February 15, 2018

Veterans and novices


Madrid came out on top at the Bernabeu, spurred on by their fans, to grab a great win over a PSG side that appeared inexperienced. Much like Unai Emery did in his erratic substitutions.

In the club's ode to it's youngsters, Real fans sing of their "veterans and novices" who are emblematic of a club brimming with "heart and spirit." These historic lyrics are stitched into the DNA of the side's supporters, a side who knew exactly what to do to overcome PSG in the Champions League.

Madrid have always stepped up their game in Europe's premier club competition, and when it comes to goals, no-one understands their duty better than Cristiano Ronaldo. Yet another brace for the Portuguese, bringing his total to 11 goals in this year's Champions League, laid the foundations for the attack of the youngsters Zidane unleashed on the Parisians.

Real's number 20, Asensio, stormed the left-wing and turned Thomas Meunier inside out over and over again. The Belgian will no doubt have nightmares about Asensio, whose impressive performance was key to Madrid's second and third goals.

The final blow, dealt by Marcelo, showed that the Brazilian is willing to make up for his defensive errors by making the difference upfront. Kylian Mbappé's threat down the right wasn't as dangerous as Marcelo expected. The 19-year-old failed to show his quality in front of goal and lacked in the valiance that PSG fans have become accustomed to at the Parc des Princes.

- Emery's failings -

The PSG manager roared when Rabiot put his side ahead, but the one goal lead didn't free him from fear. Then at 1-1, with PSG seemingly in control, the Spaniard chose to send a message and shook up his team.

In the 66th minute, top-scorer Edinson Cavani made way for Meunier, and even with the Parisians dominating possession, 'Los Blancos' always looked threatening. Zidane adopted an all-or-nothing stance and risked it all, throwing his up-and-coming stars Asensio and Lucas Vázquez into the mix. After winning two Champions League trophies on-the-trot, it was Zidane's experience that ultimately destroyed Emery.

The PSG trio, worth almost €500 million, walked off the pitch at the Bernabeu with their tails between their legs. Now dreaming of their own comeback, PSG will have to descifer Madrid's tactics to nullify both their veterans and novices. The return leg poses a difficult challenge for the Parisians, but not one that's impossible.

Madrid came out on top at the Bernabeu, spurred on by their fans, to grab a great win over a PSG side that appeared inexperienced. Much like Unai Emery did in his erratic substitutions.

In the club's ode to it's youngsters, Real fans sing of their "veterans and novices" who are emblematic of a club brimming with "heart and spirit." These historic lyrics are stitched into the DNA of the side's supporters, a side who knew exactly what to do to overcome PSG in the Champions League.

Madrid have always stepped up their game in Europe's premier club competition, and when it comes to goals, no-one understands their duty better than Cristiano Ronaldo. Yet another brace for the Portuguese, bringing his total to 11 goals in this year's Champions League, laid the foundations for the attack of the youngsters Zidane unleashed on the Parisians.

Real's number 20, Asensio, stormed the left-wing and turned Thomas Meunier inside out over and over again. The Belgian will no doubt have nightmares about Asensio, whose impressive performance was key to Madrid's second and third goals.

The final blow, dealt by Marcelo, showed that the Brazilian is willing to make up for his defensive errors by making the difference upfront. Kylian Mbappé's threat down the right wasn't as dangerous as Marcelo expected. The 19-year-old failed to show his quality in front of goal and lacked in the valiance that PSG fans have become accustomed to at the Parc des Princes.

- Emery's failings -

The PSG manager roared when Rabiot put his side ahead, but the one goal lead didn't free him from fear. Then at 1-1, with PSG seemingly in control, the Spaniard chose to send a message and shook up his team.

In the 66th minute, top-scorer Edinson Cavani made way for Meunier, and even with the Parisians dominating possession, 'Los Blancos' always looked threatening. Zidane adopted an all-or-nothing stance and risked it all, throwing his up-and-coming stars Asensio and Lucas Vázquez into the mix. After winning two Champions League trophies on-the-trot, it was Zidane's experience that ultimately destroyed Emery.

The PSG trio, worth almost €500 million, walked off the pitch at the Bernabeu with their tails between their legs. Now dreaming of their own comeback, PSG will have to descifer Madrid's tactics to nullify both their veterans and novices. The return leg poses a difficult challenge for the Parisians, but not one that's impossible.