After a stuttering start to life in Paris, Leo Messi is rediscovering the form that won him so many awards at Camp Nou. Both Paris and Man City have made it to the last 16 of the champions league with a game to spare. So I was a bit surprised that Pochettino named such a strong starting eleven, rather commendable don’t you think. Messi lined up in a three man attack with Mbappe and Di Maria. Donnarumma, the best keeper in the world according to the Ballon D’or awards, lined up in goal with Marquinhos and Veratti also in. The criticism leveled on Paris this season has been that they have stellar individual talent who are not as cohesive as a team as they should be. They showed none of that this match, I give credit to the fact that this match was against a team on the way out of the tournament so pressure much less than it was against City. By half time it was all over for the Belgian side.
Ex Liverpool goalie Mignolet punched the ball straight into danger area for Mbappe to finish after just two minutes. He added another after seven minutes to put issues beyond Brugge, hitting the ball coming over your shoulder is a hard skill to master. He kept eyes on the ball not defender. Brugge held PSG to a draw in their first match. Their striker Ketalaere, who has been the find of the season in Belgium breaking into the national side, was instrumental in them getting the draw. It was not him who looked the most threatening but Mats Rits. Rits would get the consolation( Donnarumma would have been expected to make the save) but it was Messi 7 minutes before half time who made it 3-0, how many times have we seen that , defenders backing off with the Argentine finding the corner with a curler. With PSG finishing second , one of European powerhouses who finish 1st will have them to contend with in the last 16. The sheer number of star players that PSG has can count against them, consider the fact that Sergio Ramos hasn’t featured in the Champions League. As a coach how do you keep players happy? It may be time to move on some of the players whilst they have value. You might argue that there are a lot of games to play but which player wants to be left out?