LONDON: Another year and another embarrassing early exit from the Champions League for PSG.
Make no mistake, this was the one trophy the Qatar-owned club wanted to win — Ligue 1 now reduced to a boring procession by the pile of money (over $1 billion) injected into the club.
Two years on from their humiliation at the same stage against Barcelona — when they let slip a four-goal lead from the first leg — and PSG once again are left with the realization that money can only buy you so much.
It seems strange to cast Manchester United — a club that for many typifies the business-first approach of modern-day football clubs — as plucky outsiders. But that is exactly what they were on Wednesday night. Given no chance against Kylian Mbappe and Co. and with virtually a second XI on the pitch, the contrast with their moneybags opponents could not have been more stark. But they illustrated a work ethic and, to use Solskjaer’s word, “humbleness” that once again was so clearly lacking in PSG.
Qatari cash has not only destroyed the French League, but, ironically, also PSG’s chance of success, in the short-term at least, in Europe. On every occasion the capital club have been asked questions and forced to battle they have been found wanting. United displayed exactly what PSG needed — fun and fight.
That they achieved it with a host of home-grown players who cost nothing and an interim coach who is there for the love of the club and game, and not a huge paycheck, speaks volumes as the Qatar-owned club ponder where they go from here.
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