Paris Saint-Germain are through to the latter stages of the Champions League once again as they continue their desperate quest to lift Europe’s major trophy.
The Ligue 1 side were in a group with Juventus, Benfica and Maccabi Haifa, which had the makings of a potentially very tough passage to the round of 16.
It did not prove tough in terms of making it through, but Les Parisiens did not manage to top the group as that honour went to Benfica.
PSG kicked off their campaign at home to Juventus and despite a fairly tight affair at the Parc des Princes, they came out as 2-1 winners.
A 3-1 win over Maccabi Haifa in Israel followed to put them on six points but Benfica winning away at Juventus meant they were on equal terms.
The two sides then drew 1-1 in Lisbon and 1-1 in Paris, cementing themselves as the two teams that will be heading into the next round as Juventus and Maccabi Haifa beat each other once each.
Heading into Matchday 5, it was intriguing to see who would slip up first. Benfica were at home to Juventus and despite the game ending 4-3, the Portuguese side should have won by a much wider margin. That is what PSG did, winning 7-2 at home to Maccabi Haifa.
With goal difference on the French team’s side, Benfica needed a big goal swing to top the group if PSG beat Juventus. Christophe Galtier’s side won in Turin 2-1, but Benfica scored in stoppage time to make it 6-1 away at Maccabi Haifa to clinch top spot in the group.
PSG attacker Lionel Messi sits top of the assists table from the group stage with four, while both Kylian Mbappe and Neymar Jr have three.
Mbappe is top of the scoring charts with seven, Messi got four and Neymar two.
In the absence of another French team in the round of 16, PSG are able to play everyone except Benfica as they were the winners of their own group. PSG’s possible opponents are:
That is a pretty formidable set of possible opponents for PSG and there could be some genuine fear that their journey will end much earlier than expected.
Napoli, Porto and Spurs, while extremely tough ties, will likely be who the fans would like to see their side come up against. Chelsea could be next on that list, but then there are three teams who are seen as serious favourites to win the whole tournament.
Coming up against Manchester City immediately removes one of the two teams expected to be in the latter stages this season and would cause serious internal turmoil for whichever club goes out.
There will be certain mental demons if they come up against Bayern Munich as that is who beat PSG in the final in 2020/21. Bayern Munich also won all six of their group games.
The demons could be even greater against Real Madrid because Los Blancos knocked PSG out last season in the round of 16 after three goals in less than 20 minutes from French striker Karim Benzema.