Gianluigi Donnarumma and his Paris Saint-Germain defense have come under fire from L’Equipe following their sensational collapse in their Champions League exit at the hands of Real Madrid.
PSG led 2-0 on aggregate against the Spanish side with just 30 minutes remaining before Karim Benzema netted a sensational 18-minute hat-trick to turn the tide and eliminate Mauricio Pochettino’s men.
The mood of the encounter changed in the 61st minute when Donnarumma tried to get out of trouble under pressure from Benzema, only to give the ball away and allow the striker to score from close range.
L’Equipe blamed much of the blame for PSG’s collapse against Real Madrid on the defense
PSG’s front page proclaims PSG as ‘punished by King’ Karim Benzema (right)
L’Equipe have now hammered the Italy international, rating him just 2/10, claiming he ‘has weighed down his team’.
PSG captain Marquinhos was also heavily criticized with a rating of 2/10 after being part of a centre-back duo with Presnel Kimpembe (3/10) who struggled to deal with devastating attacks from Benzema and Madrid through the center late.
Marquinhos has been described as his side’s ‘gravedigger’ following a poor pass with Kimpembe that allowed Benzema to strike the winner.
Mauricio Pochettino isn’t getting off too lightly either, with the now-under-pressure boss only given a 4/10 rating by the French daily having become the latest PSG manager to fail in his bid to win. the Champions League.
L’Equipe claimed Pochettino ‘didn’t try anything’ as the tie escaped his side’s grasp.
Gianluigi Donnarumma has been criticized for giving the ball away under pressure from Benzema
However, not all of PSG’s stars were hit hard after the loss, with Kylian Mbappe scoring a superb and brilliant opener throughout to earn him a 7/10 – a PSG tally matched only by Marco. Verratti – and the pair were labeled “flawless”. ‘ for the loss.
Lionel Messi was one of PSG’s highest-rated players with a 6/10 and received a positive review, being described as “very mobile and offering attacking options while showing his vast knowledge of the game”.
Unlike much of the PSG squad, L’Equipe praised Mbappe’s French international team-mate and ‘hero of the game’ Karim Benzema, with the newspaper’s front page also claiming that PSG were ‘punished by the king”.
Traditionally, they’ve made it notoriously difficult to get high scores, but even they couldn’t penalize the striker whose high press and deadly finish earned him a 9/10 rating, just before becoming the 14th player to receive a 10/10.
Kylian Mbappe (left) and Marco Verratti (right) were given positive ratings of 7/10 by L’Equipe
Pochettino is now under huge pressure at the club after the French club’s latest failure in Europe, with president Nasser Al-Khelaifi furious after the defeat.
The former Tottenham and Southampton manager called for calm after the game, despite his side’s shocking collapse.
“The present is all I can handle,” the manager said under fire after the 3-1 loss saw them crash out of Europe.
“As for the future, what will be will be. We play to compete and to win. It’s a hard blow to take but we have to keep a cool head now.
This ‘what will be will be’ answer will not sit well with club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who according to Spanish TV journalist Monica Marchante was incandescent with rage after the defeat.
PSG captain Marquinhos, like Donnarumma, was heavily blamed with a match rating of 2/10
Coach under pressure Mauricio Pochettino only received 4/10 from the French daily
Jamie Carragher agreed with L’Equipe’s assessment, blaming PSG’s ’embarrassing’ defense for their defeat while calling them a kid team.
“It’s absolutely embarrassing, 11 seconds,” Carragher said. “If Real Madrid were playing against an under-15 team or a kids team, that shouldn’t happen,” Carragher said.
“It’s absolutely shameful, really. Players at this level, where they just have to dig in and fight.
“They really, obviously have a very difficult position where they’ve just conceded two goals, but to do that from the kick-off is absolutely embarrassing.”
Lionel Messi watches PSG capitulate once again in Europe Round of 16
Former Real Madrid midfielder Steve McManaman added that a bigger problem for the club could be a mentality issue, insisting he expected them to capitulate in the second half .
“We expected PSG to collapse, it just wasn’t in this game as they were ahead at half-time so far,” he told BT Sport.
“PSG does what PSG has always done, when it’s under pressure, it melts completely”
“There was no organization, no leadership, but from Real Madrid, it was just an amazing, excellent, fantastic night, and another historic night for this team in white.”
BT specialist Rio Ferdinand, however, offered Pochettino support after the defeat
However, there was some support for Pochettino coming from Rio Ferdinand who insisted the former Tottenham boss and potential summer target Manchester United were not to blame for the defeat as the former defender of the Red Devils claimed that PSG’s big ego was costing them.
“Given the history of PSG, many managers have been there and won the league and failed in the Champions League.
“We saw today how the team folded, and it’s not just a one-season episode, it’s something that continuously happens every year you go, ” do you know what, PSG with the talent they have, especially in the attacking areas, with the experience they have, a range of great international players they have, they are going to have a chance to win.
“And they fall in the quarter-finals, in the semi-final hurdles, they lost in the final. It’s something that happens. [It is a] dysfunctional team, I think that pretty much sums up the way they play.
“So I don’t think you can really point the finger too much at Pochettino when it’s happened season after season.”