Five days after their demonstration at Camp Nou, the Parisians receive AS Monaco this Sunday (9 p.m.).
“When you want, when you play as a team, compact, as a unit, when you have the attitude and the personality, you can do great things”. This is what Marquinhos said last Tuesday, after the victory in Barcelona (1-4). And the Parisian captain added: “We must keep this state of mind and this attitude for all the matches of the season.” Starting with the one who will oppose the Rouge et Bleu to AS Monaco this Sunday (9 p.m., live commentary), at the Parc des Princes, at the end of the 26th day of Ligue 1. And this is important to more than one title.
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Already because it would be good to stay on the dynamics of the Barcelona demonstration. “This is one of the most important challenges: playing all matches as if it were the last, in all competitions,” swears Mauricio Pochettino, who also wants to continue to see his team progress. “We want to see an evolution in all sectors. It is still important, but while keeping a balance. And this is where we must continue to progress. We are happy with the progress. We must continue to work to reach the level we are aiming for and that we think the team can achieve, ”he says. It is also and especially important because the PSG is anything but certain to lift the Hexagoal at the end of the season. In fact, Lille and Lyon are currently ahead in the L1 standings. AS Monaco? After ten unbeaten matches (8 wins, 2 draws), including five victories in their last five trips, Niko Kovac’s players have completely revived in the race for the podium. Or better… In any case, they occupy fourth place, five points behind Paris.
No victory against the other members of the Top 4
A Parisian success would also make it possible to put the church back in the middle of the village. Indeed, the Parisian ogre has not beaten any of the other three members of the current Top 4 in the first leg. “We know the results of the past. It’s an important match, ”confirms Mauricio Pochettino. And it started in… Monaco, with a 3-2 defeat, on November 20, while Thomas Tuchel’s players had led 2-0. There was then a setback against Lyon (0-1), at the Parc, and a draw in Lille (0-0). All without forgetting that OM came to win in Paris in mid-September (0-1). Since the beginning of the year, and therefore under Mauricio Pochettino, Marseille has suffered the law of its “best enemy” twice, in the Champions Trophy (2-1) and in Ligue 1 (2-0). But it goes without saying that the Olympians are not among the top teams of the moment in France …
Wissam’s ASM Ben Yedder, Kevin Volland and company, yes. Moreover, the club of the capital has won only four of its 18 L1 matches against the princely team at the Park since the beginning of the 21st century (9 draws, 5 defeats), its lowest percentage against an elite opponent on his meadow during this period. Black beast. That has changed in recent years, with seven matches without defeat (5 wins, 2 draws) before the setback last November at Louis II. Last but not least, we remember that it was Monaco that broke Parisian hegemony by winning the title of champion of France in 2017.
Mbappé without mercy with the ASM
At the time, Kylian Mbappé was Monegasque. Since then, he takes pleasure in martyring his former team … The 22-year-old world champion has indeed scored seven times against AS Monaco in L1. It is hardly that against Dijon (9 goals) that he has more often found the net since his rich transfer to the Parc des Princes in the summer of 2017 … Which Mbappé is gradually finding his best level , like his dantesque performance in Barcelona on Tuesday. “The coach has done a wonderful job since he arrived, he continued the work of Thomas Tuchel, who did an extraordinary job with the final, he said after his hat-trick, on RMC. We were a bit heckled, there was the Covid, the lack of preparation … We can’t apologize, but the truth is that we have a good staff. We are starting to get better and better physically, we are not yet at the peak of our form. We will try to continue to progress. ”
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We can trust Pochettino not to let this group rest on its laurels. This XXL performance in Catalan soil must be a starting point, not a stopping point. “PSG must win every match, insists the former coach of Tottenham. We are aware of the responsibility. If we say to ourselves that it can give us serenity, that would be a mistake. We must not give way to relaxation. We must respect the opponent, each competition and football. But you have to play every game with the motivation and intensity to win every time. ” Obviously, it will be again without Neymar, Angel Di Maria and Juan Bernat. Pablo Sarabia is also forfeited. But Barça can attest to the fact that PSG are a formidable team even without them … If the players want it.