PSG has not found an answer for its struggling squad as they attempt to navigate during their first season since Lionel Messi and Neymar departed.
A driven Newcastle United squad put on a show in their first Champions League home match in 20 years as they cruised to a 4-1 victory over Paris St-Germain on Wednesday.
PSG left-back Lucas Hernandez scored the only lone goal for the Parisians as Newcastle’s Miguel Almiron, Dan Burn, Sean Longstaff, and Fabian Schar all fired into the French net.
The PSG match was fumbled a range of defensive mistakes and tactical mishap that has been blamed on coach Luis Enrique.
The newly appointed coach played a 4-2-2 formation, using a four-player defensive line and a midfield split into two pairs for the entire match.
The former Spanish boss defended his decision, saying his team didn’t deserve to lose.
“I thought it was for the best, and I still do. Those are difficult games to live through for a manager. I sincerely think the result is a bit unfair, but not totally,” Enrique told reporters after the game.
“Congratulations to Newcastle, they played very good football. They were effective in the last part of the pitch and we made some mistakes, it is hard to accept that. If you make mistakes you pay for that,” the PSG head added.
“Their press worked. We tried to put in front of their goal as many chances as possible, but we weren’t so effective in the last part of the pitch. But the scoreline is excessive. The result is so big for them. But I think we didn’t deserve that result.”
However, Hernandez, who scored PSG’s lone goal, didn’t appear to agree with Enrique’s tactics when asked about the team’s performance.
“It’s the manager’s choice. We tried to get their defence in trouble, but it did not work. We knew it wouldn’t be an easy game. This is the Champions League. Without pace and physicality, you can end up with such a result,” the French player said in the postgame conference.
PSG has constantly been weak in the Champions League stage, but the match against Newcastle was another disappointing moment for the Qatari-owned team as it faced its heaviest group-stage defeat in the tournament.
To make things worse, PSG have failed to record a single first-half shot on target in a Champions League group stage game for the first time since November 2013 against Anderlecht.
The team will now focus on the local league as they move to Ligue 1 action against Rennes. The match is crucial as PSG currently sits fifth in the league and, if defeated, can see another slip in their standings.