Having suffered heartbreak in the Champions League yet again, Paris Saint-Germain resume their quest for the Ligue 1 title with Sunday’s clash against basement boys Bordeaux.
The hosts crashed out of Europe 3-2 on aggregate to Real Madrid in midweek, while Les Girondins’ most recent game saw them suffer a 2-0 league defeat to Troyes.
Another year, another Champions League capitulation for Paris Saint-Germain. Kylian Mbappe’s audition for an expected move to the Bernabeu certainly went according to plan with two goals over the course of the tie, but an existing Real Madrid veteran single-handedly ended PSG’s hopes of a coveted European crown.
After Mbappe had struck to put PSG 2-0 up on aggregate at the Bernabeu, Karim Benzema took full advantage of PSG’s lapses in defensive concentration to claim a phenomenal hat-trick and send the 13-time winners through to the quarter-finals at the expense of the shell-shocked Parisiens.
The emotion of the occasion was too much for president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who reportedly tried to storm into the referee’s room and broke equipment after a perceived foul on Gianluigi Donnarumma for Benzema’s first goal was not given, and Mauricio Pochettino shared his superior’s frustrations after the game.
PSG now only have the Ligue 1 title left to fight for this season, and an Mbappe-less side suffered a second straight league defeat on the road to Nice 1-0 last weekend, but they still boast an unassailable 13-point lead at the top of the rankings.
While Pochettino has now overseen three straight defeats away from home in all competitions, PSG welcome Bordeaux to the Parc des Princes unbeaten in their last 16 top-flight home matches – winning 15 of them – and the out-of-form visitors will be wary of a wounded capital outfit.
There was a time not that long ago when Bordeaux would also be competing for spots in the knockout stages of the Champions League, but amid their dire on and off-field predicament, Les Girondins are now the favourites for the drop.
It was a tale of two penalties in their meeting with Troyes in gameweek 27, as Gaetan Poussin had seemingly stopped Mama Balde’s spot kick before unintentionally flicking the ball past the line with his heel, and Lebo Mothiba made no mistake from the spot in the 87th minute.
New manager David Guion is running out of time to save Bordeaux’s bacon and avoid a first league relegation for Les Girondins since 1990 – ironically also due to administrative problems – with his side sack rock bottom of the pile and three points adrift of safety.
A whopping 38 goals conceded away from home also represents the worst record of its kind in the 2021-22 Ligue 1 season – contributing to 65 shipped in total for a disheartened Bordeaux – but on something of a brighter note, 38 goals scored is by far the highest out of the bottom eight sides.
Les Girondins struck two of those goals in PSG earlier in the season but still slumped to a 3-2 defeat against the league leaders, and not since March 2015 have the basement side prevailed in this fixture, so they would do well to take a leaf out of Real Madrid’s book.
Paris Saint-Germain Ligue 1 form:
Paris Saint-Germain form (all competitions):
Bordeaux Ligue 1 form:
We say: Paris Saint-Germain 5-0 Bordeaux
Bordeaux fans ought to be fearful of a wounded PSG seeking an emphatic return to winning ways, with Pochettino’s crop now going all out for the league with nothing else to focus on.
PSG have remained a largely unstoppable force at home amid their struggles on rival turf, and against a Bordeaux side conceding goal after goal, the capital side should recover from their Champions League exit with a crushing victory.