Clément Lenglet caused his fourth penalty this season, Wednesday during the knockout stages of the Champions League between PSG and Barça (1-1). Widely used by Koeman, the defender seems feverish three months before the Euro.
Without Mauro Icardi’s cries, his clumsiness would have almost gone unnoticed. But the PSG striker fell well after being walked over by Clément Lenglet in the penalty area. The Argentine’s half-removed shoe and the video confirmed the Frenchman’s mistake. Penalty for Paris, Mbappé’s goal and hopes showered by Barça, entered with the knife between his teeth in his round of 16 return of the Champions League after the slap of the first leg (1-4).
“I look in front of me, I do not even see where he is going (Icardi, editor’s note)”, he complained to the referee to denounce his cruel, but logical decision. In the first leg, Layvin Kurzawa was penalized for the same inattention to Frenkie De Jong. For Lenglet, already struggling on the first leg, this comes in a personally complicated season.
Assigned after his mistake in Cadiz
On Wednesday he conceded his fourth penalty in all competitions, at least double that of any Barcelona player in 2020/21. He conceded two in the 2020/21 Champions League, the highest total along with six other players. His faults were expensive: a draw caused in Cadiz (1-1) and a hasty defeat against Real Madrid (1-3).
The former Nancy is however the central defender most used by Koeman due in particular to the many defections. On Wednesday, Barça had to do without Gerard Pique and Ronaldo Araujo while Samuel Umtiti does not seem to present sufficient guarantees in the eyes of Koeman, who left him on the bench in Paris.
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Lenglet does a lot in a chaotic season. He had been seen very affected after his mistake against Cadiz. Some media even said he was isolated in the group. “I don’t know what the inside of the locker room looks like at the moment, recently confided Jérémy Mathieu, former player of the club. I felt a little lonely, no one is with you, for me it’s not club football. Everyone kills him (Lenglet), it’s part of football. You have to be the most positive to turn the situation around. “
Few competitors among the Blues
His bad patch questions his place in the French team while Didier Deschamps will unveil his group for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers next week. Holder in 2019 for the Euro qualification campaign, Lenglet lost his place in the left axis of the hinge for the benefit of Presnel Kimpembé, last November. With the approach of the Euro, the competition for his post does not appear very sharp.
Aymeric Laporte plays little in Manchester City and does not enter too much into the little papers of Didier Deschamps. Samuel Umtiti still seems far from the Blues and Lenglet. Trained in the axis, Lucas Hernandez has only played one round in the selection where Deschamps aligns him almost systematically on the left. Lenglet is in a good position for the Euro. But in what state of mental freshness after such a tiring season?