The Europa League looks like a slightly more realistic dream now

Frändén after PSG – Leipzig

PARIS. Most recently, Leipzig had to leave the PSG meeting with a bitter aftertaste and a slight panic in the Champions League. Tonight, the Germans resurfaced at the last minute.

A point and a continued chance in Europe for Emil Forsberg.

Poetic justice for Leipzig after the islet walk in Paris the other day.

RB Leipzig had zero points in the group stage and the very cruel 3-2 loss this week into the Red Bull Arena tonight. That time, the East Germans left Paris with an unresolved issue, but with an effort that made them believe in life after the Champions League group stage.

Tonight, Leipzig put in the blow immediately.

After eight minutes, PSG product Christopher Nkunku nodded in 1-0 against a removed PSG defense. Three minutes later, Danilo Pereira pushed Leipzig’s André Silva into the penalty area and the home team suddenly had time to extend to a two-goal lead after just over ten minutes. Time for Emil Forsberg to step into the documents? No. André Silva took care of the punishment himself and of course he should not have done so. Gianluigi Donnarumma put on his most noisy grin and did not have to move more than a few meters to the right to easily pinch the weakly placed penalty. Forsberg shook his head angrily.

Far below the expected level

Still 1-0 in other words, and at Red Bull Arena the feeling spread that the penalty kick would be expensive for them and that momentum as well as changed direction in the match. But it was not a penalty for Leipzig in the match. On the other hand, there was a very real end to momentum – for the moment.

A few minutes later, Kylian Mbappé put a ball centrally and quite accurately on Giorginio Wijnaldum’s foot and in the net. The Dutchman, who went from a starting place and a lot of playing time at the start of the season to a few innings and ice time at the end, celebrated the equalizer with a facial expression almost aggressively with relief. If it is possible at all.

PSG’s games so far this season have often been well below expected levels. Above all, the spectacular new acquisitions have had a hard time asserting themselves. Sergio Ramos has not made a single match yet, the disappointment Lionel Messi was injured against Lille last and was missing today. But the car has almost fallen over Gini Wijnaldum the hardest. After a bunch of confused matches in September, one of the Dutchman’s “close friends” spoke out in the newspaper L’Équipe and said that the PSG signing and signing of a three-year contract was a bad idea:

– He is only thirty years old, but he has his best time behind him. He’s out.

A so-called buddy pass as hard as anyone.

But tonight, Wijnaldum showed again a few minutes before the break why he is not only an emergency solution when Marco Veratti is missing, but actually a good idea with Mauricio Pochettino. On a lifted ball by Marquinhos, the Dutchman nodded in the 1-2 goal from suspected offside position. A couple of shaky moments later, Swedish Andreas Ekberg had to revoke the assistant referee’s decision and give PSG the lead. Ice release for Gini Wijnaldum. Curtain for the red bulls from Leipzig.


Wijnaldum became a two-goal shooter.

Europa League a realistic dream

In the second half it looked more and more like that. Leipzig certainly came to a couple of really nice positions, Hungarian talent Dominik Szoboszlai basically had an open goal when he shot outside, but it smelled more and more French victory. It smelled more and more German failure and zero points in four rounds of the Champions League for the team that was in the semifinals as recently as two years ago.

Leipzig’s coach Jesse Marsch replaced Emil Forsberg with just over half an hour left in the match. With ten minutes left of regular match time, Marsch seemed to run out over the chairs in the home box and looked almost demonstratively to have given up.

But PSG would give Leipzig a free ticket into the match again. It was 90+ when Presnel Kimpembe climbed on the back of his old teammate Christopher Nkunku in the penalty area and a riot broke out. Dominik Szoboszlai appeared on cue near the post, and steered it past the goalie. And this time Leipzig did not burn. 2-2 and a panicky point to the Germans when two rounds remain. The Europa League looks like a slightly more realistic dream for Forsberg and company.

PSG handed over first place to Manchester City, who cleared away Club Brugge tonight without any major problems.
So went another night in the European game and will never come again.


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The Europa League looks like a slightly more realistic dream now