After Strasbourg – PSG: Paris, same evils, eternal symptoms

Mauricio Pochettino had two options. The first one ? Align his usual eleven in Strasbourg, this Friday at the start of the 35th day of the championship, and take advantage of this first match without challenge to try to build for the future, even if yet another major cleaning is scheduled for this summer. The second ? Revamp the team, and give some playing time to the youngsters who, so far, haven’t had much to cut their teeth.

In a desire to “respect the opponent” and of “stay professional” until the end, as he confided after the fact on Prime Video, the Argentine coach chose the first option. No matter if his future has become extremely vague again, 24 hours after remarks which seemed to clarify it and on which he finally returned, the former Spurs manager approached this match like the previous ones. To come up against the same limits.

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The idea was rather good, since Strasbourg has the public and the ideas of a European team. She had also worked her subject well. At the broadcaster’s microphone, Julien Stéphan revealed that he had asked his players to attack depth. This is what allowed Gameiro to score the fastest goal of the season, taking advantage of two technical errors from players who had been seen diving in the knockout stages of the Champions League, namely Presnel Kimpembe and Gianluigi Donnarumma.

The gestures of Marquinhos, the nerves of Kimpembe…

The result was only a succession of evils which PSG could not get rid of throughout this exercise. An ultra-dependence on Kylian Mbappé, again double-scorer then passer, well helped it is true by a Neymar who is slowly climbing the slope. Then Paris flinched again at a time when it seemed to be in control of the match. A goal from Marco Verratti against his side from a corner, a hostile stadium that is growing and well-known images: we saw captain Marquinhos make big gestures to ask his teammates to remain calm, Kylian Mbappé express a form of spite , Mauricio Pochettino remain frozen without a form of impotence.

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Same effects, same consequences. The French champion let himself be overwhelmed, conceding the equalizer (3-3) in added time and flirting with the K.-O. in stride. The capital club, champion under tension last week, ended the meeting on the nerves. Presnel Kimpembe lost his calm and received a warning for protest. Gianluigi Donnarumma also inherited a yellow card after trying to save time, on a six meters, to give air to a boat about to drown in a glass of water… Eternal restart.

We are disappointed because we had a very good match

We are champions but there are still problems“, admitted Pochettino on Premium Video after the meeting. Without being able to justify them yet:We are disappointed because we played a very good match. Except the first fifteen minutes. I think we deserved the three points. We make an error on which we concede the second goal. And after the third…“.

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If the idea was to outline a revival, it failed. Perhaps because nothing can change between now and the summer, after the potential departure of Kylian Mbappé, who has already seemed to plan for the future, in Paris or elsewhere: “There was a dip in the last 10-15 minuteshe underlined in the mixed zone. But I think now is not the time to explain things.”

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