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Champions Trophy: the ambition of PSG, the LFP farce… Favorites and scratches

FAVORITES.

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Champions Trophy: the ambition of PSG, the LFP farce… Favorites and scratches

FAVORITES

PSG still ahead of the holidays? We quickly understood that no. Luis Enrique's players started strong against Toulouse on Wednesday, during the Champions Trophy. Two goals scored during an “exceptional first half”, says “Lucho”, were enough for their happiness (2-0 final score). First period during which the Parisians played with ambition and the desire to put on a show, especially one-on-one. In this register, we necessarily think of the excellent Ousmane Dembélé, but not only that. Kylian Mbappé and Kang-in Lee, the two scorers, each tried to score an acrobatic return. The second period was not of the same ilk.

Also read PSG-Toulouse notes: impassable Donnarumma, Mbappé's class, Hakimi's activity

How to do without Achraf Hakimi? No, Luis Enrique didn't fall on his head: when he can field the Moroccan, he does. And the former Inter player was excellent again on Wednesday evening. “With the talent he has, he can do anything! He is a great player, talented, he creates a lot of imbalances and is very important for us,” summarizes Marquinhos, on Amazon. Issue ? Hakimi will now join his team for the African Cup of Nations. “We will miss him... I hope he goes as far as possible with Morocco. But he is a key player in our team,” regrets Dembélé, who will find himself without his favorite partner on the right side for a big month.

SEE ALSO - Champions Trophy: behind the scenes of the Paris SG celebration

Amorphous in the first period and trailing 2-0 at the break, Toulouse returned to the field with other intentions. A bit late ? Not false. But without a great Gigio Donnarumma, they could/should have scored at least once on Wednesday evening. “This first goal after two minutes hurts us, but we still manage to react, to create chances. The second, just before half-time, hurt too... But we didn't give up. We had chances in the second half. We would have had to play a perfect match to win, both offensively and defensively. A bit of success too, because you need it against such a team. Unfortunately, the stars were not aligned,” complains Vincent Sierro, hoping that TFC will show as much “personality” for the rest of the season in the championship. Remember that Toulouse is in a worrying 16th place in the rankings.

Barely recruited, already launched! Luis Enrique wanted to be patient with Lucas Beraldo, this 20-year-old Brazilian defender snatched from São Paulo for €20 million. Ultimately, he had no choice but to start it on Wednesday, after Milan Skriniar's injury. The audience greeted his first appearance with a standing ovation for every touch! “The fans were screaming every time I touched the ball. I can only thank them. I had already been here in 2009, I had seen a match from the stands and today I can play with my idols. there is nothing else to say. I can’t be grateful enough for that, you just have to enjoy it,” smiles the person concerned on the website of his new club.

CLAW STRIKES

Cheap entertainment, endless queues... The Champions Trophy is already nothing to dream about. The Professional Football League (LFP) made sure to ruin it even more. The worm was already in the fruit at the start: after the defection of the Thai organizer, the LFP chose the Parc des Princes to host the event. A neutral ground, a priori. "I do not think so. It was in Paris, at home, that added to the feat that had to be achieved... But we had accepted this challenge, we wanted to achieve this feat. Unfortunately, we didn’t do it,” said Sierra. And to add, to the question of whether this could have distorted the debates: “No, the situation was what it was. We had supporters from Toulouse who made the trip. We wanted to bring back the trophy for all those who couldn't come, the Indians who weren't there tonight. That's not an excuse". The TFC beaten but which knows how to remain worthy.

Also read: Mbappé on his future at PSG: “I didn’t make a choice”

The Ultras of both clubs chose to boycott the match. And this in particular because of the prices imposed by the organizer, the LFP. Toulouse supporters also criticized the choice of the Parc des Princes, that is understandable, and the few places allocated to the TFC. Instinctively, perhaps you thought both clubs had the same number of places? Not really... Toulouse sold the places on the Boulogne side, the rest could be found via PSG. In the end, without the chants of the Parisian and Toulouse Ultras, the match was played in a fair atmosphere. Sad.

But who could have voted for the title of “player of the match” on Wednesday evening? Not us in any case. Certainly, Kang-in Lee had a great performance before joining the South Korean national team. Author of the first Parisian goal, he is credited with a good 6.5 in our ratings. A 7 would not have been stolen. From there to making him the best player of the match, there is room... Achraf Hakimi and Marquinhos could claim this honorary title in a more legitimate way. Ousmane Dembélé and Kylian Mbappé too. Not to mention Gigio Donnarumma, who, despite a hand mistake that could have been costly, helped Paris keep a clean sheet. Our RMC colleague Daniel Riolo already sees a plot to promote the South Korean golden goose. He's not going to change his mind after this match...

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