PSG lost to Nantes and could not enjoy their Champions League victory. Pochettino has no rest: the defeat, with Cup elimination in the middle, and the ghost of Zidane haunt his pillow, but Europe is the only thing that can save him – PlayOn99 News
By Facundo Di Bona (@facudibona).
Three days after having beaten Real Madrid, PSG suffered a tough setback at Nantes: they lost 3-1.
Mauricio Pochettino‘s team was again reminiscent of the one that suffers in Ligue 1 to control the rival counterattacks and Neymar missed a penalty at a decisive moment of the match.
The defeat, which is inconsequential at the top of the standings, is Paris Saint-Germain’s first after Rennes on October 4.
Tuesday: Beat Real Madrid in the UCL.
Saturday: Lose 3-1 to Nantes in Ligue 1.
PSG, you okay? ? pic.twitter.com/VJk9JVZPvh
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) February 19, 2022
In between, there was the Coupe de France elimination against Nice and draws against Lyon, Lorient, Lens, Marseille, and Nice themselves, which would have shown in the results what the Parisians’ game portends.
Soccer is a totally unpredictable sport. If PSG were a steamroller against Real Madrid, making them play in their own area, Pochettino’s side succumbed in the first half against Nantes in an incomprehensible fashion.
Quentin Merlin vs PSG
88% pass accuracy
1 key pass
3/4 successful dribbles
5 tackles won
8/9 duels won
19 years of age. What a performance. A night he will never forget. pic.twitter.com/tNcFu5WgKR
— Football Talent Scout – Jacek Kulig (@FTalentScout) February 19, 2022
They went in 3-0 down at the break, blown out in front of a wall called Alban Lafont and Kylian Mbappé gave them a scare before the end of the first half by a hard tackle from Nicolas Pallois that impacted his ankle.
With Neymar, Lionel Messi and Mbappé back in the starting lineup together after November 28, PSG have one less player defending.
However, Nantes’ unbridled intensity, with individual marking all over the pitch, was a nightmare for the Parisians.
Nantes take the lead against PSG! ?
Randal Kolo Muani slips a brilliant finish through Keylor Navas' legs after an incisive counter! ⚡ pic.twitter.com/3lu2LPuYVp
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 19, 2022
Kolo Muani, after a great interplay with Moses Simon, gave Nantes the lead four minutes into the game.
From then on, the madness began: Quentin Merlin made it 2-0 with a stunning shot from the edge of the area right at the best moment for PSG, who found Lafont unstoppable in the first 45 minutes.
This GOLAZO gives Nantes a 2-0 lead over PSG in the 16th minute ?
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) February 19, 2022
The goalkeeper saved Les Canaris with several fine saves and prevented Pochettino’s side from getting into the game.
Just when it looked like the game was heading for the break, two plays changed the course of the match, with the VAR playing a starring role.
The referee sent off Dennis Appiah for a tackle on Mbappé, but rectified his decision after consulting the technology. A minute later, after the half-time whistle had gone, the referee awarded a penalty for a handball by Georginio Wijnaldum that he had not initially seen.
Ludovic Blas stepped up to take the spot-kick to make it a surprising 3-0. Paris Saint-Germain, with the superstars, went to the dressing room with that result imbued in their clothing.
With the teams back on the field, Neymar took advantage of a fantastic pass from Messi to close the gap on the scoreboard a minute after the match resumed.
Messi and Neymar link up ??? pic.twitter.com/UF5lfEfaRq
— Messi_ hub10 (@messi_hub10) February 19, 2022
PSG was in the game and the Brazilian would be in the spotlight again minutes later, but for the worse: Mbappé, again after a good pass from the Rosario, led to a penalty from Appiah – he should have seen a second yellow and did not pass – which Neymar missed after a dreadful shot that ended up in Lafont’s hands.
Neymar produced this stinker of a penalty as PSG suffered a shock 3-1 loss to Nantes today ?pic.twitter.com/YMLeode5v2
— Dexerto FC ⚽️ (@DexertoFC) February 19, 2022
Messi, who woke up in the morning to see a score of ¡4! in L’Equipe, brought Paris Saint-Germain closer to a comeback, but his teammates squandered the constant chances he generated during the 90 minutes and were unable to consummate the comeback.
The Argentine star played a great second half and deserved praise, but the French press has branded him. For marketing reasons, or out of spite, or something we don’t understand, they need to discredit Messi.