PARIS — Paris Saint-Germain conspired to throw away a 2-0 away lead from the first leg with a 3-1 defeat at home to a depleted Manchester United side to exit the Champions League at the last-16 stage for the third consecutive season.
Such a loss from such a favourable position challenges Barcelona’s Remontada in the Round of 16 for inflicted mental damage. Although there were some decent individual performances, it was a collective catastrophe and should not be painted as anything other than that.
For a start, conceding such a soft early goal was a recipe for disaster, while Tuchel’s tactics never felt right and too many experienced players lost their heads.
Everything that was good about PSG’s first leg performance disappeared in the second and leaves the club with serious questions to answer.
Manager rating out of 10
4 — Tuchel sticking with the same starting XI as the first leg was questionable, while he needed to make obvious changes to rectify that before he actually did. It was a rare example of the German not having the answers that he usually does.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Gianluigi Buffon, 3 — Inexplicably nervy after pre-match whispers that Alphonse Areola would start instead, Lukaku took the ball around him for the opening goal and his error gifted the Belgium international his second.
DF Thilo Kehrer, 2 — Horrific. Never looked confident at right-back and committed error after error. It was staggering that Tuchel kept him on until the 70th minute.
DF Thiago Silva (c), 5 — Although he was not guilty of any glaring individual errors, he lost his voice once again when it was needed most, as the defence lacked any sort of authority.
DF Presnel Kimpembe, 4 — Conceded the penalty for United’s winning goal and he and his defensive partners never looked comfortable before that.
DF Juan Bernat, 7 — Scored PSG’s only goal of the evening and also hit the post. Although his late attempted back-heel was risky he was still one of the hosts’ best performers.
MF Marquinhos, 6 — Played out of position when it was not absolutely necessary, he did his best but could not emulate his Old Trafford brilliance. That said, he fared better than many of his teammates.
MF Marco Verratti, 7 — Arguably PSG’s best player and certainly their most combative, he continued to carry the fight while others resigned themselves to their fate.
MF Dani Alves, 3 — Utilised as a makeshift right-winger when other options were available, Tuchel failed to recognise his shortcomings on the pitch until it was too late. A few useful passes to Kylian Mbappe does not constitute a top display.
MF Julian Draxler, 4 — Struggled to shoulder the creative burden, as is often the case in the biggest matches. He was forced off injured 20 minutes from time when a switch out wide at Alves’ expense might have aided him.
MF Angel Di Maria, 5 — Was committed and tried to impose himself but could not replicate his Old Trafford brilliance and picked up a first-half booking.
FW Kylian Mbappe, 4 — Not his usual self, despite his assist for Bernat. He seemed weighed down by the pressure that quickly built up and lost his composure late one when a potentially clinching goal was at stake.
MF Leandro Paredes, N/R — Sent on for the final 20 minutes in Draxler’s place, he wasted little time in picking up a yellow card and was unable to conjure up a goal as part of a rejigged midfield.
DF Thomas Meunier, N/R — Replaced Kehrer too late and got forward well but was unable to help dig out the crucial goal.
FW Edinson Cavani, N/R — Given a desperate run-out towards the end, it was too little, too late, and he was not ready to feature anyway.