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Ligue 1: Paris Saint-Germain beats Toulouse without reassuring


It is written that nothing will be easy for Paris Saint-Germain at the start of 2023. PSG beat Toulouse (2-1) on their lawn at the Parc des Princes, Saturday February 4, in the first match of the 22e day of Ligue 1. In the standings, Paris remains at the top of the championship with 8 points ahead of Marseille and Lens, who respectively face Nice and Brest on Sunday. But the figures are misleading: Lionel Messi and his teammates were more worrying than reassuring during this meeting where the Toulouse people believed they could come back to score until the last moments of the match

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Three days after the victory in Montpellier (3-1), but especially the loss of Kylian Mbappé, absent at least three weeks because of a hamstring injury, Paris has not started its game of the best way. Toulouse quickly opened the scoring with a free kick thanks to their specialist Branco van den Boomen (1-0, 20e). The Dutchman struck from the open side and surprised goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, who was not blameless on the spot.

Still unexciting in the game, PSG relied on individual initiatives. The first signed Achraf Hakimi allowed the Parisians to equalize. Shifted to the right side, the Moroccan moved in the middle to roll up a magnificent shot with his left foot into the small net of Maxime Dupé (1-1, 38e).

Lack of inspiration

The second came from the only member of the trio of stars still standing: Lionel Messi. Following a breakthrough from Achraf Hakimi, the Argentinian instantly took the ball with his left foot to roll it out of reach of the Toulouse goalkeeper (2-1, 58e). Two flashes to save the lack of collective inspiration of the capital club.

Above all, Christophe Galtier lamented a new injury just ten days before the round of 16 first leg of the Champions League against Bayern Munich. After less than a quarter of an hour of play, Renato Sanches left his partners in tears, visibly hit in the thigh and emotionally scarred by a new physical glitch. This injury is in addition to those of Neymar, Sergio Ramos and therefore Kylian Mbappé.

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In addition to its infirmary which is filling up day by day, PSG did not reassure at the start of a month of February which is essential for the rest of its season. In addition to the trip to Marseille, Wednesday February 8, in the round of 16 of the Coupe de France and the reception of Bayern Munich (February 14), Paris must in particular travel to Monaco and again to OM, on behalf of the championship.

“After the World Cup, it took us time to get back into shape and our automatisms, said Maquinhos, the Brazilian captain of PSG, at the microphone of Amazon Prime. In bad times, you have to take the points and keep pushing forward. The wounds [des joueurs-clés], that’s a shame. We will have to do without them and be strong. » “It’s not an easy victory, also acknowledges youngster El Chadaille Bitshiabu, who replaced Sanches. We won thanks to our state of mind. Neymar and Kylian [Mbappé] weren’t there, but we won. And I’m sure we’re going to win many more games. »

Often feverish, worrying at the dawn of a period when their adversaries risk being more dangerous than the Toulousains, the Parisians will not be able to content themselves with a dose of optimism and the Coué method to achieve their lofty objectives, especially in the Champions League.