PSG vs Lille score: Di Maria leads a late comeback; Sporting director says Pochettino’s criticisms are “too much”


Paris Saint-Germain opened a provisional 10-point lead at the top of Ligue 1 on Friday with a 2-1 win over defending champions Lille OSC at Parc des Princes thanks to goals from Marquinhos and Angel Di Maria after Jonathan David gave LOSC a lead in the first half.

It looked like the Canadian international’s eighth goal of the championship season would be enough after Lille hit the hour mark still ahead, but Jocelyn Gourvennec’s men were eventually defeated by a late blast of Di Maria magic with a little help from Neymar and Marquinhos.

With Kylian Mbappe released with an infection and Marco Verratti injured once again, PSG were running out of ideas for the majority of this game between the two title rivals of the last campaign – which is very much in line with this. term so far under Mauricio Pochettino.

The Argentine sometimes cuts a good figure, even though the Parisians stand out at the top of Ligue 1 and dominate their UEFA Champions League group, which also includes Manchester City.

However, when you see how PSG are playing with Lionel Messi and Neymar on the pitch, it’s easier to see why Pochettino is under fire. Friday’s game was further evidence in a growing record of keeping the capital doing the bare minimum.

For long stretches of this encounter, the hosts were lethargic and unable to attack with real intention or cunning and appeared vulnerable at the back with Juan Bernat still getting back into shape on the left and a clumsy Thilo Kehrer to the right.

The midfielder had a lot of muscle but little to no creativity and it was largely professional as they tried to protect the back line but offered little to move the ball forward which led to Neymar sinking deeper to enter the ball.

Ultimately, it was Di Maria who became the star man of PSG when he provided a perfect ball for Marquinhos to come home, then exquisitely combined with Neymar before clinically finishing for complete a 14 minute turnaround.

That it was the least mentioned of the two Argentina internationals on the pitch for the home side on Friday that made the difference should come as no surprise as Di Maria threatened the best in the first half after another glorious trade with Neymar and Messi.

This was, however, a rare exception to the general rule, which was once again to prioritize the result over any kind of constructive play, which prompted sporting director Leonardo to defend the coach- chef Pochettino after the final whistle.

“With the coach, the criticisms are too much,” says Leonardo. “We’re looking, everyone’s looking. Mauricio Pochettino was in the top five before he came, and now he’s what? Nothing? Everyone needs time.”

Leonardo also allayed fears that Sergio Ramos would stay away from a potential start and dismissed him as the Spanish media trying to create problems for PSG after a tense summer which ultimately saw Mbappe miss against Lille.

Few can dispute Pochettino’s results at the moment, but it seems the individual brilliance has been to his rescue for some time now, when it ultimately wasn’t enough for his predecessor Thomas Tuchel.

Unless PSG suddenly start beating teams as convincingly as their 2-0 Champions League win over Manchester City, expect the South American to remain under scrutiny and Zinedine Zidane to continue to do so. be linked to a return to France.

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