Champions League: "Super-difficile" situation for Tuchel's Paris

Champions League: "Super-difficile" situation for Tuchel's Paris
  • Thomas Tuchel and Paris Saint-Germain do not get past Naples 1: 1.
  • Ironically, Juan Bernat makes the 1: 0, Lorenzo Insigne meets by penalty against Gianluigi Buffon to equalize.
  • Due to the unexpected defeat of Liverpool FC in Belgrade, the group remains exciting until the end.


By Birgit Schönau, Naples

Carlo Ancelotti probably does not count to the tutors of Thomas Tuchel, Pep Guardiola but already. At least Tuchel Tuchel is just about to overtake the Catalans, by the way in a polished French, where the supersuperlative hotter more neat, and anyway somehow everything sounds more elegant. Even if the situation is not at all süper for Tuchel's PSG, at the very most süper difficult. "Super-difficile", as the coach admitted after the recent draw against Ancelottis Naples and also "super-dur", so super-tough and super-hard. The fact that Tuchel repeated these words like a mantra was certainly not due to the fact that he lacked the words: "It is definitely positive that we can progress on our own, we have two more matches and we can win them." Super-Dur, already very clear.

At the 1: 1 in the sold-out Stadio San Paolo, the epicenter was clearly abroad – to quote here a fitting Italian Bonmot. The earthquake took place in Belgrade, where Red Star unexpectedly brought Jürgen Klopp's Liverpool 2-0 down. In the group C with the two German star coaches now all knobs on two points: Liverpool and Napoli 6, PSG 5, Belgrade 4.

"That means sweating to the end," growled Ancelotti, and it was obvious to him how little this professional of cosiness liked: "We were too careful in the first half." The aggressively playing French managed just before the break whistle the opening goal by Juan Bernat. "I'm used to my ex-players beating me," grinned Ancelotti. "But Bernat, he never does." In Italy, where many do not even know that Uli Hoeneß is again Bayern president, a coach can make such jokes – especially on an evening when Hoeness so negatively rated player was one of the best in the team, more energetic than Mbappé and more efficient than Neymar.

But one must say that the reliable out-of-bounds audience had lurked less on the offensive world stars of the Süper Millionär troupe from Paris as the compatriot in the gate. Behind him, even former local hero Edinson Cavani, who came in the final stage and was well-behaved with applause, faded. But the star of the evening was different.

Buffon is enthusiastically booed

Gianluigi Buffon was able to make his Champions League debut for PSG, of all places, in the stadium where he is hated most fervently as an eternal Juventus captain. Or at least it does so, but with a lot of effort. From the first to the last minute, Buffon was enthusiastically booed, he waved back often, and when he saw Lorenzo Insigne in front of him, the PSG goalkeeper began to dance. Napoli had a penalty after Buffon was overly eager to help his colleague Thiago Silva and brought down José Callejon in the penalty area. Insigne stepped to the point. And Buffon laughed at him. It was a picture for the gods, the tree-long, elastically jumping goalie chop in the red jersey and the 1.63-meter little assailant, who was staring past him in concentration.

"I just laughed," Buffon said later. "And Lorenzo met." With a sharp low shot into the left corner, the third goal in this CL season. It was 1-1 (62nd) and stayed with it. "All right," Buffon said, "we dominated one half, and after the break, the Neapolitans were better." Which gave him a lot of work, because Naples suddenly produced a shot on goal after the next.

The experience of many encounters in Serie A may have helped the 40-year-old keeper, who was finally allowed to play international again after three days of suspension. Reason for the penalty was the dismissal of the goalkeeper in the final stages of the quarter-final Juventus – Real Madrid. Buffon exploded with rage after the red card and covered the referee with wild injuries. "I missed the Champions League," he confessed now. "I really suffered because I feel wronged, the red card was really incredible!" At Juventus, they had offered Buffon a management job, but the goalkeeper was keen to play. The match under Vesuvius obviously enjoyed Buffon, not to mention the result.

New game New luck. PSG will welcome Liverpool on November 28th. In the first leg, the Klopp 3: 2 had won, was Buffon colleague Alphonse Areola in goal. This time Tuchel apparently wanted to put experience – the right choice. Speaking of experience, Ancelotti made his 200th European Cup appearance on Tuesday. SSC Napoli have not lost any game with him yet.

Thomas Tuchel already speaks French better than Ancelotti ever did at PSG, but one of the hard-working Germans could certainly learn from the cozy Italian: how to manage a result. In Naples Tuchel has shown that he has understood the lesson from the first leg, his troops acted much more compact and concentrated. Now a dose of relaxed cynicism and the Chose could run smoother.

But still to tame

The highly praised offensive of BVB weakened at 0: 2 at Atlético Madrid and does not even shoot the gate. The upcoming opponent from Munich will pull his lessons out of the game.

By Felix Meininghaus

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