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Ligue 1: PSG champions of France for the 11th time, a historic title... but with a bitter taste


Highlights: Paris Saint-Germain won the title of champion of France for the 11th time in the club's history. PSG finished the first part of the season without the slightest defeat (18 wins, 3 draws, 0 losses) The Red and Blue were kicked out of the C1 by Bayern in the 8th (2-0) after a World Cup where they generally shone, including Leo Messi and Kylian Mbappé. The club's fans have never been scarred by their "wear and tear"

STORY – The obtaining of an 11th title of champion of France, Saturday in Strasbourg, on the evening of the 37th lift, does not make the season of PSG less painful.

The end of bling-bling, no more compromises... With the PSG vintage 2022-23, we were going to see what we were going to see. Except that not much remains of the rowdy statements of Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, Luis Campos and Christophe Galtier at the end of a delicate campaign on and off the field. Fortunately, Kylian Mbappé and company ensured the essential and won the title of champion of France, Saturday, after a draw in Strasbourg (1-1) on the 37th day, thanks to a goal signed Leo Messi on a love pass of Kylian Mbappé. Not just any title: the 11th in the club's history, the ninth in the QSI era and the second in a row. Historic, but not enough to make you forget everything else, everything that makes most lovers of Paris-SG look forward to obtaining this coronation to, finally, turn the page of a painful year. A year that put their patience to the test and even caused a break with some, the indifference of others.

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  • Ligue 1 schedule and results
  • Ligue 1 standings

That it seems far away this month of August at almost perfect, with 21 goals and four victories on the clock... And again, we have already been entitled to the first turmoil at the beginning of the season, with the "penaltygate" and this clash between Neymar and Mbappé during PSG-Montpellier (5-2, 2nd day). In the game, the bellows fell quickly. And there was the "sand yacht", the moods of Mr. Mbappé on his positioning and his (alleged?) desires elsewhere, the loss of the first place of the pool in C1 on goal difference... Before the World Cup, however, Galtier managed to lead his boat: carried by the stars, Neymar Jr in the lead, and driven by an insatiable thirst to win, a character as big as that, "his" Paris-SG completed the first part of the season without the slightest defeat (18 wins, 3 draws, 0 losses). Not brilliant but effective and solid. It wasn't going to last... After a World Cup where they generally shone, including Leo Messi and Mbappe, Achraf Hakimi too, the Red and Blue made the blow of the breakdown. And it did not concern only the Mondialists, like Marco Verratti, who returned from the truce with extra pounds.

I said we would do our best. Our maximum is that...

Kylian Mbappé after elimination in C1

The miraculously snatched success against Lille (4-3) and the collective demonstration in Marseille (0-3), at the end of February, made it possible to dream a little after the exit of the track against OM in the Coupe de France (2-1) and the defeats in Monaco (3-1) and against Bayern (0-1) in the first leg. Just a little... It is true not spared by injuries, the Parisians were kicked out of the C1 by Bayern in the 8th (2-0). New disillusionment. Anything but a surprise for Mbappe, who had already expressed serious doubts at the beginning of the campaign in C1. "That's what our maximum is," he said in Munich. "When it comes to taking stock, we will have to analyze what happened in the first part of the season and in what state we recovered the squad after the World Cup, pleads Galtier. We had an empty spell at a very important time of the season, but the squad was very small for various reasons and we did not know how to perform. " The kind of explanation that will probably not allow him to save himself.

After the break linked to the World Cup, this elimination in C1 will in any case have represented a second turning point in the season of a PSG which, from then on, let itself live. Enough to allow Lens and, for a time, OM, to see themselves caliph instead of the caliph in the league. Especially since the controversies were again mixed with dubious performances on the meadow and defeats (9 in 2023, including 6 in L1): indictment for rape of Hakimi, the club publicly taken over by Mbappé on the subscription campaign, Galtier accused of racism and the suspension of Messi have in turn made the headlines and polluted the club's news. "There is what you write and what I live on a daily basis," tempers Galiter, vowing that he has never been struck by "wear and tear". His scarred face says the opposite. Exasperated, the Ultras came to shout their anger under the windows of the Factory and... in front of Neymar's home. Out since March, the Brazilian has been elevated to the rank of symbol of the fiasco by the fans in the same way as Messi and Verratti.

Campos didn't have a hollow nose

A season in hell for a title with a bitter taste. Between the promises of the summer and the reality of a squad still unbalanced and poorly crafted, there is a world. Knighted by Mbappe, Campos did not have a hollow nose. And he did nothing to correct the situation in January, with a new grand-guignolesque soap opera and the non-arrival of Hakim Ziyech. In the end, the recruits disappointed, it lacked a striker and a defender, and the choice to shorten the squad in number paid cash in an overloaded schedule before Qatar 2022. "There was this will, but also obligations to respect in relation to very precise specifications," notes Galtier, referring to financial fair play. Nevertheless, the 56-year-old technician was the first to complain about the failed transfer window. "A coach has to adapt," he grumbled, throwing all or part of the blame on ... Antero Henrique, sales manager at the time.

In any case, he was not going to shoot red balls at Luis Campos, who offered him an unexpected opportunity. It was also unexpected for Nice, who were preparing to sack the former coach of the Greens before receiving a check of several million euros to free him... Still, the two men knew each other since their stay in Lille. They came in tandem to the banks of the Seine. Losing ticket. Unlike Galtier, Campos should nevertheless get a second chance. His proximity to "KM" can't hurt, even if Bondy's crack only moderately appreciates being advertised for his power. "I remain a football player and I will not go beyond this role," he promised in 2022, recently dismissing the idea of a "Kylian Saint-Germain".

Missed Mercatos, injuries (Neymar, Kimpembe, Mukiele, Verratti, Mendes...), World Cup... Elements of context that must be cited, but it is not enough to excuse what will undoubtedly remain as the worst season of the QSI era. "There are skeptics, I understand that," Galtier said of his surprise appointment last summer. Finally, the skeptics were right: the suit was too big for the former coach of Saint-Etienne, Lille and Nice, who did not even have the merit of dying with his ideas. Overwhelmed, and flushed.

We have too many players below their level in the second half of the season

Christophe Galtier

Marquinhos and his little comrades have still found the resources to win six of their last seven games, including the shock of the 31st day against Lens (3-1). A match that could very well have turned out differently if the Blood and Gold had not been reduced to ten in the first half... Just like everything else. Paris got away with it through the back door, without convincing or shining in this second half of the season indigestible. After the recent debacle against Lorient (1-3), Galtier did not look for an excuse: "We let go mentally". However, Paris has not failed only in this area.

Tactically, the porridge proposed by Galtier did not impress anyone. To regret that of Mauricio Pochettino? Not far... The weak points of this team are so glaring that the opponents are no longer afraid to come to the Parc des Princes. "We have too many players below their level in the second half of the season," Galtier recently acknowledged, powerless to wake up his troops. There is no more respect or fear in the eyes of opponents when seeing Paris arrive, even when we talk about teams at the bottom of the Ligue 1 table. There is not much in fact, if not one more line on the list with this coronation without magic or passion, without flavor or emotion. It remains to be seen whether the management of the Parisian club will take the measure of the site that stands in front of it.

Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2023-05-27

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