Winners in Metz (3-1), the Parisians temporarily take the lead in the championship, on the eve of the OL-Lille shock.
Regularly in the shoes of the hunter by playing after its competitors in the title, PSG had a rare opportunity to put pressure on its opponents this Saturday, April 24. The Parisians did not miss the boat. By winning under the beautiful sun of the Saint-Symphorien stadium in Metz (3-1) on behalf of the 34th day, they provisionally took over the lead of Ligue 1 before the trip from Lille to Lyon on Sunday evening.
Despite a slightly altered team with Angel Di Maria and Mauro Icardi on the bench at kickoff and Marquinhos still injured, Mauricio Pochettino’s players spent a fairly quiet afternoon in Moselle. Only the first quarter of an hour of the second period sowed some doubts in the Parisian spirit.
Metz had equalized after returning from the locker room thanks to a header from Fabien Centonze on a cross at the far post from Farid Boulaya (46 ‘). PSG were starting to get annoyed, to get nervous about losing precious points in the title race.
This was the moment chosen by Kylian Mbappé, in the wake of his yellow card for protest (58th), to double the bet with a powerful strike at the entrance to the surface (59th) and thus put his team in the direction of walking. The French international had already opened the scoring for Paris. Metz was positioned too high, a boon for the speed of Mbappé who punished the locals from the start on an offering from Ander Herrera (5th).
The native of Bondy is currently walking on the water. With this double, he has reached seven goals in his last five meetings. He is above all exemplary, involved on both sides of the field in the image of the repeated defensive efforts he provides. What to inspire Neymar. The attacker even missed the hat-trick at the end of the game (81st). The only downside: a premature exit a few minutes from the end of the match, after a shock. “He received a blow to the thigh, specified Mauricio Pochettino. We think it’s nothing serious. A crutch is always painful. We hope everything will be alright. “
This PSG is difficult to read. He seems to have been worried only a few minutes, those when Metz decided to let go as coach Frédéric Antonetti requested from the edge of the lawn. However, the capital club was not sharp enough to afford a real breath of fresh air. Neymar saw his free kick pass several centimeters from Alexandre Oukidja’s goal, as did his cross strike a few seconds later (16th). Leandro Paredes missed a clear opportunity at the far post (56th). Mitchel Bakker also stumbled on the Metz goalkeeper with a powerful shot (77th) before the bar stopped Herrera’s attempt (82nd). It was not until a late penalty transformed from a panenka by Mauro Icardi (89th) to see PSG safe.
But four days before his semi-final against Manchester City, the main thing was not just the three points. Pochettino was even able to revive Marco Verratti to prepare for this meeting. After a long absence due to the Covid-19 then a thigh discomfort, the Italian was the holder for the first time since March 21. Positioned higher since the arrival of the Argentine coach, Verratti has been omnipresent in the game of his team. It was he who touched the most balls (128) and made the most tackles (13 out of 15 attempted). “We are very happy with Verratti, rejoiced Pochettino. He was able to play 90 minutes. We saw it with energy. He is an important player who can bring us a lot of aspects. “