Saturday April 10, when Keylor Navas was replaced at half-time during the victorious trip to Strasbourg (1-4), a moment of panic seized the supporters of Paris-Saint-Germain, already well established with regular injuries and inconvenience of Neymar. Not him, not now, not after everything he’s done – and stopped – this season in the Champions League, like in Ligue 1. “Keylor left as a precaution. We think it’s nothing serious. We have excellent medical service “, wanted to reassure, about the goalkeeper, the coach Mauricio Pochettino in a press conference.
For the reception of Bayern Munich, Tuesday, April 13, in the quarter-finals second leg of the Champions League, PSG should therefore remain in the good hands of its goalkeeper and savior. The term might offend this daily Bible reader. However, the 34-year-old Costa Rican has multiplied the parades in the first leg to allow his team to return from a snowy Bavaria with an almost unexpected advantage (3-2) in view of the domination of Bayern.
On his ten stops made, some may seem easy. But do they still have to be realized? “On Mbappé’s first goal [Manuel], Neuer had an easy stop and he didn’t make it », Remarks Rémy Vercoutre. Happy to see a member of his brotherhood praised, the former doorman of Lyon and Caen still finds “Abnormal to be so solicited when you keep the goals of a team which is supposed to have more control”.
But this season, PSG is plugged into AC power and often relies on its goalkeeper so as not to end up in the dark. The Parisian defenders have become his roommates in his penalty area by falling back, whether against Bayern or against Barcelona in the round of 16 second leg (1-1).
Paradoxically, vsthis situation “Highlights the qualities of Navas, because he is above all at ease in front of his line”, advances Christophe Lollichon. With the critical eye of the specialist, the Chelsea goalkeeper coach develops: “Navas does not have a very large area of intervention. Unlike a Neuer at Bayern, he does not manage the space behind the backs of his defenders and does not venture very far in the air. Against Munich, he misses an exit in the fist because he is very far from the action. “
More admiring, Jérôme Alonzo finds him “A little old school profile”, a compliment in the mouth of the former goalkeeper of the PSG (2001-2008), specialist of the less academic stops and defender of this style to “Old”. When the canons of beauty of the moment call for goalkeepers capable of evolving like modern liberos, that is to say as a last defender, Navas prefers the comfort of his five meters fifty and avoids bothering too much with his game. at the foot.
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