Frenchman Paris Saint-Germain, with his disappointing 1-1 draw in home of Brugge on Wednesday at the start of the Champions League, stressed the need to develop their collective game despite the terrible trio Messi-Neymar-Mbappé. Despite a wonderful summer of travel, the first signs of autumn did not come as the Parisian ship expected.
It is true that he has won his own prime five games in the French league he controls after the takeover by Qatar Sports Investments, but Brugge has held back his departure in a stadium where two years ago he crushed his guest 5-1, with a hat-trick from his young striker Kylian Mbappe.
It is the first time since 2016, when they drew 2-2 with Bulgarian Ludogorets, that Saint-Germain have failed to win against a team outside the four major leagues of the old continent. But regardless of the result, Saint-Germain’s performance left his fans embittered after visiting the “Venice of the North”. The newspaper “Le Parisien” spoke of the failure of the club and its “average” performance. For its part, Sport “L’Equipe” indicated a weak performance, “Let’s hope it’s a joke”.
Mathematically, Saint-Germain’s start was not positive, as he prepares to meet the other pole of the group, Manchester City, who started well by beating the German Leipzig 6-3, knowing that the last two have managed to beat him last season. The welcome of the players of the Spanish manager Pep Guardiola on the 28th of this month could be very important in the process of qualifying for the round of 16, for a team that is still chasing its first titles in the main continental competition, especially since his acquisition of Qatar in 2011.
“We have to improve, find a balance, I said that before,” said his Argentine coach, Mauricio Pochettino. The former Tottenham manager must find solutions quickly, especially in light of the heavy host Lyon’s visit to the Parc des Princes on Sunday in the sixth round of the local championship. The distinguished coach had unveiled his project in mid-August: “We have the talent, but we must have a group, and not just to take pictures of social”.
On Thursday the French newspapers posted in light the weaknesses of the team from the capital: attack that needs more time, stifled midfield and open defense.
Pochettino confirmed in response to criticism from the Argentine trio, Lionel Messi, in free arrival from Barcelona, the Brazilian Neymar, the most expensive player in the world and the goalscorer of the national team Mbappe, “The problem is not the attacking game of the attackers, we must be strong in all lines “.
The Messi-Neymar-Mbappe trio started for the first time, setting a level well beyond their reputation. In Belgium, the trio looked like a duo, according to UEFA statistics, Messi and Neymar were the most harmonious.
Neymar, Messi’s former teammate at Barcelona, played the most passes for Messi (16), while the best player in the world returned the ball 14 times six times. At the same time, the Frenchman received only two balls from Messi and three from Neymar, knowing that his team owes him their only goal after a fine cross from defensive midfielder Ander Herrera.
But the bad news for Saint-Germain was Mbappe’s injury early in the second half after a sprained ankle, according to his manager Pochettino. The coach added: “The exchanges between the forwards come with time. The players not only need to train, but also to play.”
– Navas is confident – In turn, Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas, one of the few players in Paris who has produced a remarkable performance with five saves, analyzed “each of us must improve within his range of work”. In midfield, the impact of the absence of the injured Italian duo Marco Verratti and the suspended Senegalese Idrissa Gana Guy was evident.
Argentine Leandro Paredes was close to being sent off in Bruges, while Dutchman Georginio Wijnaldum was replaced on parameter zero from Liverpool, between the two halves. Portuguese substitutes Danilo Pereira and German Julian Draxler were also unconvinced, while Herrera continued his rise, scoring his fourth goal in his last four games.
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