Five days after its demonstration at Camp Nou against FC Barcelona in the Champions League, Paris Saint-Germain lost at home against AS Monaco (0-2). For the second time this season, the Principality club has tamed Paris, and confirms its status as PSG’s bête noire in this 2020-2021 fiscal year. The players of Niko Kovac invite themselves at the same time in the race for qualification for the C1.
A few minutes after the sparkling victory against FC Barcelona on the lawn of Camp Nou on Tuesday in the Champions League, Mauricio Pochettino had surprised his world by quickly evacuating the performance of his players to discuss the match against AS Monaco. Words that appeared to be out of step with the feat achieved by the Parisian players. Looking back, the Argentine coach was right to be wary of Monegasques.
Perhaps Mauricio Pochettino then had in mind the first leg between PSG and Monaco on November 20: while Paris led by two goals at half-time, Niko Kovac’s players had totally reversed the course of the match for ultimately win 3-2. The Argentine coach was therefore wary, and rightly so, of a Monaco team which is now on nine wins and two draws in the last eleven league matches.
“Monaco are a very good team, we will have to be at our best if we want to beat them“, said Pochettino in a pre-match press conference. Far from the level displayed against Barça, the Parisians have once again sank against Monaco. The fault of a perfectly honed team, which has a series of good performances and which had prepared his match in great detail.
Kovac had particularly targeted before the meeting the great weakness of his team: “We can see why we are not yet a top 3 team, we take too many goals to aim for the podium now. “Faced with the best attack in the championship, the Croatian coach had therefore chosen to install a five-way defense to establish a high density in the midfield and hamper the Parisian attacking players. Foremost among which Kylian Mbappé, author an exceptional hat-trick against Barça on Tuesday.
“It’s impossible to stop Mbappé one on one. It’s an impossible mission“, Kovac conceded before the match. So, to stop the Parisian striker, the Monaco coach warned his players:”We will have to be united. We have to take care of Mbappé together. Which can make other PSG players free. We have to do a good physical and tactical job to compensate for that. “A strategy that paid off for Kovac and his players, who completely extinguished Mbappé this Sunday evening. The PSG striker had however made a specialty of shining against his former team.
But faced with the game plan developed by the Monegasques at Parc des Princes, Mbappé and his teammates sorely lacked a link between the middle and the attack. For the first time since the arrival of the Qatari owners in 2011, PSG did not frame any shot in their Parc des Princes in the first period. And if the PSG did better in the second half, in particular thanks to the entry into play of Marco Verratti, the club of the capital framed only one strike during the meeting.
Statistics that say a lot about the performance of the Monegasques, whose concentration has not changed an iota throughout the meeting. In addition to an iron defense, Monaco was also realistic on the two goals of the meeting scored by Sofiane Diop (6th) and Guillermo Maripan (52nd). The Principality’s club could even have scored one more goal if Kevin Volland had had some success (62nd) in front of Keylor Navas. PSG’s bête noire, Monaco is the first team against which Paris will not have taken any points this season. ASM has also won its home and away matches against PSG for the first time since the 2009-2010 season.