PSG 0-0 Real Madrid – 5 Talking Points

Published 10/21/2015, 6:01 PM EDT

The most talked about match of this week, PSG vs Real Madrid ended in a 0-0 draw as both teams couldn’t break the deadlock. The score doesn’t tell the whole story though, as the match in itself was intense and of a very high quality.

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PSG kept more of the ball, as Real looked to counter-attack whenever possible. Madrid made the better chances throughout the match, and looked deadly on the counter. PSG tried a late flurry, but were unable to break a resilient Real Madrid defence, a defence which has only conceded two goals in 11 games in all competitions.

Here are the five major talking points from the match :

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1) Angel di Maria Against Real Madrid

This match was special for the Argentine winger Angel di Maria, as he was playing against his former club Real Madrid for the first time since leaving them. Di Maria moved to United around 18 months ago after helping Real win the La Decima.

Paris Saint Germain’s Angel Di Maria (L) challenges Real Madrid’s Marcelo (R) during their Champions League Group A soccer match at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, France, October 21, 2015. REUTERS/Charles Platiau (FRANCE – Tags: SPORT SOCCER)

But after having a disappointing first season at United, Di Maria moved to the French champions. Di Maria had a relatively quiet game, as he showed glimpses of quality. He was later substituted by the Brazilian winger Lucas.

2) A Weak Real Madrid Side

Injury woes for Real Madrid continued as Rafael Benitez was forced to field many second choice players. Gareth Bale’s calf problem kept him out of the game, as his place was taken by Lucas Vasquez, who was re-signed this season. Karim Benzema had reportedly recovered from his injury he sustained during international duties, but the Frenchman was not risked.

Paris Saint Germain’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic (L) challenges Real Madrid’s Lucas Vazquez (R) during their Champions League Group A soccer match at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, France, October 21, 2015. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Another young player in the form of Jese Rodriguez was the replacement for the French striker. Luka Modric was benched as he has just come back from a thigh injury. Casemiro, who has been in very fine form for Madrid, was fielded in the Croat’s place. James Rodriguez, Pepe and Dani Carvajal were amongst the other players who missed the game due to injuries.

3) Cavani Plays on the Left

Uruguay forward Edinson Cavani was played in his unnatural left wing position. The strong striker is more of a centre forward and looks dangerous when he plays in the centre. But Laurent Blanc used him on the left hand side, and Cavani was not able to affect the game at all.

Paris Saint Germain’s Edinson Cavani (L) challenges Real Madrid’s Danilo (R) during their Champions League Group A soccer match at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, France, October 21, 2015. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

After being played in the centre in the second half, Cavani started to look more lively in the game. He gave some trouble to the Real Madrid defence, before being substituted by Javier Pastore in the second half.

4) Ronaldo Deployed in the No 9 Role

With Karim Benzema still not fully fit to start the match, Cristiano Ronaldo was again used in the no. 9 role by Benitez. Ronaldo didn’t have the best of matches, as the Portuguese superstar wasn’t allowed too much space in the match. But he still managed to get two headers on target, forcing saves on both occasions. And the best chance of the game also fell to Ronaldo, when Marcelo set him up for a ferocious left-foot volley from a tight angle which grazed the post.

Paris Saint Germain’s Thiago Silva (R) gives a hand to Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo during their Champions League Group A soccer match at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, France, October 21, 2015. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

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5) The Most Unexpected of Results

With both side boasting some of the best attacking talents in world football, no one expected the match would end up in a 0-0 draw. Although the quality of football was at its best, the fact that both teams failed to score always signifies a below-par match. Especially when the likes of Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic, Cavani, Di Maria, Isco and many more are playing on the same pitch.

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Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo (L) walks away as Paris Saint Germain’s goalkeeper Kevin Trapp (C) assists Paris Saint Germain’s Marco Verratti(R) during their Champions League Group A soccer match at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, France, October 21, 2015. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

The credit mostly goes to the wonderful defensive performance of both the teams, especially Real Madrid, who didn’t allow PSG room to make any clear cut chances.

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Paritosh Gautam

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