Everything happens very quickly in a pionate relationship. The one that binds Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and its faithful is one. Four months ago, the Ultras Paris Collective, which brings together six groups of supporters (more than two thousand people) and plays a driving role in the animation of the Parc des Princes, announced, four matches before the end of the championship, no longer wanting to cheer on your team at the stadium.
A few days earlier, several hundred red and blue supporters demonstrated their ” Fed up “ in front of the club’s headquarters, notably singing 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 where the cohesion of the team had disappeared, the celebrations of the eleventh French champion title took on an artificial flavor.
Tuesday September 19, PSG only won its first Champions League match in 2023-2024, but the team and supporters experienced a sincere moment of communion that we had not seen for a long time at the Parc des Princes . Arm in arm, the Parisian players took up the Virage Auteuil songs together after their victory (2-0) against Borussia Dortmund.
Kylian Mbappé was obviously present among his teammates at the foot of the stand. First scorer of the evening, he signed – from the penalty spot – his eighth goal in five matches. No one imagines him returning to the closet where his management had punished him until the middle of August because he didn’t want to extend his contract. Everything is definitely going very quickly in Paris.
In the first five matches of the season in the French championship, the capital club have collected only eight points (two wins, two draws and one defeat), making it PSG’s lowest total at this stage of the season. the season under the Qatari era (since 2011).
Five summer recruits in the starting XI
Paradoxically, the encouraging collective performances seen against RC Lens and on the pitch at Olympique Lyonnais gave credit to the new coach, the Spaniard Luis Enrique. Friday, his team lost at home (2-3) against OGC Nice, but there were some absentees.
When it came time to welcome Borussia Dortmund, Christophe Galtier’s successor could count on all his strong men. Five summer recruits were lined up in the starting lineup: the Slovak Milan Skriniar and the French Lucas Hernandez in defense, the Uruguayan Manuel Ugarte in the middle, the French Ousmane Dembélé and Randal Kolo Muani in attack.
The last two cities form with Kylian Mbappé a tricolor attacking trio which delights in devouring spaces. To thwart them, Borussia Dortmund coach Edin Terzic opted for a five-player defense and above all for a collective block positioned low, thus leaving the monopoly on possession of the ball to the opponent (more than 70% in favor of PSG in the first period).
Deprived of counter ammunition, the Parisians had to resort to building placed attacks. But the midfielders lacked the percussion to create real scoring opportunities. Only Ousmane Dembélé scored a shot during the first act. Previously, Vitinha had shot at the post. No goal at the break, but the first spark will be enough in the second half.
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Achraf Hakimi serves Ousmane Dembélé who accelerates on the right wing, the two men combine between the defenders and the former Barcelona player crosses towards Kylian Mbappé… While sliding to counter the ball, defender Niklas Süle touches the leather of the arm. The referee then designates the penalty spot and Mbappé gives the German goalkeeper no chance by crossing his shot flush with the post (1-0, 49e).
“I liked almost everything”
Ten minutes later, Vitinha recovered the ball in front of the opposing area, feigned the strike several times, before playing in a two-way with Hakimi who found himself at close range to score his team’s second goal (2-0, 58e). With the exception of a shot on the post, PSG will not be worried by the German club. Ultimately, it is a success rewarding a perfectible, but applied, performance by Parisians.
“What I liked was practically everything, the intensity in the match from the start, the speed and control of the match, for almost seventy-five minutes”, declared Luis Enrique at the end of the match. If the Champions League is an unfinished quest for PSG for the moment, he has already won it as coach with FC Barcelona in 2015.
“We should have been more aggressive”, regretted his counterpart Edin Terzic, who was istant coach of Borussia Dortmund during the last very special confrontation between the two teams in March 2020. Played in a Parc des Princes behind closed doors, it was then the last match before the cessation of competitions caused by the coronavirus pandemic; and thousands of supporters experienced it behind the stadium gates.
For PSG, it is a first step on a European road destined to be steeper this fall. The club is in fact in a Champions League group particularly highlighted by the presence, in addition to that of Borussia Dortmund, of the Italians of AC Milan, semi-finalists of the last edition of the C1, and the nouveau riche of Newcastle, who benefit from the financial hyperpower of the Saudi sovereign fund – moreover, the Rossoneri and the Magpies were unable to decide between themselves in the other match of the group, Tuesday (0-0).
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, from Sunday. A club which has just entered a storm : President Pablo Longoria is now “withdrawn” and the coach who has barely arrived, Marcelino, is already thinking of leaving, against a backdrop of violent protests from some of the supporters… Does that remind you of anything?