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The Magnificent Plan of PSG Led to the Humiliation of Real Sociedad. Only the best teams advance to the 1/4 of the UCL

On March 5th, Real Sociedad hosted PSG. The first match ended with a 2-0 victory for the Parisians. The guests also performed well away - a 2-1 win with a double by Kylian Mbappé. Thus, PSG progressed to the next round with an aggregate score of 4-1.

Once again, Luis Enrique was surprised with his game plan

Bradley Barcola and Kylian Mbappé moved into the central zone when the hosts attempted to build up from the back. Warren Zaire-Emery occupied the number ten position, covering the midfield. At the same time, Achraf Hakimi and Ousmane Dembélé played as full-backs. Usually, PSG managed to quickly regain possession. Still, if the Basques bypassed the pressing, Zaire-Emery shifted to the right flank, Hakimi and Dembélé dropped more profoundly, and Parisians switched to a defensive 4-4-2 formation.

With the ball, Mbappé started from the left flank, Dembélé moved to the center, playing as a false nine. Zaire-Emery operated on the right side, alternating positions with Hakimi. The players navigated this carousel perfectly, completely disorienting Real Sociedad and dictating the course of the match until the very end.

Poor preparation and missed opportunities

Of course, PSG surprised, but it doesn't justify the terrible passivity of the Spaniards. The pressing was disorganized; players ran passively, allowing the guests to play and possess the ball as if resigned to the fact that they wouldn't be able to return. Such an attitude was not expected from Imanol Alguacil's gang.

Moreover, the Basques should have attempted to exploit Enrique's glaring weak point - the massive gap behind Hakimi.

Real Sociedad's foolishness and courage

However, in deep defense, Real Sociedad showed bravery bordering on foolishness. Time after time, PSG's midfield trio lured the Basque midfielders deep into the field, exposing their midfield, which Dembélé immediately exploited. One of the defenders reacted to this movement, rushing after him, breaking the defensive line and leaving kilometers of free space behind for Mbappé. After one such lapse, Amari Traore found Mbappé, encountering no resistance whatsoever, and he scored in signature style, finally killing off any hint of intrigue.

Published by Patrick Jane