they have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Despite a star-studded squad, which for two seasons contained Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Neymar, PSG have continually failed to get over the line in Europe.
Will this be their year? The jury is out. Their manager, Luis Enrique, has won the Champions League before and the departure of Messi and Neymar has given the team a better balance. But PSG were thumped 4-1 by Newcastle United on matchday two.
It was not just the defeat but the manner of it that should concern PSG. Newcastle were faster, stronger and hungrier at St. James’ Park. Intensity is an integral ingredient in modern soccer and PSG were found severely wanting in that category. A vast improvement is needed.
AC Milan Need To Start Converting the Chances They Create
Despite their demolition by Newcastle, PSG are in a decent position in Group F, one of the toughest groups in Champions League history. They sit second as things stand, with a one-point advantage over AC Milan in third.
The Rossoneri have two points to their name, but they really ought to have more. They were much the better team against Newcastle on matchday one, but a failure to take their chances saw them drop two points in a 0-0 draw.
Their meeting with Borussia Dortmund on matchday two was a more even affair, but Milan again fashioned better opportunities. Another 0-0 draw leaves them out of the top two ahead of this tricky trip to the Parc des Princes.
With two games at the San Siro coming up in November, Milan will still feel they are in a decent position to advance to the knockout phase. But a positive result here would undoubtedly boost their chances of doing so.
Milan are going strong in Serie A. They suffered a 5-1 thrashing by their arch-rivals Inter in the middle of September but have responded well to that setback, despite a 1-0 loss to Juventus at the weekend.
Milan reached the semi-finals of the Champions League last term. They suffered another painful loss to at that stage of the competition, but progressing to the last four in 2022/23 will give Simone Inzaghi’s side confidence that they can be competitive at the highest level this season too.