Friday, May 24, 2024
spot_img

PSG’s most painful Champions League exits and where defeat to Dortmund ranks with La Remontada and others

psg-31.jpg
Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain’s UEFA Champions League journey is over after a 1-0 loss at home to Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday confirmed a 2-0 aggregate defeat in the semifinals as the Germans advanced to the final which Les Parisiens thought was going to be theirs. Niclas Fullkrug and Mats Hummels goals across both legs undid a frustrated PSG side which Luis Enrique saw create chance after chance without scoring a single goal despite a superb atmosphere for the return leg in Paris. PSG’s expected goals across both legs nearly hit five yet there were no goals to show for it, hitting the post four times in the second half after doing it twice in the first. The disappointment will be huge for the French champions but this is arguably not the most devastating of the UCL exits suffered by the Ligue 1 giants over the years since they became continental top table mainstays.

We look at three results which have left bigger scars than this one will ultimately leave.

No. 3: Real Madrid, 2021-22 round of 16

Leading Real Madrid 1-0 from the first leg of their round of 16 tie and then to be 1-0 up at Santiago Bernabeu — both goals scored by Kylian Mbappe — the heartache was enormous when a 17-minute Karm Benzema hat-trick came back to blow PSG away. It was a collective capitulation which brough back bad memories of earlier traumas and a clear sign that Les Parisiens were not over the damage inflicted by the likes of Barcelona and Manchester United in previous years and that was with a star front three of Mbappe, Neymar and Lionel Messi. Now without two of those three stars and soon to be without the full trio, this group can continue to build towards the future while that hurt in 2022 was the end of the road for some of the star names PSG had on the field that night in Madrid.

No. 2: Manchester United, 2018-19 round of 16

Possibly even more excruciating than Real in 2022 was United back in 2019 when a depleted PSG side won 2-0 away at Old Trafford to seemingly set up a straightforward passage into the quarterfinals despite missing key man Neymar. What followed at Parc des Princes was a dramatic 3-1 loss to a Red Devils side which few thought capable of such a fightback with the Brazilian superstar helplessly watching from the touchline as Marcus Rashford’s penalty sent United into the last eight instead of the French giants. Although two years on, the wounds from Remontada were still visible and showed no signs of healing given that they were opened up again a few years later by Real.

No. 1: Barcelona 2016-17 round of 16

Nothing, though, will ever compare with the origins of all of PSG’s European woes which came against Barcelona isnarguably their most infamous moment on the European soccer scene. A 4-0 first leg thrashing somehow was flipped on its head and turned into a 6-1 horror show which was not helped by dubious refereeing and inflicted psychological damage that Les Parisiens arguably never recovered from — certainly not under Unai Emery who was in charge that fateful night in Catalonia as now PSG boss Luis Enrique masterminded a 6-5 aggregate triumph which set in motion Neymar’s move away from Camp Nou among other things. Although it was arguably fully exorcized with this year’s quarterfinal comeback against the Blaugrana, it took the best part of 10 years for that trauma to be banished. Dortmund will leave a different type of damage behind but nothing quite as crushing as that 2017 collapse and the mental complex which formed off the back of it.

Related articles

Share article

Latest articles

Newsletter

Subscribe to stay updated.