After yet another crushing defeat for Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, fans are beginning to debate their worst exits.
After starting so brightly in their first leg against Real Madrid with a 1-0 victory, their fans hoped they could see out the second game. But their reputation for losing out in the big moments continued. They completely collapsed and threw away the game, which has resulted in yet another dismissal from the tournament.
Unfortunately, this pattern is beginning to look like second nature for the French side. Their lack of ability to cross the finish line has become a trademark. So we’re looking at five of their worst Champions League exits.
5) Barcelona (2015)
By 2015, PSG had become massive players in Europe due to their ability to bring in any player of their choosing with their enormous bank account. But unfortunately for fans at Parc des Princes, their monstrous spending hasn’t translated into success on the pitch.
You can’t make an elite side by merely splashing the cash. It takes years to build up elite-level chemistry, as they found out against Barcelona.
The Spanish side dismantled them over two legs. After the brilliance of Neymar saw them take a 2-0 lead into the second leg, the multiple-time La Liga winners arrived in France with all the momentum.
Neymar quickly cut through their set-up like a knife through butter to bag the first before Luis Suarez left their defence in the dust to find the second. The Uruguayan put Barca three up via a beautifully struck finish. PSG managed to find one back in the form of a deflection off Jeremy Mathieu, but all in all, it was a terrible day at the office.
4) Bayern Munich (2020)
After years of desperately trying to win the European competition, in 2020, they looked like finally claiming the piece of silverware that PSG had always wanted.
With high hopes, they travelled to Estádio da Luz in Lisbon, Portugal. But despite their outstanding campaign, Bayern Munich were too good.
After a back-and-forth first half, Kingsley Coman headed home in the 58th minute to give the German side the lead. Thomas Tuchel‘s side couldn’t find that all-important equaliser despite all their efforts. Although their performance commanded some respect, it didn’t dampen the wound of losing the most important game in European club football.
3) Manchester United (2019)
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer didn’t win a trophy at Old Trafford. But the Norwegian will always have his night in France.
He took his injury-depleted side across the Channel and produced an unforgettable last 16 contest. The Red Devils didn’t give their opponents a second to breathe as Romelu Lukaku quickly burst forward to find the opening goal after just two minutes.
However, it didn’t take PSG long to equalise as Juan Bernat connected on the end of a cross to draw all square. But after an uncharacteristic spill from Gianluigi Buffon, Lukaku pounced to find the second. And to rub salt into the wounds, a handball from Presnel Kimpembe led to a United penalty in stoppage time.
Marcus Rashford buried it home to give PSG fans a night they’d rather forget. Although the French giants ended up drawing on aggregate with a 2-0 win in Manchester, United advanced on away goals.
2) Real Madrid (2022)
This year, things looked like finally coming to fruition for PSG.
In the dying seconds of the first leg, Kylian Mbappe burst into the box with a beautiful piece of skill to give his side a historic moment. The Frenchman even kicked off the second leg with a superb finish, and PSG looked in control. But in typical Les Parisiens fashion, they threw it all away.
They failed to contain Karim Benzema. After forcing a goalkeeping error, the striker waited in the box to receive the ball, which he smashed home.
As it so often does in big moments, the goal lifted the entire Bernabeu. And PSG didn’t take any action. They left Benzema alone again, and that’s a dangerous thing to do with playmakers like Luka Modric around. The Croatian found his teammate with ease to equal the score.
And just two minutes later, they made the same mistake. After a poor piece of defending from Marquinhos, Benzema found an impressive hattrick to dump PSG out in the last 16 once again.
1) Barcelona (2016)
It’s fair to say that the nine-time Ligue 1 champions have had some bad nights in Europe. But this one is the worst by far.
In 2016, they produced one of the most outstanding performances in their history in the first leg of their last 16 tie against Barcelona. Angel Di Maria bagged an awe-inspiring free-kick and an impressive shot from outside the box. Julian Draxler and Edinson Cavani hammered home to secure a 4-0 win for the underdogs.
They couldn’t possibly lose from this point. But somehow, they did. It took them just three minutes to fall apart as a Luis Suarez header found the back of the net.
Things seemed stable, but a Layvin Kurzawa own goal began to make them sweat. Matters then worsened further when Lionel Messi delivered from the penalty spot.
Cavani quickly found a goal in return to stop the ship from completely submerging. But with just two minutes to go, Neymar shot a cannonball right through the steel of their vessel. However, Barca still needed a miracle to progress with time nearly over.
But after Neymar buried another penalty, PSG completely fell apart. Then, deep in stoppage time, Sergi Roberto found himself on the end of a lofted cross from the Brazilian to solidify all of the French team’s worst nightmares. It was 6-1. PSG, somehow, incredibly, were out of the competition.
The embarrassing fall from grace perfectly sums up their lack of success in the Champions League.
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