By winning on the lawn of Olympique Lyonnais Sunday March 21 (4-2), Paris Saint-Germain regained the lead of Ligue 1 in Lille. A wake-up call at the perfect time for PSG, which had still not won this season against a top 4 team. Eight days from the end, with a favorable schedule and a better goal difference than its competitors, Paris can more than ever dreaming of a fourth consecutive title.
It was becoming a bad habit to which Paris Saint-Germain had not accustomed us in recent years. Since the start of the season, PSG had not won any of their matches against Monaco, Lille and Lyon, their competitors for the league title to be lifted next May. Worse, the Parisians had the worst record of these four teams in direct confrontations, with only one point taken in four matches (two defeats against Monaco, one against Lyon and one draw against Lille).
Sunday March 21, at Groupama Stadium, Paris put things in their place (4-2). And this, in a very nice way, as Mauricio Pochettino’s players appeared superior to the Lyonnais. “I am very happy with the performance of the players. They played very good football for 65 minutes against Lyon, a very strong rival. The players deserve all the credit and I want to congratulate them on their good work“, said the Parisian coach at a post-match press conference.
“It’s not possible to play like that against a team that has gone into ‘great Paris team’ mode. Because it must be emphasized that PSG were very good tonight“, for his part indicated Rudi Garcia, the Lyon coach.
The fact is that the Parisians have been able to raise their level of play at the perfect time to come and steal first place in the standings in Lille. The Mastiffs, beaten at home by Nîmes on Sunday afternoon (1-2), leave the head to Parisians determined not to let go by the end of the season, in eight days. The slap inflicted on Lyon also reflects the rise of PSG as a European summit awaits it against Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of the Champions League (on April 7 and 13).
“What is important is the progression of the players. I feel that they are advancing every day, and that is the main thing. Play for 90 minutes like we did for an hour tonight (Sunday), it is the objective. With work, we’ll get there“, Pochettino said at a press conference. Thanks to this progress, Paris has made short work of Lyon.
Lille, which will go to the Parc des Princes on the return from the international break, is therefore warned. But despite this first success of the season against a top 4 team, nothing changes according to Pochettino: “Tonight we’re not sending any messages (to other teams). I don’t even send a message to my wife after the game. The message is for us, to understand what the path is to be a strong and strong team. “
Arrived last January, the Argentine coach had played only one match against one of his direct competitors for the title, against Monaco on February 21. For a surprise loss at home (0-2). No wonder then that Pochettino insisted after the match against OL on the importance for his players to find a form of “regularity“at the end of the season.