PSG-Angers: match notes

PSG-Angers: match notes

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To revive after the rout suffered on the lawn of Racing Club de Lens (1-3), Paris Saint-Germain returned to their meadow at the Parc des Princes to get ahead of their New Year 2023 executioner as part of the 18th day of Ligue 1, during which he received the red lantern of the championship, Angers, in the urgency of gleaning points to revive somewhat the suspense of the fight for maintenance. The capital club still had to do without Mbappé and Hakimi, on rest for the start of January and replaced respectively by Ekitike and Mukiele in the starting lineup. Bernat found the L1 on his left lane, alongside the double pivot Ruiz-Vitinha. Among the Angevins, the semi-finalist of the last World Cup Ounahi was still absent from the group, while Boufal made his return to the group, on the bench to leave the left side of the attack to Abdelli, alongside Sima, Capelle and Hunu.

From the start of the match, Christophe Galtier’s men showed their domination in the opposing half of the field and quickly concretized this ascendancy: following a touch on the right side, Mukiele distilled a perfect cross for Ekitike, who deceived Bernardoni in the first post with the inside of the foot and lift the crowds from the Ile-de-France den (1-0, 5th), for his 3rd goal in the league. And if he had lost his first duel, the Angevin porter nevertheless managed to defeat the Parisians, in particular Ramos (24th) and Messi (33rd).

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PSG: Galtier justifies the return to a defense at 3

Messi, successful comeback

The Scoists, in red this Wednesday evening, sometimes managed to solicit the Parisian rearguard on a few incursions, but without worrying Donnarumma, victim of a lack of communication with Bernat (16th), without real consequence. Returning from the locker room, Abdelaziz Bouhazama’s men took advantage of the high defensive line to try to find the fault with calls from Sima or Doumbia, not always conclusive and sometimes in an illicit position. After missing a first recovery, Ekitike, in pivot, saw his shot low to the ground captured in two stages by Bernardoni (59th). In the other area, Sima, wanting to crucify Donnarumma after a good collective movement from his own, sent his recovery over the goals of the Italian (61st).

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PSG did not seem as dominant as in the first act, leaving possession on a few sequences to the opponent, who did not hesitate to project themselves into the last opponent, in vain. The world champion Messi, given a standing ovation by the Park before the match, finally deceived the last black-and-white rampart but the referee signaled an offside on Mukiele’s handover. After the help of the VAR, Mr. Wattelier finally validated the goal of the break, to relieve a little more the Parisian supporters (2-0, 72nd). Neymar believed to seal the fate of the meeting but was, this time, offside (84th). Bernardoni took out two parades at the end of the match so as not to increase the bill for the last in Ligue 1, on the free kick from Neymar and the helmet shot from Mukiele (90th). With this victory, PSG remains leader in the standings and takes advantage of Lens’ draw to widen its gap to six points, Angers remains dead last and is now four units behind Strasbourg.

Man of the match: Lionel Messi (7): a remarkable first period of accuracy, where he delighted his partners. Neymar, Ekitike, Mukiele, they all benefited from his offerings. For his return after his victory at the 2022 World Cup, the Argentinian showed that he had lost none of his talent. On the other hand, it was more difficult after the break, perhaps a lack of rhythm after his break of almost a month. Which did not prevent him from scoring a goal, his 8th in Ligue 1 this season, on a pass from Mukiele, or having fun with the Angevin defense to serve Bernat, who ended badly.

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PSG

  • Donnarumma (5): an astonishing exit at the quarter of an hour of play while Bernat was ahead in his withdrawal. Nothing to do in the first period except to be vigilant on the back passes. However, we feel that he does not exude great serenity with his partners, as evidenced by certain situations where the defenders have favored a quick release.

  • Mukiele (6.5): in line with his last outings, where he had been solid in his right lane. Positioned a notch higher due to the 3-man system installed in defense, he was a constant solution and offered a decisive pass to Ekitike on a cross with a line. Less successful technically thereafter, he nevertheless added a second assist to his line of stats, with a ball offered to Messi.

  • Sergio Ramos (6): he had a great chance with a header in the first half after a caviar from Messi. Despite Sima’s speed, he controlled his area well and projected a lot in the first half. We found him in the Angevin camp regularly. More work when Sofiane Boufal comes into play. The Spaniard saved a few shots from decisive interventions in the box.

  • Marquinhos (5): the Parisian captain was placed in the heart of the defense at 3, and skillfully compensated for Ramos’ climbs. Waste in his long game but not in difficulty defensively, even if Sima sometimes tested him on speed.

  • Danilo (5.5): we expected him in the middle, but it is a defense at 3 that he integrated this evening, left axis. And as often, the Portuguese was reliable, in his interventions as in his reminders. More than ever, he represents a credible alternative in this role of 3rd defender.

