Luis Enrique defends tactics after PSG’s heavy Champions League defeat to Newcastle
Paris Saint-Germain manager Luis Enrique believes his side ‘didn’t deserve’ to lose by such a big scoreline to Newcastle United in the Champions League. But while Enrique defended his tactics, his players appeared to disagree with how they set up against the Magpies.
Newcastle humbled PSG 4-1 at St. James’ Park on Wednesday night, with goals from Miguel Almiron, Dan Burn, Sean Longstaff and Fabian Schar. The result was fully deserved, with the Premier League side completely outplaying the Ligue 1 champions, with the Parisians unable to deal with their high-pressing opponents.
This is partly because they lined up in an ultra attacking 4-2-2 formation, which lacked a strong spine, and after going 2-0 down before the break many expected Enrique to change things up. But this didn’t happen, with the former Barcelona and Spain boss explaining to Canal+: ‘I thought it was for the best, and I still do.
‘Those are difficult games to live through for a manager. I sincerely think the result is a bit unfair, but not totally. Congratulations to Newcastle, they played very good football. They were effective in the last part of the pitch and we made some mistakes, it is hard to accept that. If you make mistakes you pay for that.
‘Their press worked. We tried to put in front of their goal as many chances as possible but we weren’t so effective in the last part of the pitch. But the scoreline is excessive. The result is so big for them. But I think we didn’t deserve that result.’
PSG’s players told a different story however, with defender Lucas Hernandez, who scored his side’s consolation, seemingly questioning his manager’s tactics when asked apart the lack of midfield strength.
‘It’s the manager’s choice. We tried to get their defence in trouble, but it did not work,’ the French World Cup winner said.
‘We knew it wouldn’t be an easy game. This is the Champions League. Without pace and physicality, you can end up with such a result.’
It remains to be seen what changes Enrique will make ahead of their next Champions League game against Atalanta, but it appears he will have some convincing to do if he wants his players to buy into his tactics. For more stories like this, check our sport page.
Follow Metro Sport for the latest news on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.