Paris Saint-Germain suffered a stunning Champions League exit at the hands of Manchester United on Wednesday night and the French press have been unforgiving in their coverage of the Ligue 1 champions’ defeat.
Thomas Tuchel’s side appeared to have one foot already in the last eight after winning the first leg of their last-16 tie 2-0 at Old Trafford.
However, the Parisians imploded in front of their own fans to crash out on away goals thanks to Marcus Rashford’s 94th-minute penalty, awarded after the intervention of the Video Assistant Referee.
It is fair to say that after spending heavily to build one of the most feared line-ups in European football, PSG’s departure from the competition they so crave to win has not gone down too well with the media across the Channel.
Le Parisien described PSG’s exit as “unforgivable” and said the club was “cursed”. And Tuchel appears to be on borrowed time after his team became the first side in Champions League history to be eliminated having won by two or more goals away from home in the first leg of a knockout match.
Meanwhile, columnist Dominique Severac described the result as “an earthquake” and “an industrial accident” for PSG, writing in Le Parisien: “There was the ‘remontada’ (Barcelona’s comeback against PSG) in 2017, there is now the trauma of 2019, confirming the club is cursed.”
Severac added that United’s winner was a “hellish cruelty, sending the capital club back to its demons, its mental fragility, its unlikely individual mistakes”.
“If it had been written, nobody would believe it,” he added. “It exists and it’s completely crazy, surreal, crazy, unprecedented. Sad if we love PSG, incredible if we worship football, very ‘PSG’ if we follow PSG.
“With PSG, it’s often (the team’s) own fault, reminding the opponent that he does not have to push too hard to bring down this paper giant.”
Elsewhere, L’Equipe described the outcome as a “cataclysm” for PSG, with Damien Degorre writing: “Who (is) to blame? Gianluigi Buffon, for not managing to hold a harmless strike from Marcus Rashford, while Manchester United did not exist in this match?
“Kylian Mbappe, who had the ball at 2-2, alone against David de Gea, in the 84th minute? Thilo Kehrer, who had placed the same Lukaku and his team in orbit while the match had just started?
“Thomas Tuchel, who gave the feeling of suffering the end of the match and to be satisfied with this sufficient defeat by a (single) goal until the beginnings of the additional time?”