CL Semi-final Review: PSG dominate Leipzig to advance to final

Given how accomplished a performance Leipzig gave in the quarter-final against Champions League veterans Atletico Madrid, it was surprising just how little chance pundits gave them as they faced off against PSG. As it turned out, Leipzig had their moments but were outclassed by Neymar, Mbappe et al. For all the star power of PSG’s two main men, it was Angel Di Maria that balled out, taking the SuperStack prize on a massive 98p payout.

Di Maria’s delivery was pinpoint to allow Marquinhos to open the scoring for PSG, he converted with calmness when Neymar flicked the ball into his path for his team’s second, and he was again on the money with a cross onto Juan Bernat’s head for Les Parisiens to kill the game in the second half. The Argentine’s performance had everything – in addition to his goal involvements he had a base score of 38p. PSG broke quickly in the second half with Leipzig stretched and chasing a goal, and this helped Di Maria to accumulate a total of 8p for dribbles, 7p for ball recoveries, 8p for CBIs and 6p for passes made (chart below).

As we can see from the chart below, PSG players generally paid out very well. While Di Maria starred, rearguard action provided a solid platform for PSG to build out from. Although Sergio Rico in goal wasn’t really troubled (final payout of 43p), the average payout for PSG’s back four was 58p.

Juan Bernat claimed the third goal, giving

him a strong payout of 64p, but it is the central partnership that we are most impressed by. Thiago Silva, PSG’s 35-year-old captain, was imperious playing as the sweeping centre-half. His payout graphic (right) is one of the cleanest we’ve seen, and he earned an excellent 40p base payout. While Silva didn’t make any negative actions in the game, the same cannot be said for his partner, Presnel Kimpembe. Kimpembe played as the aggressive centre-half, and although he was given a yellow card

on the stroke of half time, he was able to bounce back in the second half to earn a strong payout of 56p (left). He had 9 ball recoveries, 12 CBIs and 90 passes. This sort of display from the Silva-Kimpembe partnership will be vital if they are to slow the goalscoring juggernaut of Bayern Munich in the final.

We would be remiss not to discuss Neymar – traders were piling into him before kick-off both on the exchange and on SuperStack, but the Brazilian was not quite as sharp as the punters might have hoped. He earned a final payout of 52p, constantly threatening a mega-score that never came. He hit the woodwork inside the first ten minutes as PSG cut open Leipzig’s defence with ease, but that was pretty much as close as he came to finding the net. He rattled the same post with a free kick, seeking to catch out Peter Gulacsi in the Leipzig goal, and shot wide from a golden opportunity just before half-time. He played his part superbly in PSG’s second, flicking a cross with a volleyed backheel onto the waiting Di Maria, but that was as good as it got. His price pushed up to the 70p mark, but during the second half he and his colleague repeatedly fluffed their lines.

On the Leipzig side, the top performers were Peter Gulacsi and Marcel Sabitzer. Sabitzer demonstrated his unerring consistency with a 44p payout – he had 15p from shots on target, 9p from ball recoveries and 7p from passes made. Gulacsi had a shocking first half but recovered admirably, particularly in the final 20 minutes. He gifted PSG possession in the run up to their second goal, and was allocated an error leading to goal accordingly – the dreaded -12p – and had come close to giving another away in the opening ten minutes. He was available to buy for around 19p with 20 minutes remaining and this would have proven a fantastic trade, as he racked up five saves with the game coming to an end, to finish on a 42p payout (below).

Leipzig’s lineup was, of course, littered with disappointing performances. Nordi Mukiele began well, with the responsibility of keeping Kylian Mbappe quiet he was bound to be busy. He fell apart in the second half, credited with an error in the buildup to PSG’s third, finishing on a payout of 27p. Christopher Nkunku was poor in his 45 minutes on pitch, finishing on 16p. He registered four fouls before being subbed at half time, a ball recovery and an early shot on target his only positive contributions. Even worse than Nkunku though was Konrad Laimer, who was on a payout of 9p when he was eventually subbed in the 62nd minute. He was booked for his fifth foul shortly before his substitution, capping off a miserable night where the PSG midfield were firmly in control.

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