After the Paris-Saint-Germain demonstration against Real Madrid (3-0), Thomas Tuchel has been cautious: in recent history, the PSG has always showered the hopes born in the fall.
Thomas Tuchel's keynote address at a press conference on Wednesday 18 September, the night of a Paris-Saint-Germain demonstration against Real Madrid by Zinedine Zidane (3-0), was a threat. A threat with a smile, but a threat all the same: "If someone asks me if we will win the Champions League, I go out immediately. "
In one year in France, the German coach has at least learned two things: the sports press, which dug its grave for three months, has the flexibility of a Russian gymnast; and Paris-Saint-Germain likes to dance java in the fall and hibernate in February, when the time comes for the games that matter.
So, stop! Paris was not favorite before, it is only to be helped later, even though the score and the field indicate that, had it been necessary to replay this match nine times, the locals would have won eight.
What would have been said, was pleased to imagine the German coach, if the video referee had canceled the goal – sublime – Gareth Bale, 34e minute, for a slight hand fault?
"We also need luck, slipped Thomas Tuchel, cold shower expert. The chance to score the first goal, the chance that Bale touched the ball with the hand a bit and the VAR saw it. This too is necessary to win. It was deserved, I think we played with more intensity (than Real Madrid), (…) but we can not forget these elements. We were also lucky. "
Bayern, Liverpool and Barca had already fallen to the Park
Luck, and a great collective intensity even to extinguish the midfielder Madrilenian, who was already limping in the absence of his Golden Ball Luka Modric and twirling Asensio.
The consistency of the Parisian performance, without any of its stars in attack (Kylian Mbappé and Edinson Cavani are convalescent, suspended Neymar) but with a solidarity of every moment, recalled the one shown a year earlier against Liverpool, in a victory 2-1 who put Paris back in the Champions League.
That was the problem, because it did not stop the same team – admittedly private Neymar – to dissolve as an aspirin stamp three months later against Manchester United, while the Reds began their conquest continental.
"We have a great team now, we have gained personality. But this is the first group match of the Champions League », also said Tuchel.
PSG no longer has to prove, neither to its supporters, nor to its opponents, nor to itself, that it can beat the biggest teams in Europe. Under the Qatari era, Bayern Munich, Liverpool, FC Barcelona all fell at the Parc des Princes at the end of the year.
But if the late season is delicious in Paris, the end of winter can be rough. And all these convincing successes were followed by disappointments in the eighth or quarterfinals of the competition. When the intensity, which Zinedine Zidane strongly deplored the absence Wednesday night about its players, goes up two notches. That the effort lasts 180 minutes cumulative, with only six days between the return trip.
It is in September that Paris is in the habit of shining, in March it stumbles. For now, he is the tennis player who beat Rafael Nadal in Rome before taking a volley at Roland Garros, the cyclist who dropped Christopher Froome Dauphine before drinking the cup on the Tour de France. The Parisians, in mixed zone, were very aware of it.
This entry loss is a first for Real Madrid since 2006. His executioner was called Olympique Lyonnais and was eliminated unceremoniously by AS Roma in the round of 16. No one in Lyon has forgotten the drunken night against Real, but nobody has forgotten the Roman hangover.