PSG want to be considered among Europe’s elite. They have spent money in the vein of other top European clubs. They also win Ligue 1 as though they are a force to be reckoned with. However, when PSG compete in the Champions League, which is where the ownership’s primary ambition is concentrated, they continue to disappoint. Their loss at home to a depleted Manchester United squad fully displayed PSG’s fragility in international competitions.
Romelu Lukaku scored early in the match off of a poor pass back by Kehrer. It immediately gave United hope, but those hopes were quickly dashed by a wonderful pass across the goal by Mbappe and was slotted home by Bernat. At this point it appeared as though PSG would be able to see the game out. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men would have to go on to score two more goals in a hostile environment with a bench primarily made up of youngsters.
Lukaku managed to score again in the 30th minute, but the game came down to a controversial hand ball in stoppage time. Marcus Rashford calmly striked the penalty right by a diving Buffon. It was hit with such confidence, Rashford remarkably possesses at such a young age. While some will rightly discuss the determination and skill that Manchester United exhibited in overturning a first leg defeat, the primary focus of the discourse will revolve around the disastrous failure of another lost Champions League campaign for Thomas Tuchel’s side.
PSG’s owners, Qatar Sports Investment (QSI), have made it known about their incessant desire to be considered one of the heavyweights in club football. They have spent exorbitant amounts of money since their takeover in 2011, and recently spent £200 million on Neymar and £121 million on Kylian Mbappe. With that type of spending strategy, there is no room for such a horrendous Champions League campaign.
There is little reason to believe that the win-at-all costs strategy employed by QSI is sustainable. The precipitous coaching carousel leaves the players having to adapt to new tactics each year instead of prioritizing the perfection of the particular scheme. Money can win a club a domestic league, but composure, team unity, and grit are needed to become one of Europe’s best.
At this time, PSG has continued to show that they are lacking in the areas that winners possess. They can continue to bring in top class talent, but that talent needs to fit into a unified vision of how to play. If they fail one year, the club cannot just fire its manager or buy more players to make the situation better. Surely after a third straight year of crashing out in the Round of 16, QSI will employ a different business strategy. PSG will have to go back to the drawing board this summer and take a deep look at themselves to right the wrongs that continue to plague them.
*Transfer Values were taken from Transfermrkt.