“We have everything we need to turn the situation around!
There is no question of pondering, of giving doubt time to settle.
As a good captain, Marquinhos set the tone for the reunion with City last Wednesday, after the defeat (1-2) conceded at the Parc des Princes.
A few hours to find the Citizens at the Etihad Stadium, Neymar's PSG certainly does not have the favor of the forecasts to invite themselves to the final.
But to win, by scoring at least twice in front of a Manchester formation that he has never beaten before, is not necessarily an impossible task.
1. Paris is a hit outside
City have lost just five of their fifty-five games this season. A ratio that says a lot about the strength of the Citizens, but which is not enough to make PSG pale. Quite the contrary. If he is struggling this season at the Parc des Princes - already eight defeats - Paris is however spectacular far from its bases. Since the start of the European campaign, he has won 80% of his battles on the move. And not the least. After having notably overthrown Manchester United at Old Trafford (3-1) in the group stage, the Parisians impressed the whole of Europe by winning successively on the lawn of Camp Nou (1-4), then on that of Bayern , the reigning European champion (2-3).
“Going to win on the ground of Barcelona or Munich by releasing such a collective force, gives an enormous self-confidence, assures the former Parisian Laurent Robert.
They already did it, they know they can do it again.
They have the weapons to go to war.
"Asked about the subject at a press conference, defender John Stones admitted that" PSG is one of the best teams in the world but that depends only on us!
One way, perhaps, to hide one of the rare loopholes of the Citizens.
Of the four losses conceded this season in the Premier League by Guardiola's team, three have indeed been at home (Leicester: 2-5, Manchester United: 0-2 and Leeds: 1-2).
2. They score more than 2 goals per game
Chance sometimes reserves strange coincidences. We must therefore go back to April 12, 2016 and a quarter-final lost in front of ... Manchester City (1-0) to see the PSG attack remain silent on the move in the Champions League. Now is the time to set the record straight and push this incredible series of away goals on the European stage to 22 consecutive matches. Faced with the best defense in the Champions League - 4 goals conceded in 11 games - the game is, of course, not won in advance.
Especially since to win his ticket to the final, Paris will have to score at least twice.
Good news, 2.6 goals per game, that's exactly the pace at which the Parisian attack has fueled since the start of the Champions League.
"We will try to minimize the risks," Pep Guardiola slipped Monday at a press conference, aware that "PSG is a dangerous team.
3. Neymar and Mbappé have their teeth
“I will be the first warrior to go into battle for the team. I will give the best of myself and I will do everything to bring back this qualification, even if it is necessary to die on the field. »Do not count on Neymar to let go. If the Brazilian has missed half of his team's games this season
(Editor's note: 26 out of 52)
, he does not intend to miss a second consecutive Champions League final. And, as a consequence, the meeting at the Etihad this Tuesday evening. To do this, he hopes to be able to count on his attacking partner, Kylian Mbappé, who could be a replacement.
Beyond the qualification, and despite his physical glitches, the Bondynois intends to wrest Erling Haaland (10 goals) the place of top scorer of the season in the Champions League.
An accessible challenge for the French world champion who has already scored two doubles and a treble on the European scene.
"And then the Parisians are revenge, predicts Laurent Robert.
They experienced the first leg as an injustice, as a game they didn't deserve to lose.
As Neymar had shown on the way, they will go there with the desire to devour everything.
4. Pochettino knows how to set fire
In nineteen direct clashes with Pep Guardiola, Mauricio Pochettino has won only three times. A not very encouraging figure ... But we must especially remember the spectacular quarter-final between Tottenham and Manchester City in 2019, won by Spurs Pochettino (1-0; 3-4). The Argentine had managed to master the tactical aspect of the first leg, as well as the madness necessary to resist the onslaught of the Citizens in the second leg. That same year, Tottenham started badly in the semifinals, beaten on their turf by Ajax in the first leg (0-1) and led 2-0 in the Netherlands… And, then, at the break, Pochettino changed everything with the entry of an additional attacker.
Result: Lucas Moura's hat-trick (including a goal in the 96th minute) and Spurs' qualification for the final.
Totally crazy, again.
But the sign that the Parisian coach can influence a meeting by his choices, which failed to go this year.
Mentally, his PSG was able to resist Barça or Bayern in previous rounds.
This time he must overthrow City to afford a legendary qualification.
5. The curse of Guardiola
“You can't control chaos. "Pep Guardiola knows it better than anyone: anything can happen in the semi-final second leg of the Champions League. The Manchester City coach even considers this round to be "harder than the final". The Catalan leads for the 8th time in his career a club in the last four of the C1, the first with Manchester City. In his first seven appearances (4 at Barcelona, 3 at Bayern), he has been eliminated five times, not always managing to master the elements. As for his very first qualification for the final, in 2008-2009 against Chelsea, it only became possible thanks to a strike from elsewhere from Andres Iniesta in the 93rd minute of the second leg ...
Conversely, in 2011-2012, it was Chelsea's 92nd minute goal against Barça, signed Fernando Torres, which put an end to Guardiola's dreams. With City, which he has managed since 2016-2017, the master tactician has had difficult experiences in this competition, eliminated in the round of 16 by Monaco, in the quarter-finals by Tottenham and then Olympique Lyonnais. But here he is at the gates of his first final in ten years. It is up to PSG to continue its curse.