At a small trot, a reworked PSG won on the lawn of Caen (0-1), Wednesday in the 32nd of the Coupe de France. Six days before the knockout stages of the Champions League against FC Barcelona, Neymar returned directly to the locker room after a big blow.
The whole match, Paris had to do with a Caen team grouped behind, only discovering themselves to deploy against. Next Tuesday against FC Barcelona, in the knockout stages of the Champions League (9 p.m., live on RMC Sport 1), it should not be the same music at Camp Nou. Rarely dangerous and having to rely on the only goal of Moise Kean (0-1), this redesigned Paris Saint-Germain did not really build up confidence against the 11th in Ligue 2, Wednesday at Michel-d’Ornano . He is also worried about Neymar, left affected in the second half.
Three days after obtaining the Classic against OM (0-2), Paris has chained a third straight victory in all competitions, and qualified without shining for the round of 16 of a competition in which it is the defending champion, and the most successful team in the competition with 13 successes including 5 of the last 6 editions.
Finding Di Maria’s replacement will wait
This meeting was to serve as a warm-up lap, before the big rehearsal on Saturday in Ligue 1 against OGC Nice (5 p.m.), even if several elements were not available for this meeting. While holders Keylor Navas (recovery), Marco Verratti (hip) and Layvin Kurzawa (rest) should be on their feet for Barcelona, the problem of the absence of Angel Di Maria (thigh) had to be quickly resolved by Pochettino. But against the Caen, neither Pablo Sarabia on the right nor Julian Draxler on the left have come out of the game, leaving only one meeting for their coach to decide who will accompany three of the fantastic four next Tuesday. Although the Spaniard seems to offer more guarantees than the German, who did not find the frame on an uncrossed head (42nd).
>> Relive the game minute by minute
Neymar captain, then left touched
The Argentine coach has in any case sent a strong message by propelling Neymar captain, in the absence of Marquinhos and Presnel Kimpembe. An unprecedented image for the Brazilian, who had already received the armband on the arm of Marquinhos last October but had never started a meeting with. The “Ney” was one of the few to take initiatives, often with only one ball at the foot. Until he left the field even before his replacement Kylian Mbappé could enter the track, head bowed when returning directly to the locker room, holding his left thigh after a charge from Steeve Yago (59th). Before Barça, concern grows.
Before that, Moise Kean had converted the perfect serve of his captain (49th), but not that of Leandro Paredes in stride (52nd). In his distant duel with Mauro Icardi for the tip, the Italian scored points but still starts from too far. Few things to remember finally from this very dull match for PSG. Only, perhaps, that many questions remain unanswered six days before the most important game of his season.