The angel of revenge: Di Maria’s night in constant stress
Ramming into the abyss, throwing bottles at them, “harassed” by Thomas Tuchel: Nevertheless, Angel di Maria Paris St. Germain became match winner at Manchester United – and returned the favor by cheering for the goal.
Rudimentary English and Spanish skills were perfectly sufficient to understand what a desert insult Angel di Maria screamed towards Manchester United fans. The left-winger of Paris St. Germain in Old Trafford with his corner Presnel Kimpembe had just put up the leading goal, and now everything had to get out.
“They didn’t exactly give me the best time here,” di Maria had already said before the Champions League round of 16 about his failed 2014/15 United season, but the set would have fitted just as well afterwards.
In the 40th minute, the already warned United captain Ashley Young rammed him down the notorious grass-covered abyss at Old Trafford, against a fence and a beer bench standing around there, with impunity. The United fans first cheered and then booed even louder when di Maria finally returned to the grass unharmed after a long break in treatment. Every time he touched the ball (at the end of 44), it became particularly loud from then on.
When the bottles flew, di Maria had already won
Later, when he had already prepared the 1-0 win and shouted those swearwords, he was hit by a plastic bottle of water before another corner kick was taken, and United were likely to bring in a UEFA investigation. And a bottle of beer also landed near him – he casually led it to his mouth before disposing of it.
Di Maria had long since won. By the time Kylian Mbappé scored Kylian Mbappé’s goal to the 2-0 final, which he had served with a beautifully balanced pass, she was perfect, his “night of redemption” (“Daily Mail”). Angel di Maria had returned home as an angel of revenge.
Tuchel praises di Maria – he becomes the symbol of a whole elf
Even Thomas Tuchel had contributed to the permanent stress of his offensive man, who turns 31 on Thursday. It was difficult for him in the beginning “because he played right next to me and I talked to him all the time because our initial phase wasn’t so good”, the PSG coach explained afterwards. “And he was also whistled out. But he stayed confident and worked hard.”
Because di Maria was able to cope with any “harassment” that evening, he was perfectly suited to the emblem of his entire team: Despite all the absences, the guests could always see their lead in experience, especially in the second half they could not be disturbed by the re-strengthened English record champion. When they defended, everyone defended with them, when they pressed, everyone pressed. “We played as a team,” praised Tuchel. And that wasn’t always the case.
Tuchel’s “Plan D” works – the showpiece is the largest construction site of all
His “Plan D”, from which Tuchel had scored in the run-up to the retirements of Neymar, Cavani and Meunier, had finally paid off; a “completely new system with many defensives and few offensives”, as Mbappé described it, which had much fewer ball contacts than usual. “Tuchel had already told me that things would be different for me.”
The showpiece was Tuchel’s permanent construction site, the defensive midfield with the outstanding ball distributor Marco Verratti and the outstanding scrapper Marquinhos, who “stalked” Paul Pogba as the man-decker – until he was sent off in the 89th minute.
Di Maria was no longer on the pitch, Tuchel had replaced him in the 81st minute to the applause of the guest fans. Di Maria applauded back for a long time.