Whew! It was downright painful to watch but Paris Saint-Germain are through to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League after a 1-1 draw against FC Barcelona (5-2 on aggregate).
On the latest episode of PSG Talking, I'm thrilled to be joined by James and Carl-Oscar, two contributors we haven't had on the show in a while but are passionate PSG supporters who know their stuff.
We begin with our overall thoughts on a match that most supporters would call disappointing. Sure, PSG drew and advanced to the next round over their European rivals, but Barcelona's dominating performance definitely puts manager, Mauricio Pochettino, under the microscope (especially after the decision to start Julian Draxler).
Miraculously, PSG did score first via a Kylian Mbappé penalty in the first half and we debate whether the penalty should have been given at all after incidental contact on Mauro Icardi.
Speaking of penalties, the match turned on its head right before halftime when Layvin Kurzawa conceded a penalty. Lionel Messi, coming off a rocket shot to tie the game, stepped up to take the penalty that was ultimately saved by Keylor Navas.
That effort alone would have made Navas the Man of the Match but the Costa Rica international made one spectacular save after another on the night and he showed why PSG moved on from players like Alphonse Areola and Kevin Trapp.
In the second half, Pochettino used all of his substitutions, including taking off the struggling Kurzawa for Abdou Diallo. We discuss the manager's decisions, Diallo's surprisingly excellent performance, and how Angel Di Maria helped PSG close out the game.
We wrap up the show by discussing the team's we hope PSG draws in the quarter-finals, whether Messi will come to PSG in the summer, and TV shows/movies we're watching at the moment. After that 90 minutes of hanging on for dear life, I think we all could benefit from watching something non-football.
As always, thank you for listening, and be sure to subscribe and rate the show wherever you download your podcasts.