Despite the absences (including Verratti), the leaders beat Toulouse in a comeback and maintain an advantage of 8 points over Marseille
No Mbappé. No Neymar. Messi will take care of it, with Hakimi. And PSG remain stable at the top, at +8 on Tudor’s Marseille who close the round with Nice tomorrow. But beyond the success against Toulouse, it was important for the Qatari emir’s club to give some signs of recovery on the game plan, even in the absence of Mbappé and Neymar, who were injured. And of Verratti, disqualified.
However, no clear answers have come, if not the usual ones. Those of individuals. Nobles, of course. With Messi at the tenth seal, and the former nerazzurri, to overturn the initial advantage of van den Boomen.
62% of PSG possession does not identify the first half in the best possible way. Because Galtier’s team, on the pitch with a 4-3-1-2, as usual keeps the ball but doesn’t create, well caged by Toulouse’s 4-3-3, which retreats with a tight 4-5-1. So if Ruiz bungles on the left, if Soler as playmaker looks like a ghost behind the equally transparent Ekitike; if Vitinha still looks like a fish out of water in the role of Verratti between the lines, not to mention Sanches, out after just 20′ due to yet another injury, at least there is Hakimi on the right, always tall and aggressive in the wing, to give meaning to the domain. But without the frequency with Messi. The Argentine actually appears disconnected, but due to the inefficiency of his colleagues who don’t understand his suggestions and proposals. When Leo mentions depth he is forced to play short, when he looks for an exchange, he has to walk the ball, trying to dribble, to find a shooting angle that Toulouse, well retreated, hardly concedes.
In fact, Montanier’s team does not let itself be conditioned and always restarts in order, with the usual fluidity, without however making good use of the spaces that PSG offers, dominating right into the opposing area. The opening goal thus arrives in the 20th minute, but from a free kick. The Dutchman van den Bommen finds the flaw in Donnarumma’s wall not very effective, and silences the stadium. Goal that paralyzes PSG, close to equal with Messi: post directly from a corner, on the rebound, Danilo shoots high (34′). So, it is Hakimi who gets Galtier out of trouble and concentrates in the 34th minute. Van den Bommen and Diarra allow him space to the limit, assuming support, perhaps for Messi close at hand: instead the former Nerazzurri throws his left foot directly into the net.
In the 13th minute of the second half, Messi imitated him. Even if it is still Hakimi who triggers the action, again focusing from his corridor. But having missed a defender, the full-back let it flow for the Argentine who first fired his left foot to the limit to find the right corner of Dupé. Two to one and PSG breathe, managing the lead. Saved in the final by a save by Donnarumma, on a close shot by Rouault (48′), just before Messi’s post (49′).
February 4, 2023 (change February 4, 2023 | 7:25 pm)
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