Everything happens very quickly in a passionate relationship. What unites Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and its faithful is one. Four months ago, the Paris Ultras Collective, which brings together six groups of fans (more than two thousand people) and plays a driving role in the entertainment of the Parc des Princes, announced, four games before the end of the championship, that it not wanting to cheer on his team in the stadium.
A few days before, several hundred red and blue sympathizers expressed their ” Fed up “ in front of the club headquarters, in particular launching insulting chants towards the players, the coach and the management of PSG. In this context of mistrust, and at the end of a second part of the season in which the team’s cohesion had disappeared, the celebrations of the eleventh French champion title acquired an artificial flavor.
On Tuesday, September 19, PSG barely won its first Champions League match in 2023-2024, but the team and fans experienced a sincere moment of communion that we had not seen in the Parc des Princes for a long time. Arm in arm, the Parisian players resumed the Virage Auteuil songs together after their victory (2-0) against Borussia Dortmund.
Evidently, Kylian Mbappé was present among his teammates at the foot of the stands. First scorer of the afternoon, he scored – from a penalty – his eighth goal in five games. Nobody imagines him returning to the closet where his management had punished him until mid-August because he did not want to renew his contract. Everything definitely goes very fast in Paris.
In the first five games of the season in the French championship, the capital club has only achieved eight points (two wins, two draws and one loss), which is PSG’s lowest total at this point of the season. (since 2011).
Five summer recruits in the starting eleven
Paradoxically, the encouraging collective performances against RC Lens and on the field of Olympique Lyonnais gave credit to the new coach, the Spanish Luis Enrique. On Friday, his team lost at home (2-3) against OGC Nice, but there were some absences.
When it came to hosting Borussia Dortmund, Christophe Galtier’s successor could count on all his strong men. Five summer signings lined up in the starting eleven: the Slovakian Milan Skriniar and the Frenchman Lucas Hernández in defense, the Uruguayan Manuel Ugarte in the middle, the French Ousmane Dembélé and Randal Kolo Muani in attack.
The last two locals form with Kylian Mbappé a tricolor attacking trio that delights in devouring spaces. To counteract them, the Borussia Dortmund coach, Edin Terzic, opted for a defense of five players and, above all, for a collective block located in a low position, thus leaving the monopoly of possession of the ball to the rival (more than 70% at favor of PSG in the first match). period).
Deprived of countermunitions, the Parisians had to resort to constructed attacks. But the midfielders lacked the percussion necessary to create real scoring opportunities. Only Ousmane Dembélé scored a shot during the first act. Previously, Vitinha had shot the post. There was no goal at half-time, but the first spark will be enough in the second half.
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Achraf Hakimi serves to Ousmane Dembélé who accelerates down the right wing, the two combine between the defenders and the former Barcelona player crosses towards Kylian Mbappé… As he slides to counter the ball, defender Niklas Süle touches the leather of the arm . The referee then points to the penalty spot and Mbappé leaves the German goalkeeper no chance by crossing his shot against the post (1-0, 49).my).
“I liked almost everything”
Ten minutes later, Vitinha recovered the ball in the opposing area, faked the shot several times, before playing on two wings with Hakimi, who found himself at close range to score his team’s second goal (2-0, 58) .my). Except for a shot against the post, PSG will not worry about the German club. In short, it is a success that rewards a performance that can be perfected, but applied, by the Parisians.
“What I liked was practically everything, the intensity of the game from the beginning, the speed and control of the game, for almost seventy-five minutes”, declared Luis Enrique at the end of the match. If the Champions League is a pending mission for PSG at the moment, he already won it as a coach with FC Barcelona in 2015.
“We should have been more aggressive”, lamented his counterpart Edin Terzic, who was an assistant coach of Borussia Dortmund during the last very special confrontation between both teams in March 2020. Played at the Parc des Princes behind closed doors, it was then the last match before the cessation of the competitions will be caused by the coronavirus pandemic; and thousands of fans experienced it behind the stadium doors.
For PSG, it is a first step on a European path destined to become steeper this fall. In fact, the club is in a Champions League group especially notable for the presence, in addition to Borussia Dortmund, of the Italians of AC Milan, semi-finalists of the last edition of C1, and the nouveau riche of Newcastle, who will benefit of the financial hyperpower of the Saudi sovereign fund; Furthermore, the rossoneros and the magpies They couldn’t decide between them in the other group match, on Tuesday (0-0).
On Wednesday, October 4, PSG will travel to the north of England for the second day. Until then, there will be the clash against Olympique de Marseille, starting on Sunday. A club that has just entered a storm: president Pablo Longoria is now “retired” and the newly arrived coach, Marcelino, is already thinking about leaving, in a context of violent protests by some fans… Doesn’t that remind you of anything?