It's a startling change of scenery. After passing 20 goals to low-cost opponents (Le Havre, Beveren and Celtic Glasgow) in three preparation matches, PSG have only shaken the nets once, thanks to Neymar, in 210 minutes of play, in his last two official matches. We can of course note, as Thomas Tuchel vehemently noted on Friday evening, that at the same time the capital club did not concede any goal. Of which act. But that is not always enough to win games.
The Parisian coach and his staff will not be able to use this argument for long to hide the current offensive problems. It is not so much a problem of the number of goals - “Show me a team that scores 4 or 5 goals per game,” Tuchel thus defended - as the current inability of PSG to put down its game and to create itself favorable situations. Mbappé's injury obviously weighs heavily. And his friend Neymar is the tree that hides the desert of opportunities embodied by Mauro Icardi, inclined center-forward.
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If there is an efficiency problem today in Paris, the Argentinian is the first responsible even if he is not the only one. With 9 balls touched against Lyon before his exit in the 58th minute of play, he did not derogate from his status of attacker who does not participate in the game. But where he was discreet to better spring and stun his opponent a few months ago, the former Milanese today forgets to score goals and finally does not serve much of much. This is a concern, since Cavani's departure has deprived Tuchel of the only competition and possible alternative.
Gueye very far from his level
Yet Icardi cannot shoulder such a heavy burden alone. For two games, the game in the corridors of PSG has been almost non-existent. Thomas Meunier's departure from Dortmund and Juan Bernat's calf injury leave a gaping hole that their replacements have not been able to fill, who are mainly focusing on their defensive tasks.
How many crosses have we seen from the full-backs against OL? Almost none or so poorly adjusted ... The Parisian staff must pray that the Spaniard, so important in major meetings and especially the return against Dortmund (2-0), is restored. This will make at least one corridor filled.
Finally, the right flank of the Parisian attack today presents a sad face. For two games, Gueye is far, very far, from his best level. "Gana is not playing free enough, with the best confidence," Tuchel admitted. But he made great matches against Real and Dortmund. I think he will be ready against Atalanta. "
Di Maria, the X factor
It's a bit the same observation for Angel Di Maria whose influence on the attacking game of PSG for two years and the arrival of the German coach can be measured. If the Argentinian remained on the lawn against Lyon, it is because with him, something can always happen. But what approximations and slowness in his game, he who is used to doing things at 100 per hour and aiming right. For these two, we can hope for a return to physical form by August 12. Otherwise, the quarter-final against Bergamo could look like a Stations of the Cross.
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