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Wasteful PSG go to Borussia Dortmund, but there is reason to hope for a place in the Champions League final

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Wasteful PSG go to Borussia Dortmund, but there is reason to hope for a place in the Champions League final
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Paris Saint-Germain’s UEFA Champions League semi-final with Borussia Dortmund will proceed in the same manner as the 2019/20 round of 16 match, in which the Germans took the lead after the first leg at Signal Iduna Park but were overturned in the second leg . . The Bundesliga side won 1-0 on Wednesday to secure a slim lead ahead of the return leg at the Parc des Princes next week, but Edin Terzic’s side may feel they should have done more with their chances , and that’s exactly how Luis Enrique will feel about the match. French champions.

Dortmund emerged victorious, but somehow should have won by more than one goal, but can also count themselves lucky not to have to concede against Paris at the same time after a match decided by the burst of power and finishing Niclas Fullkrug. The centerpiece of the Germans’ attack missed a couple of excellent chances over the course of the 90 minutes, despite stunning service from the likes of Jadon Sancho and Julian Brandt, while there was also a penalty just begging to be scored in the second half.

Yet it was PSG who created and missed the best chances, with Kylian Mbappe and Achraf Hakimi both hitting a post within 30 second half-seconds of each other, Fabian Ruiz wasting a particularly good headed chance and Ousmane Dembele coming over late in the game. . Luis Enrique’s decision to move Mbappe wide again after a more central starting role saw PSG’s star man more involved in the second half than in the first, but it was not enough to conjure up the equalizer he undoubtedly deserved .

“We are two teams that like to get forward and get the ball,” PSG captain Marquinhos said after the match. “We both like pressure and want the ball. It was a physical test and given the score we had a lot of chances. We can’t miss those clear chances, especially the ones in the second half. We have to take our chances at home if we want to the final. At 1-0 we have done it before and showed that we can do it with the energy of our supporters at home. It will be a different scenario that our supporters in Parc des Princes hope for us and we know that we can do better than here.”

Heading back to the Parc des Princes with just one goal to make up for in next week’s second leg will be for les Parisiens feel far from impossible given their comeback power that was on full display in the quarter-finals against Barcelona, ​​but now the reverse is necessary. Instead of a narrow home defeat and a convincing away win, PSG must follow up Dortmund’s defeat with a thorough and complete return match at home in front of its own supporters.

Luis Enrique’s side silenced the Yellow Wall with nerves at times and that spoke volumes about how close the French side came to leveling over the course of the second 45, leaving Dortmund feeling like they really needed a second goal had to gain more self-confidence. The forced substitution of Lucas Hernandez was a blow for Paris, but defensive solidity will be less needed next week as PSG go for the stubbornness at home, in a similar way to how the game was turned around at Barcelona.

Expect Luis Enrique to adjust his attacking approach slightly, with Mbappe’s positioning and involvement much better in the second half and Dembele needing a slightly more clinical edge in front of goal. Randal Kolo Muani’s cameo was interesting in terms of work rate, but it could be Goncalo Ramos’ predatory touch that makes the difference next week depending on Paris’ approach to the scenario that still favors PSG.

Gianluigi Donnarumma and Marquinhos made important saves, blocks and interventions while the midfield was functional and created sufficiently, even if some touches and passes were slightly off in the final third or when trying to hold and move the ball. It was in attack where some refinement would be needed to turn this around and should that happen as expected, it is still very likely that Mappe and his teammates will be heading to Wembley for the final against Real Madrid or Bayern Munich .