  • Bernard (5): less visible than Mukiele on the right, serious defensively. It’s not yet the great Bernat but it was better than his performance against Châteauroux last weekend. He distinguished himself more offensively in the second period but misused a caviar from Messi in the heart of the area.

  • Vitinha (6): the Portuguese is never as comfortable as in a two-man environment, where he can run everywhere. He took over from Marco Verratti to be the main relay in the middle, with a lot of activity and compensation. Some class gestures in the ball outings. Replaced by Bitshiabu (86th)who positioned himself on the left of the defence.

  • Fabian Ruiz (4.5): inevitably, the comparison with Vitinha does not work in his favor, as the Spaniard sometimes seemed amorphous. Not everything was catastrophic like during his disastrous performance in Lens, but he is capable of much better, especially in technical serenity. We can blame him for dross in his controls and on certain badly dosed passes which put his partners in difficulty. Too neutral in the use of the ball. Replaced by Zaire-Emery (79th)who tried his luck from afar, without success.

  • Neymar (5): what a waste tonight for the Brazilian. Capable of releasing delicious exteriors at the heart of the game as well as harvesting potential simple decisive passes, he was on alternating current, less inspired than his Argentine attacking friend. Not from the great Neymar therefore, despite a few gestures which delighted the Park. He did not have the opportunity to be decisive. A goal disallowed for offside.

  • Messi (7): read above.

  • Ekitike (6.5): he is confident and scored his 4th goal in all competitions, the 3rd in a row. The French striker has taken a step and it is noticeable. More risk taking, more drive, more combinations. He was even able to ignore calls from Neymar and Messi in the box to follow through with a second-half strike. He is also present on Messi’s goal by shifting Mukiele well. Beyond his offensive impact, it is necessary to underline his very big work of pressing. On several occasions, he stole the ball from Angers circles by displaying great determination in his races. Replaced by Soler (79th)which did not show up.

Angers

  • Bernardoni (6.5): logically beaten on the opener (5th), the French goalkeeper however did not come out of his meeting. He even sublimated himself, notably author of two decisive stops in the first period against Ramos (24th) and Messi (32nd). During a second act where he was also very busy, he was still solid on his line (58th). On Messi’s second goal, he can’t do much unfortunately. He concludes his score with a magnificent relaxation (90th + 1). A frustrating evening as he kept his team alive for a good part of the game.

  • Bamba (4.5): aligned on the right side of the defense of Angers, he was not the most requested player of the Angevin defense, as the game leaned to the right for the Parisians. Despite everything, he knew how to be serious defensively, never losing the thread of the meeting.

  • Houtondji (4): in difficulty from the first minutes by being late in marking Hugo Ekitike on the opener (5th), the Beninese was able to remobilize like his beautiful intervention against Messi (51st). He began to sink like his whole team from the Paris break, overtaken by the speed of the players in the capital.

  • Blazic (3.5): not responsible for the first goal, the Slovenian international was not imperial against the PSG attackers. Too passive during Leo Messi’s second Parisian goal, he did not bring the serenity necessary to allow his people to compete.

  • Doumbia (4): totally off the mark in the first half. Faulty on the first goal where he let Mukiele cross too easily, he also lost a lot of balls, especially during the long periods of possession of the SCO. When he returned from the locker room, he was able to recover by being very present offensively on his left side (49th, 56th). A momentum that was stopped from the second goal of the Parisians.

  • Mendy (5): valuable in the midfield, he allowed his team to breathe in the face of Parisian pressure. Technically easy, he was very present during the Angevin highlight at the start of the second period. Replaced by Taibi (80th)who did not have the opportunity to speak in ten minutes.

  • Chapel (3): very little in sight in the first period for his return to the starting lineup, the captain never found the rhythm in the game by being stolen from simple balloons, Replaced by El Melali (62nd)who returned when Galtier’s men decided to speed up.

  • Bentaleb (4.5): mixed match for the Algerian. Capable of very good ball outings (38th), he also lost a few balls which endangered the defense of Angers. We no longer saw him like his whole team from the 70th minute.

  • Hunu (2.5): tense from the start of the game, the 28-year-old playmaker missed his game. Guilty of several ball losses yet simple at first sight, he did not help his partners offensively. Replaced by Salama (62nd), who did not do much better during the half hour offered to him.

  • Abdulli (4): in a more defensive than attacking role, he was rather transparent in the first half. In the second half, he was one of the symbols of his team’s awakening. He notably made a sumptuous pass from the outside of the foot for Sima, who unfortunately missed the frame (54th). Replaced by Boufal (62nd)who from his first minutes, put the danger in the Parisian defense by his catches of balls.

  • Sima (5): the Senegalese striker did not hide in the first period by offering in-depth solutions to his teammates. But over the minutes, the Angevin center-forward faded. In the second half, he misses a huge opportunity to equalize by hitting above the cages of Donnarumma (61st). Replaced by Thioub (80th)dangerous on a nice wrapped strike (87th).

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