Mon. May 16th, 2022

Marca

Paris Saint Germain‘s holy trinity of Lionel MessiKylian Mbappe and Neymar were once again the target for brickbats after their limp display at Manchester City.

Mbappe scored to put his side ahead, but it was one moment of positivity in a game that Pep Guardiola‘s team completely dominated, and the end result should have been far greater than the 2-1 scoreline.

It’s a result too that could have big consequences on PSG‘s progress in the competition, as they will now be drawn against any of the group winners – a list that currently includes the likes of Liverpool and Bayern Munich.

The stats bore out what a dismal performance the Parisians turned in, with City not making a single defensive clearance in the entire game – something that hadn’t happened for a team facing PSG since this data began being collected in 2006/07.

The heatmaps were also revealing, showing how Mauricio Pochettino‘s side barely got out of their own half.

And of course, the way their three forwards played was bound to be scrutinised.

Stills of the trio walking around contributing nothing defensively did the rounds on social media – as they always do – with L’Equipe awarding Messi a 4/10 for his individual contribution.

They added that much more should be expected of a six-time Ballon d’Or winner, including more help in building his team’s play.

Instead, Messi seemed overwhelmed physically by Manchester City, even though he did provide the deflected assist for Mbappe‘s opener.

Neymar and Mbappe both received 5/10 from the French sports daily, with the Brazilian being criticised for not doing enough with the ball.

Pochettino didn’t escape the heat either, with L’Equipe writing that his team “suffered a lot and his tactical changes didn’t give them any control”.

Judgements rolled in from the pundit sofas too, with Owen Hargreaves on BT Sport saying: “It was a masterclass from City.

“And it was without Phil Foden and Kevin De Bruyne.

Neymar and Messi must’ve left the pitch thinking, ‘I wish I could play for this team.’

“It was 2-1 but it could’ve been a lot more.”

Rafael van der Vaart went in even harder, on Messi in particular.

“It makes me sad,” he said.

“It’s a question of desire. Does he want it or not?

“When you compare him to Cristiano Ronaldo, one is fighting to take his team to the next level – and one isn’t.

Messi walks now and then.

“I look at him and think, ‘Aren’t you ashamed?’

“I’m just getting annoyed with Messi.

By Nwosu Chizoba David

Nwosu Chizoba David is a soccer lover and writer. He is a graduate of Biological Sciences, presently teaching in a secondary in Lagos.

Leave a Reply