Luis Enrique insisted he did everything right. On October 4, he took his team to St. James Park, and before 50,000 riled-up Geordies — and a side playing its first Champions League home game since 2003 — deployed a swashbuckling 4-2-4 formation. The result wasn't hard to see coming. Newcastle battered PSG from the first minute, a 91st-minute strike from marauding centre-back Fabian Schar sealing an emphatic 4-1 win for the home side.
After the game, Luis Enrique suggested that there were positives, ones that admittedly few keen observers might have seen: "The result is so big for them. But I think we didn’t deserve that result."
Deserved or otherwise, his side were handily beaten on Tyneside, and now, after losing to AC Milan in their last Champions League encounter, find themselves desperately in need of a win against the Magpies — this time on their own turf.
Parc des Princes has been an imposing place to visit for European sides in recent years, a ground where the Parisians haven't lost a group game since 2020. Include games with fans — not interrupted by the relative silence of the COVID-19 pandemic — and you would have to go back to 2004 for PSG's last home defeat before knockout football kicks in.
The stage is nicely set, then, for revenge. And this is an important one, too. The Parisians are second in their Champions League group, while the Magpies are bottom, but just two points separate the two teams. A win for PSG and qualification should be solidified. Lose, and the French champions could end the matchday sat in fourth with just one game to go, and likely relying on results elsewhere to guide them through the group.
Luis Enrique has already overseen some big games in Paris. But facing elimination in a competition that he admitted the club is "obsessed" with, this will be the biggest. This time, he has to get it right.