Denis Charlet / AFP
FOOTBALL – PSG, thanks to Mauro Icardi and Neymar, took revenge against Marseille (2-1) to win the Champions Trophy, this Wednesday, January 13 in Lens, the first title of the Mauricio Pochettino era.
If the rain brings luck to the bride and groom, then the union between “Poche” and PSG promises to be fruitful, in view of the downpours that fell during the evening.
The Argentine technician, who arrived at the beginning of January, has perpetuated a house habit, with this 8th consecutive Champions Trophy which reassures a club lacking benchmarks this season.
Manhandled in the league, criticized for their sometimes insipid game, the Parisians have found a semblance of normality, when they lifted the 26th trophy of the QSI era started in 2011.
Their noisy collective celebration, which contrasted with the silence of the Bollaert stadium behind closed doors, spoke volumes about their relief.
Relaunching the steamroller was precisely the objective assigned to Pochettino who celebrated the first title of his coaching career alongside his loyal staff.
Beating the Marseille rival is all the more symbolic as the “Clasico” lost at the Parc des Princes (1-0), four months ago, heralded the complicated fall which would be fatal to his predecessor Thomas Tuchel.
This time, his players mastered their subject and nerves, as requested by “Pocket” who made emotion control one of his first areas of work.
The bad memory of September swept away, the start of a general fight, the accusations of racist and homophobic insults, the five red cards. It remained a compact team, which left OM with little chance.
André Villas-Boas’ players were aiming for their first trophy since the 2012 League Cup.
But they lacked sharpness, like Florian Thauvin (54th), Duje Caleta-Car (59th) or Valentin Rongier (75th) who could have made the Parisians pay their average start to the second half, again.
The reduction of the score by Dimitri Payet (89th) came too late for a team which played its all-out, in vain, during the five minutes of added time.
The Marseille awkwardness did the business of Pochettino, who was able to leave his superstar Neymar for an hour on the bench, back in the group a month after injuring an ankle.
“Ney” scored on a penalty (84th) caused by Leandro Paredes and validated by video assistance (VAR), as if to remind that Paris was back.
Moreover, the PSG remembered the good memories of the “fantastic four” that Tuchel aligned little, either because he preferred a more stable system, or because his superheroes were unavailable.
Icardi man of the match
Among them, Mauro Icardi, designated man of the match, impressed the most in Lens.
The “Goleador”, hampered by groin and knee problems for four months, followed a second match with a goal, after that against Brest on Saturday (3-0), for the first time this season.
On a cross from Di Maria, he beat Steve Mandanda in two stages (39th), after the Marseille goalkeeper stopped his head.
The former Inter had a double ball, but his powerful strike, after a counter initiated by Mbappé, found the crossbar (45th + 2).
“Kyky” saw his goal canceled for an offside (29th). He will have another chance to score in a “Clasico” on February 7, at the Vélodrome, a week before the round of 16 first leg of the Champions League at FC Barcelona: the match that will say if, really, PSG has found the fabric of a chmpion.
See also on The HuffPost: In Bolivia, this dog invites himself into a football match
*The article has been translated based on the content of Le Huffington Post by www.huffingtonpost.fr. If there is any problem regarding the content, copyright, please leave a report below the article. We will try to process as quickly as possible to protect the rights of the author. Thank you very much!
*We just want readers to access information more quickly and easily with other multilingual content, instead of information only available in a certain language.
*We always respect the copyright of the content of the author and always include the original link of the source article.If the author disagrees, just leave the report below the article, the article will be edited or deleted at the request of the author. Thanks very much! Best regards!