Winners don’t make excusesArticle
«Go back

BLOG: PSG’s lack of togetherness sees them let another half-time lead slip against a Kiel team which knew how to grab the win without firing on all cylinders

Winners don’t make excuses

Anyone who is a fan of "Suits", the classic American TV show, knows Harvey Specter. If you don't know him, get to know him, he is a class act and he has some great quotes. 

"Winners don't make excuses when the other side plays the game"

Kiel beat PSG, and to be honest in the first half they could have had no excuses when they were losing as Paris looked like a team that had broken down last week's match into its constituent parts and found an answer to the 3-2-1 defence.

Hours pouring over the video analysis showed the frailties of this aggressive cover and Paris exploited it time and again. They moved off the ball, to a second line position and it seemed that every attack would lead to a goal. Their percentages at the end of the half showed most players at the top of their game. They only shot when they knew the goal was on and just about everyone was at 100%. By contrast Kiel's percentages were rock bottom. Their goalkeepers couldn't have caught a cold and the returning Omeyer was basking in a golden thirty minutes. And yet, the score was only one in favour of PSG. 

The fact was that Gislason realising that the 3-2-1 was falling asunder, reverted to a simple 6-0, or sometimes a 5-1. It gave stability to Kiel and caused Paris some difficulties as they seemed brainwashed into only playing against the defence they had faced last week.

Believe it or not, the score differential was the same as last week, and just as last week, the Parisians scored early in the second half to get a two-goal lead. And that was as good as it got for them. From somewhere within the winning mentality of Kiel, emerged the fighters that would do the deed.

An ineffective Sjostrand was replaced by Palicka and he pulled off a superb run of three saves. Omeyer wilted in the face of the Kiel onslaught and Kiel managed a six-goal turnaround. Their aggressive 3-2-1, reinstated, caused havoc among the French attack. Ball after ball went astray, was intercepted and was dispatched at the other end. Canellas was imperious, so was Vujin and earlier Sprenger had scored a classic from a tight angle on the right wing. All of these elements together made up the win. There was nothing singular that could be pinpointed, every save or counter attack in and of itself seemed to turn the screw on PSG.

Hansen comes out of the game with great credit. He was the man keeping their fingertips clinging to the cliff face. Barachet also has a great future. His movement and interplay was great, but he's not yet the "go to" guy. Others simply faded from the game as it started to move inexorably away from them.

Each time out ended with "Paris, ensemble (together)” but the togetherness evaded them. The team play of the first twenty minutes was fading fast as the minutes ticked by.

You get the impression that with Paris, it's "Come on, let's do it", whereas with Kiel, it's "Come on, this is how we do it"

It's a subtle difference, but the tactical acumen of the German team is there to see. They are not even yet playing at their full potential. 

It's frightening to think that they were missing Jicha and Palmarsson, but still retained so many match winners. Toft Hansen and Wiencek, suffice it to say, are becoming the bedrock of their defence

Kiel made no excuses when PSG were playing, and winning the game, there were no whys and wherefores, just a rationalisation that led to vindication. 

The spectre of Kiel still hangs over this PSG team and haunts their reverie. 

TEXT: Tom O'Brannagain, commentator