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Champions League: Mbappé between anticipation and concerns: BVB is difficult

Champions League: Mbappé between anticipation and concerns: BVB is difficult

PSG’s victory in Barcelona should be a warning for the competition. What the Parisians couldn’t do with Neymar and Messi seems possible this time. But BVB must be defeated first.

President Nasser Al-Khelaifi raved about one of the most beautiful moments of his life. The French newspapers called Paris Saint-Germain’s impressive 4-1 win over FC Barcelona “epic” or “heroic deed”. Despite all the praise, all the declarations of love and all the jubilation about reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League, the players and coaches of the Grande Nation’s capital club were already thinking about the German on the “Christmas Eve” (“L’Équipe”) in Catalonia Opponents in the round of the best four.

“Dortmund. That’s very difficult. We already played against them in the group stage,” said double goalscorer Kylian Mbappé. “We would have preferred to play in Spain,” admitted PSG coach Luis Enrique after BVB prevailed in their semi-final against Atlético Madrid with a no less impressive 4-2 in front of their home crowd.

PSG against BVB – the verbal duels are already beginning

The first leg will also be there in two weeks. “We will try to win the first encounter,” emphasized Mbappé. Nobody from the Parisians needs another show of strength and nerves like that after the 2:3 home defeat against Barça and an early 0:1 deficit in Barcelona on Tuesday.

In the group phase, Borussia only suffered one defeat – and that was a 2-0 defeat at Paris Saint-Germain. It was a 1-1 draw in Dortmund. “We’re slowly getting close to winning,” said Dortmund attacker and goalscorer Julian Brandt before the next meeting with the Parisians.

BVB still finished the group in first place, while PSG progressed in second. “I believe that we are a much more stable team than we were in September and November,” emphasized BVB coach Edin Terzic after reaching the semi-finals.

The team showed how solid Paris Saint-Germain is under former Barça icon Luis Enrique – albeit helped by an early red card against the hosts. The 2:3 in the first leg was the first defeat after 27 competitive games. Six days later, the ensemble around superstar Mbappé showed no signs of it. “They never doubted,” wrote Le Parisien. And the sports paper “L’Équipe” headlined a photo of the celebrating PSG aces in reference to the Olympic Games in Paris: “The Flame Bearers.”

A reunion with an aftertaste

“We conceded the first goal, but we didn’t give up. The coach’s tactics were perfect,” said Ousmane Dembélé, for whom the duels with BVB will be a reunion. He played for Borussia from July 2017 to August 2018 before moving to PSG via FC Barcelona.

The 26-year-old Frenchman did not receive a warm welcome in Catalonia, and his departure will probably not be forgotten in Dortmund. He had virtually secured his move to the Primera División, Dembelé left BVB after just one season for a fee of over 100 million euros.

What even Ancelotti couldn’t do with PSG

The Champions League title remains the big goal for PSG. It didn’t work out with players like Neymar or Lionel Messi, and nothing more than the 2020 final against FC Bayern was possible. Coaches like Thomas Tuchel, who failed with PSG against Munich four years ago, Carlo Ancelotti or Laurent Blanc, failed to win the most coveted European club trophy with the Parisian club.

In order to make it to the final this time, which kicks off at Wembley on June 1st, PSG first has to defeat BVB. “Paris undoubtedly has a very, very strong team. But I think we have improved significantly. We are working on ourselves. We are clearly developing. There is a lot of hard work involved and hopefully PSG will feel that at some point,” said Dortmund’s sports director Sebastian Kehl.

Source: Stern

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