We were wondering where the captain would start the match. Established in central defense, and not in midfield, Marquinhos was above all in an attacking position at the appropriate time for Paris-Saint-Germain (PSG). Never the last to bring the excess on set pieces. Exact at the rendezvous to save PSG, finally victorious (3-1) on the field of Manchester United, Sunday, December 2, for its penultimate match of the first round, after having feared the worst for half an hour.
Good news for PSG: the club took first place in Group H of the Champions League tied on points with its evening opponent, in an ideal position to advance to the knockout stages. Bad news: he got scared again.
In the event of a draw or defeat, the club would rather have taken the path of a possible elimination in the first round of the competition, with the sad prospect, in a week, against Istanbul Basaksehir, for the sixth and last group match. , a repechage in the Europa League, the European Cup bis.
The equalizer of Marcus Rashford (1-1, 32nd), response to the opening of the express score of Neymar (6th), has long accredited this disaster scenario. Thirty-seven long minutes, Paris seemed destitute. Until the emergence of Marquinhos: a goal from the right, at close range, after a first recovery against Ander Herrera, from a corner (69th). Not the hardest, but the most important, before a third for the road, again from Neymar (90th +1).
“Courage” … and luck
In such circumstances, “Marqui” prefers to emphasize the “Courage” and the “Personality” of his team, yet already battered (2-2) against Bordeaux in the league, Saturday, October 28. Understand: her ability to keep hope even when everything seems to nail her down to thirty-sixth below. “In the second half, […], the coach gave us a lot of confidence, he told us ‘Take risks’ ”, relates the defender at the microphone of RMC Sport.
The Brazilian may have forgotten one quality: luck. That, enormous, of falling on a team of unfaithful Manchester to fold the match when it had the leisure. At 1-1, we must remember this missed Anthony Martial in the second half. Or this delicate lob from Edinson Cavani, hitting the crossbar of a beaten Keylor Navas on this one.
Other favorable elements: this expulsion of Fred (70th), then this exit of Marcus Rashford on injury (74th), in an Old Trafford stadium without supporters, due to the Covid-19.
Cavani, he was playing for the first time against PSG. Unhappy on his lob, the top scorer in the club’s history (200 goals all the same) almost joined the long list of former Parisians scorers against PSG.
Di Maria on the bench
In August, PSG had already trembled against Bergamo to win their quarter-final of the previous Champions League. Equalization of Marquinhos, already him, in added time, victorious goal of Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting. Before a final lost against Bayern Munich, the first for the club from the capital, the year of its fifty years.
For the current season, and on the evening of a long victory to emerge, PSG can already be satisfied to glimpse the road to the round of 16. “We are almost qualified, that means that we are not yet qualified, qualified Wednesday evening Thomas Tuchel. To be almost pregnant is not to be pregnant. “
This Wednesday, the German coach of Paris had innovated in attack, starting Moise Keane in place of Angel Di Maria. Returning from injury, already a scorer against Bordeaux, the Italian striker took his place alongside the usual duo Mbappé-Neymar, a pair on which PSG is still far too dependent this season.
Tuesday, December 8, a success against the Turks of Basaksehir would guarantee the Parisians a first place in group H. Without forgetting, however, the two matches already lost (against Manchester in the first leg, at the Parc des Princes, then against Leipzig in displacement), nor this general impression of inconstancy.