Even with Messi, PSG missed their Champions League debut

This is the kind of poster that promoters of the European Super League no longer want to hear about. Not exciting enough it seems, not what the young audience is asking for, they say without giving too much evidence. In the world of Florentino Perez, Andrea Agnelli and other dissidents, Paris-Saint-Germain would not have made a stop at the (boiling) Jan-Breyden stadium in Bruges. And he would not have come back with a few bumps to the head and a single point (1-1) for his entry into the Champions League, Wednesday, September 15, 2021.

Before the meeting, the case is heard however. Bruges does not box in the same category. No contempt, but just an observation delivered by the president of the Belgian champions. “Normally, we don’t stand a chance. Because the PSG is the product of globalization with the strongest in each country ”, argued Bart Verhaege with the idea of ​​putting pressure on his overnight visitors.

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Without going so far as to speak of a victory for de-globalization, Bruges taught a lesson in tactics and envy. Neither red carpet nor deference, the teammates of goalkeeper Simon Mignolet were not there to attend the first European recital of the Messi-Neymar-Mbappé trio and ask for a selfie at the end. So much the better. “ We were not afraid of the opponent. We played to win this match ”, said the former Liverpool goalkeeper proudly.

Pochettino demands patience

Failing to be admired, this PSG is therefore the team to hang. The one we want to see fall, even more since Messi is looking for a villa in the Yvelines for his little family. It is enough to see the Flemish public celebrating this point as a qualification for the final of the UEFA Cup, the height of the blauw in zwart (blue and black) in 1976. But to be expected in front of transcended opponents in front of you “Is not an excuse” assures Maurico Pochettino.

The Parisian coach could have said a lot more about this failed exit, he preferred to deliver as little as possible. Nothing new in the sun of the press conference. The wooden language is universal, and the Argentinian prefers to use it in Spanish for the moment. When a question puts its finger on how his team was cut with an attacking trio not very involved – as expected – in the defensive pullback, Pochettino denies a fact about as true as global warming: “That’s not the problem for me. I am happy with the defensive effort of the attackers. We have to be stronger in other areas of the game. ”

Nice attempt at diversion. Through ” strong “, the technician can designate everything and nothing at the same time. Convenient to hide the many cracks observed on the beautiful Parisian building. However, PSG almost made the match easy with the opening of the score in the quarter of an hour of play by its man in form, Ander Herrera, well served by Kylian Mbappé. It has not happened. The captain, Hans Vanaken, took advantage of one of the many drafts in the Parisian defense to equalize twelve minutes later.

When Pochettino swore by intensity and pressing during his years at Tottenham, his current side lose duels, purr and defend à la carte. Because leading PSG is also playing politics, the Argentinian prefers to cajole, deal with and ask for patience again and again. “We need time to work”, he insists. But to work what and in what direction?

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An uninspired Neymar

So over time, Neymar may find his support as a principal dancer and inspiration. Returning slightly full of vacation, the Brazilian forces his game, gets angry and penalizes his team. With time too, Pochettino will find his typical midfielder in which Wednesday’s match once again demonstrates that Marco Verratti (absent for injury) is essential to put oil in the wheels. In time, Lionel Messi will make Messi and his curled shot of 29e minute will not end on the bar but at the bottom of the nets.

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But time is not everything. Plethoric in appearance, the Parisian workforce shows some lacks. In attack in particular. Entered in the place of a Mbappé hit in the ankle at the start of the second half, Mauro Icardi is a ghost that we only see in an offside position. The two men may be native to Rosario, he and Messi don’t seem to speak the same football.

Of course, it’s early days to shoot an ambulance, which remains a hell of a car. We still have to prove it. The results of FC Barcelona have shown in recent years, giving the ball to Messi to implore his genius is not always enough.

Paris cannot live only on the promises of its recruitment. The main stakeholders also touch this truth of the finger. “We know that on paper, we have the right team, now we have to demonstrate it on the ground”, admitted defender Presnel Kimpembe at the microphone of RMC Info. The reception of Manchester City (winner 6-3 from Leipzig with the manner) on September 28 at the Parc des Princes is a perfect opportunity to do so.

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