Paris Saint-Germain know their margin for error is getting smaller as they welcome Leipzig to the Parc des Princes with ground to make up in Group H.
• The French club eased past their German rivals in last season’s semi-final but got a taste of their own medicine on Matchday 3 of the current campaign, goals either side of half-time from former Paris winger Christopher Nkunku (42) and Emil Forsberg (57 pen) securing a comeback victory after Ángel Di María had put the visitors into a sixth-minute lead.
• That left Leipzig level with Manchester United on six points at the top of Group H, with Paris and İstanbul Başakşehir three points behind.
• Thomas Tuchel’s side were comfortable winners against Leipzig at the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica on 18 August. An early Marquinhos goal (13) was added to by Di María three minutes before the break, Juan Bernat ending any lingering hopes for Julian Nagelsmann’s Leipzig with a third goal 12 minutes into the second half.
• While that was the teams’ first competitive fixture, Leipzig defeated Paris 4-2 in a July 2014 friendly when they were in the German second tier. Paris defender Marquinhos scored an own goal with Yussuf Poulsen also on target for Leipzig.
• Tuchel’s team have lost two of their three games in this season’s competition 2-1, going down at home to Manchester United on Matchday 1 and at Leipzig either side of a 2-0 victory away to İstanbul Başakşehir.
• Ligue 1 champions for the seventh time in eight years in 2019/20, and ninth time overall, Paris also won both domestic cups last season. This is the French side’s ninth successive UEFA Champions League campaign and 13th in total.
• Paris reached their first European Cup final last season, only to lose 1-0 to Bayern München in Lisbon. They had beaten Borussia Dortmund in the round of 16 (1-2 a, 2-0 h), Atalanta in the one-off quarter-final (2-1) and Leipzig in the semi-final en route to the decider.
• The Parisians have reached the knockout stages on their last eight UEFA Champions League appearances, although 2019/20 marked their first semi-final appearance since 1995. They suffered three successive last-16 defeats prior to last season.
• Tuchel’s side finished first in a section also including Real Madrid, Club Brugge and Galatasaray in 2019/20. They won five of their six games, drawing the other, and conceded only two goals to finish five points above Madrid.
• Paris had scored in 34 successive UEFA Champions League games, matching the competition record set by Madrid between 2011 and 2014, before drawing a blank in last season’s final.
• Paris have won 13 of their last 21 UEFA Champions League matches (D3 L5). The Matchday 1 defeat by United was only their fourth in their last 56 European home games (W36 D16).
• That loss to United also ended Paris’s 24-match unbeaten run in the UEFA Champions League group stage at the Parc des Princes (W19 D5), since a December 2004 reversal against CSKA Moskva (1-3). Their home group record since the start of the 2017/18 campaign is now W8 D1 L1.
• Paris faced three German clubs in 2019/20. The 2-0 win against Dortmund in the last 16 second leg extended the French side’s record of never having lost at home to German visitors (W7 D1).
• A 3-1 defeat at Bayern on Matchday 6 of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League ended Paris’s seven-match unbeaten run against German clubs, home and away (W5 D2). Their overall record since then is W2 L3.
• Leipzig have won both home games in the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League, defeating İstanbul Başakşehir 2-0 before beating Paris. In between, however, they went down 5-0 at Manchester United – their heaviest European defeat.
• This is Leipzig’s third UEFA Champions League group campaign, all in the last four seasons, and their fourth foray into European football overall.
• The 2019/20 campaign proved to be the most successful in Leipzig’s brief European history, Nagelsmann’s side going all the way to the semi-finals. Leipzig picked up 11 points to finish first in their section – they had come third in their two previous group stage campaigns in UEFA competition – ahead of Lyon, Benfica and Zenit.
• Leipzig then beat 2018/19 runners-up Tottenham in their first UEFA Champions League knockout tie (1-0 a, 3-0 h) before a 2-1 defeat of Atlético de Madrid in their one-off quarter-final in Lisbon prior to that defeat by Paris.
• Leipzig have won ten of their 19 UEFA Champions League fixtures (D3 L6).
• Third in the Bundesliga for the second season in a row in 2019/20, this is Leipzig’s fourth European campaign and only their 38th match. In 2017/18 they became the first team to make their European debut in the UEFA Champions League group stage.
• Leipzig won three of their four away games in last season’s UEFA Champions League, drawing the other. Their away record in Europe is now W6 D5 L6.
• Leipzig’s first ever European game was a 1-1 draw against Monaco in September 2017, on Matchday 1 of that season’s UEFA Champions League. A 4-1 success in the return was the German club’s first away European victory.
• Leipzig’s last trip to France brought a 2-2 draw at Lyon in last season’s UEFA Champions League group stage. The Matchday 3 defeat of Paris was their first win in five games against Ligue 1 opponents (D1 L3), Leipzig having been unbeaten in their first three matches against French clubs (W2 D1).
Links and trivia
• Leipzig coach Nagelsmann’s career was ended by a knee injury in 2008 when he was a player in Augsburg’s second team, then coached by Tuchel. Following his retirement, Nagelsmann was appointed by Tuchel to the club’s scouting team to study future opponents, his first step towards becoming a coach.
• Tuchel and Nagelsmann met twice in Germany as opposing coaches, Tuchel’s Dortmund drawing 2-2 away at Nagelsmann’s Hoffenheim and beating them 2-1 at home in the 2016/17 Bundesliga.
• Nagelsmann finished ahead of Tuchel to take third place in the vote for the best coach in Europe at the 2019/20 UEFA Awards, with the two ranked behind fellow Germans Hansi Flick and Jürgen Klopp.
• Born in the Paris suburb of Lagny-sur-Marne, Nkunku joined Leipzig from Paris in summer 2019. He had signed for the French club in 2010 and made his first-team debut against Shakhtar Donetsk on Matchday 6 of the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League. Nkunku won three league titles, two Coupes de France and two Coupes de la Ligue with Paris, for whom he scored 11 goals in 78 senior appearances.
• Have also played in France:
Dayot Upamecano (Valenciennes youth 2013–15)
Ibrahima Konaté (Sochaux 2017)
Nordi Mukiele (Laval 2014–17, Montpellier 2017–18)
Benjamin Heinrichs (Monaco 2018–20)
• Konaté and Mukiele were also born in Paris, the latter in the suburb of Montreuil.
• Have played in Germany:
Thilo Kehrer (Schalke 2012–18)
Julian Draxler (Schalke 2001–15, Wolfsburg 2015–17)
Abdou Diallo (Mainz 2017/18, Dortmund 2018/19)
• Have played together:
Alessandro Florenzi & Justin Kluivert (Roma 2018–20)
• International team-mates:
Thilo Kehrer, Julian Draxler & Lukas Klostermann, Marcel Halstenberg, Benjamin Heinrichs (Germany)
Pablo Sarabia, Ander Herrera & Dani Olmo (Spain)
Kylian Mbappé, Layvin Kurzawa, Presnel Kimpempe & Dayot Upamecano (France)
Abdou Diallo, Colin Dagba & Dayot Upamecano, Ibrahima Konaté, Nordi Mukiele, Christopher Nkunku (France Under-21)
• Mbappé scored the only goal as France beat Forsberg’s Sweden 1-0 in Solna in the UEFA Nations League on 5 September.