Champions League: For PSG, the road to Wembley goes through the “Yellow Wall”

PSG is on the verge of the Champions League final. But before pursuing his dream of an unprecedented coronation in C1, he must first overcome the obstacle of Gregor Kobel’s Borussia Dortmund and resist the famous “Yellow Wall” during a semi-final first leg which he tackles in favorite position, Wednesday.

For PSG, the road to Wembley goes through the “Yellow Wall”.

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The story is facetious: it was in fact the season when the club’s management, coach Luis Enrique and the players officially rejected the Champions League “obsession” that the team perhaps found itself closest to a crowning achievement on the European scene.

During an exercise during which they raised their level month after month, also thanks to an open table from the round of 16 and after a complicated group phase, the Parisians will have managed to reach the semi-finals. finals. Reaching this stage was unlikely last August, at the very beginning of the Luis Enrique era, just after the departures of Lionel Messi and Neymar and as Kylian Mbappé’s farewell approached this summer.

Paris logical favorite

From now on, PSG and its superstar can legitimately be “obsessed” with the final victory, from which only three matches separate them, including the two against Borussia Dortmund. An affordable opponent for PSG, despite young striker Bradley Barcola’s declarations of principle to UEFA: “We’ve already played them twice this season, we know they’re a very good team.”


Borussia Dortmund – Paris Saint-Germain

Wed 01.05. 19:55 – 23:30 ∙ blue Sports Live ∙ Borussia Dortmund – Paris Saint-Germain


Because in this case, these two group matches remain good memories for the French club: 2-0 victory at the Parc des Princes and qualification for the round of 16 acquired after the draw (1-1) at Signal Iduna Park . If we add qualification in 2020 after the two rounds of the round of 16 (1-2 and 2-0), on paper and for the bookmakers, Paris is the favorite.

Serenity

The team is ready to make its status known, assures Luis Enrique: “We have shown it, we are a very difficult team to beat, technically, tactically, mentally. The statistics are there. Now is the time to play for the competition that all teams want. I am convinced that we will really fight and that we will go to the final, that’s my goal.”

The team’s dynamic is good with the Ligue 1 title won last weekend – after having extinguished the competition in direct confrontations -, and qualification for the final of the Coupe de France against Lyon on May 25.

Focused on the goal of a historic treble, PSG has exuded an impression of confidence and serenity for several weeks, notably in Barcelona in the quarter-finals (qualification thanks to the 4-1 victory in the return match after the 3-2 defeat at the Parc des Princes).

But serenity and PSG never rhyme for very long and a Champions League semi-final with the status of favorite will not be obvious when we have to face the Yellow Wall at Signal Iduna Park on Wednesday evening. Even though the largest standing stand in Europe will be in UEFA configuration (16,000 places compared to the usual 24,500, to install seats).

“Control emotions”

Luis Enrique, who won the C1 at the head of FC Barcelona in 2015, knows that the main thing, “when important matches arrive, is to control emotions”.

Orphaned by its star Jude Bellingham who left for Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund also proved that it had character during its chaotic season. Dumped in the Bundesliga (5th), regularly crushed like Saturday by Leipzig (4-1), the team nevertheless finished first in the Champions League group which included PSG, AC Milan and Newcastle.

After securing against PSV Eindhoven in the round of 16 (1-1; 2-0), she overturned a very poorly started quarter-final after her first-leg defeat against Atlético Madrid (1-2; 4- 2). And “we are an even more stable and better team than in September or November,” assures coach Edin Terzic.

AFP

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