Paris SG beat Lille (3-1) with a team with several rotations at the Parc des Princes this Saturday, four days before the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 against Real Sociedad.
On the 21st round of the French championship, the Parisian bench was overflowing with talent, with Kylian Mbappé, Marquinhos, Achraf Hakimi, Donnarumma, Zaïre-Emery and Barcola among others.
“We have to play every three days, so we have to plan with the coaching staff all the options at our disposal. We must not underestimate a match. We are a group, with two players per position to be competitive in all competitions,” he had explained Luis Enrique at a press conference on Friday.
His plan is going perfectly, so far. The team arranged by the Spanish coach showed guarantees and great intensity without the ball, applying constant pressure.
One of the standouts was the Frenchman Ousmane Dembélé: the former Barcelona player recovered a ball just in front of the area before serving to Gonçalo Ramos, who made it 1-1 alone into an empty goal.
Very active in his technical area, Luis Enrique, a fervent defender of that football, enjoyed what he saw.
“It is a very complete match, similar to both the Brest match in the Cup and against Lille, rivals similar to Real Sociedad, so two perfect rivals to prepare for the Champions League, in both matches we have been at the same level,” declared the coach. Asturian after the victory.
“Today we have seen the players’ willingness to add and help the team be better every game,” he added.
The Parisians, wearing a special t-shirt to celebrate the Chinese New Year, had not started the game well, conceding a goal in the 6th minute: Brazilian signing Lucas Beraldo was overtaken by Tiago Santos, and then a bad clearance by Spaniard Fabián Ruiz was taken advantage of by Yusuf Yazici.
But thanks to Gonçalo Ramos’ fourth goal of the season in one of his few appearances in the starting eleven, the locals grew stronger and would no longer let go of the game.
And it didn’t take them long to get ahead. Fabián Ruiz was at the origin of the second Parisian goal after a cross without much danger but which was deflected by defender Alexsandro, which dislocated goalkeeper Lucas Chevalier.
Kylian Mbappé, who was on the bench the entire game after some ankle discomfort on Wednesday against Brest, was able to rest, without his presence being necessary on the pitch.
This 16th consecutive match without defeat in all competitions allows PSG to move 11 points away from Nice, who will play Monaco on Sunday.
In form at home, Lille (4th, 35 points), which has only won two games away from home this season, continues to appear vulnerable away.
Like the French striker, Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma also did not play this Saturday, allowing Keylor Navas to enjoy his first start in Ligue 1 since May 2022.
And after coming off the bench, Bradley Barcola struck as usual, offering an assist to Randal Kolo Muani (80, 3-1), who is experiencing a difficult first few months in the capital despite scoring six goals.
The ‘speaker’ had to intervene during the match, after the Parisian ultras insulted the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, in conflict with the club over the Parc des Princes.
“Without PSG, the park has no princes,” read a banner from the ultras, who on several occasions called for the mayor’s resignation.
PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi stated this week his desire to leave the venue in the face of the Paris city council’s refusal to sell it.
In Saturday’s other match in the French first division, Lens (6th) beat Strasbourg (10th) 3-1.