A surprise holder in the left lane of the Parisian defense, Mitchel Bakker received several remarks from Neymar, alternating between advice and criticism during a complicated evening for the Dutchman.
Mitchel Bakker (20) had diffused feelings on Wednesday night during the semi-final first leg of the Champions League between PSG and Manchester City (1-2). The Dutchman first experienced the joy of being established for this shock after his solid entries against Bayern in the quarterfinals. The challenge was sizeable and he partially met expectations in the first half. The result was more complicated with losses of ball, a backward defense against the pressure of Mahrez and co in his lane and some bad choices.
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Its task has not been facilitated by some of its partners. Present in his area, Neymar has often advised him in his choices: ‘move’, ‘come’. But the Brazilian was also annoyed several times in the face of the waste of his young partner (20 years old), almost a novice at this level. Arrived anonymously at PSG in 2019, Bakker only played his ninth Champions League match on Wednesday, including only three starts. Neymar’s ostentatious exasperation towards him made Jérôme Rothen tick.
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“At one point, he attacked Bakker on the left side because he gave him a bad ball, regrets the former PSG midfielder. All Neymar that he is – he is nice, c ‘is a genius, OK, I’m the first to say it – when he’s in this state of mind… He loses every other ball, he doesn’t make any efforts for the collective and attacks one young player who may have had his best first half since arriving at PSG, it is unacceptable. “
Holder for the return?
The former left midfielder of PSG would have liked more understanding and pedagogy from the Parisian star, more quick to criticize. In his defense, Bakker has sometimes seemed lonely on his side, due in particular to Neymar’s lack of withdrawal. His presence in the second leg in a week at the Etihad Stadium is dotted.
Judged too fair physically on Wednesday, Abdou Diallo may be preferred to him if he is fit. The mystery still hangs over the state of form of Layvin Kurzawa as Juan Bernat, number 1 at the post last season, is not very far from the recovery after a serious knee injury. So many absences that propelled Bakker as the holder of a Champions League semi-final. Arrived as a complementary player and number 4 in the hierarchy, the defender was not really expected in these high spheres a few months ago.