Gianluigi Donnarumma and his defence have been slammed by L’Equipe following Paris Saint-Germain’s sensational collapse in their Champions League exit at the hands of Real Madrid.
PSG were 2-0 up on aggregate against the Spanish side with just 30 minutes to play before Karim Benzema struck a sensational 18-minute hat-trick to turn the tie around and dump out Mauricio Pochettino’s men.
The mood of the tie changed in the 61st minute when keeper Donnarumma attempted to play his way out of trouble when under pressure by Benzema, only to give the ball away and allow the striker to score from close range.
L’Equipe pinned much of the blame of PSG’s collapse against Real Madrid on the defence
PSG’s front page proclaimed PSG as being ‘punished by the King’ Karim Benzema (right)
L’Equipe have now hammered the Italy international giving him a rating of just 2/10 claiming ‘he weighed his team down’.
PSG captain Marquinhos was also heavily criticised with a 2/10 rating having been part of a centre-back pairing along with Presnel Kimpembe (3/10) who struggled to handle Benzema and Madrid’s devastating attacks through the centre late on.
Marquinhos was described as his team’s ‘grave digger’ following a poor pass with Kimpembe that allowed Benzema to hit the winner.
Mauricio Pochettino doesn’t get off too lightly either with the now under pressure boss given just a 4/10 rating by the French daily having become the latest PSG manager to fail in their objective to win the Champions League. L’Equipe claimed Pochettino ‘didn’t try anything’ as the tie slipped out of his team’s grasp.
Not all of PSG’s stars were hit hard following the defeat though, with Kylian Mbappe netting a superb opening goal and shining throughout the tie to earn him a 7/10 – a PSG score matched only by Marco Verratti – and the pair were labelled ‘blameless’ for the loss.
Gianluigi Donnarumma was slammed for giving the ball away under pressure from Benzema
Lionel Messi was one of PSG’s more highly rated players with a 6/10 and was given a positive review, being described as ‘very mobile and offering attacking options while showing his vast knowledge of the game.’
By contrast to much of the PSG squad there was high praise from L’Equipe for Mbappe’s French international team-mate and ‘hero of the game’ Karim Benzema, with the paper’s front page also claiming that PSG were ‘punished by the King’.
Traditionally they have made it notoriously difficult to gain high scores, but not even they could penalise the striker whose high press and lethal finishing earned him a 9/10 rating, just shy of becoming only the 14th player to receive a 10/10.
Pochettino is now under huge pressure at the club following the French club’s latest failure in Europe, with president Nasser Al-Khelaifi left fuming following the loss.
Kylian Mbappe (left) and Marco Verratti (right) were given positive 7/10 ratings by L’Equipe
Pochettino had called for calm after the game, despite the shocking collapse of his side.
‘The present is all I can deal with,’ said the under-fire manager after the 3-1 defeat 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 calm head now.’
That ‘que sera sera’ response will not go down well with the club’s president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who Spanish television reporter Monica Marchante reported was incandescent with rage after the defeat.
PSG captain Marquinhos, like Donnarumma, was heavily blamed with a 2/10 match rating
Under pressure manager Mauricio Pochettino was given just a 4/10 by the French daily
Jamie Carragher agreed with L’Equipe’s assessment, blaming PSG’s ’embarrassing’ defending for their loss while calling them a kid’s team.
‘This is absolutely embarrassing, 11 seconds,’ Carragher said. ‘If Real Madrid were playing against an Under 15 team or a kids team, this shouldn’t happen,’ Carragher said.
‘This is absolutely disgraceful, it really is. Players at this level, where they’ve just got to dig in and fight.
‘They really have, obviously really difficult position where they’ve just conceded two goals but to do that straight from a kick-off is absolutely embarrassing.’
Lionel Messi looks on as PSG once again capitulated in the knockout stages of Europe
Former Real Madrid midfielder Steve McManaman added that a bigger problem for the club could be a mentality one, insisting he was expecting them to capitulate in the second half.
‘We expected PSG to unravel, it just wasn’t in this game because they were so far on top at half-time,’ he told BT Sport.
‘PSG do what PSG have always done, when they come under pressure, they absolutely melt away
‘There was no organisation, no leadership, yet from Real Madrid it was just an incredible, excellent, fantastic night, and another historic evening for this team in white.’
BT pundit Rio Ferdinand though offered some support for Pochettino following the defeat
However, there was some support for Pochettino coming from Rio Ferdinand who insisted the former Tottenham boss and potential summer target for Manchester United was not to blame for the defeat, as the former Red Devils defender claimed PSG’s big egos cost them.
‘Given the history of PSG, many managers have been there now and won the league and failed in the Champions League.
‘We saw today how the team folded, and this isn’t just a one season episode, this is something that continually happens every single year where you go, ”do you know what, PSG with the talent they’ve got, especially in attacking areas, with the experience that they’ve got, an array of international big players they’ve got, they’re gonna have a chance of winning it”.
‘And they fall at the quarter-final, semi-final hurdles, they’ve lost in the final. This is something that just happens. [It is a] dysfunctional team, I think that sums it up quite well about the way that they play.
‘So I don’t think you can really point the finger too much at Pochettino when this has happened season after season.’