After many considered that Paris Saint-Germain, with its striking attacking trio, Argentine newcomer Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Brazilian Neymar, will go out for a picnic against Club Brugge in the middle of the week, the capital club received a harsh dose of realism with a 1-1 draw.
Now, the focus of Saint-Germain and its stars moves to the French League when they host Lyon on Sunday, looking to restore balance and morale quickly and achieve their sixth victory in six matches, but the task will not be so easy against a team that won Thursday against Rangers 2-0 at the latter’s stadium at the beginning of its career in Europa League.
The local press did not have mercy on the Paris club after its disappointing stumble Wednesday at the start of the first group competitions, which includes Manchester City, the English club, who won a sweeping score of 6-3 over Leipzig.
The trio “looked like a ghost”
And the sports newspaper “L’Equipe” saw that the attacking trio Messi-Mbappe-Neymar “looked like a ghost” in the Argentine star’s first basic participation with his new team, and in the first participation of this trio together, which may not be repeated Sunday against Lyon in light of the doubts that hover over Mbappe after his exit from the club. Wednesday’s game due to a foot injury.
In turn, the newspaper “Le Parisien” saw that “the dream of seeing (MNM) – that is, Messi – Neymar – Mbappe – together almost turned into a nightmare.”
Certainly, a draw with the team, which is the weakest link in the group for a competitor described as one of the leading candidates for the title, constitutes a great moral blow and complicates the task of Argentine coach Mauricio Pochettino’s men in a group that includes two teams such as City and Leipzig, who won last season against the Parisian club.
Wednesday’s match in Bruges against the Belgian champions was a warning to Pochettino that he could not rely only on the star power of the attacking trio, but it was clear that the team lacked in the midfield the efforts of the injured Italian Marco Verratti and the suspended Senegalese Idrissa Gana Guy.
Pochettino’s team was also affected by the absence of Argentine winger Angel Di Maria, who was suspended, while Spanish newcomer Sergio Ramos has not yet registered with the team due to injury.
The Argentine coach knows that “we have to improve. We know this. We have an amazing team but we need balance, to be creative going forward but also solid at the back. We need time to reach that.”
The need for time is what the Argentine demanded in his first season with the Parisian club, which was content in the end to give up the league title in favor of Lille and get out of the Champions League semi-final at the hands of his next opponent in the competition, Manchester City, losing against the latter back and forth.
It is worrying for PSG fans to compare their team’s midweek performance with Pep Guardiola’s City performance against RB Leipzig.
But between now and the date of hosting City in the second round, scheduled for the 28th of this month, Messi will adapt somewhat with his new team through three local matches that he will play from now until the date of the renewal of the meeting with his former coach in Barcelona.
Messi starts these three matches on Sunday in the strongest local confrontation for his new team since the start of the new season of “Ligue 1”.
Despite the difficult task, no one seems to be able to stand up locally against Saint-Germain this season, as it is currently leading with a full 15 points, 4 points behind Angers II after only 5 stages, scoring 16 goals while conceding 5 times.
After the season began with a draw and then a severe loss against the surprise of the season, Angers (zero 3-), Lyon regained its balance under the leadership of its new Dutch coach, Peter Bos, and collected seven points from three games, then achieved a remarkable victory in the “Europe League” in the land of the Scottish champions.
Between the brilliance of Nice with Galtier and the suffering of Lille
Lyon has strengthened its ranks this season with Bayern Munich’s German defense star Jerome Boateng, who participated as a substitute in the last stage match against Strasbourg (3-1) and then played a key role on Thursday against Rangers.
And the 2014 World Cup champion must forget his judicial concerns and the fine of 1.8 million euros imposed on him due to the blow of his ex-girlfriend three years ago, in order to focus on monitoring the striking trio of Saint-Germain in Sunday’s match.
After leading Lille to the league title for the first time since 2011, Christophe Galtier offers the start of a wonderful adventure with his new team, Nice, who hosts his arch-rival Monaco on Sunday, with 9 points from four matches (his match with Marseille was suspended due to riots and will be restarted on October 27), relying on his defense The great, who has not conceded his net so far, but will play in the absence of the audience due to the consequences of the riots that accompanied the third-stage match with Marseille.
On the other hand, the champions’ night will be a guest in the Al Shamal derby on the fifth Lens, which is in the twelfth place after being satisfied with five points in five matches led by its new coach, Jocelyn Gorvennik.
Marseille, coming Thursday from Russia with a 1-1 draw with Lokomotiv Moscow in the “Europe League”, will try to stay close to its rivals Saint-Germain and enhance its ten points gained from four matches, when it hosts Rennes eleventh on Sunday.
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