Noha Lemina, 18 years old for a month and by far the most prominent Parisian this Tuesday in Osaka. The native of Libreville (Gabon), little brother of Mario Lemina, made miseries in the defense of Al-Nassr. A shot on target at the start of the match (10th), another counter in the area (22nd), a dangerous cross (37th) or even a cold from Marcelo Brozovic for yet another opportunity (46th). A last festival to cause a fault at the extreme limit of the surface (81st). Only outfield player to have played the 90 minutes for PSG.
In Paris, when you're in the dark, there are two solutions: press the switch or call Marco Verratti. Luis Enrique chose the second by bringing in the Italian midfielder on the hour mark (with 8 other players at the same time). Verratti was the conductor of the last half hour, between a good cross for Ilyes Housni (68th), a perfect pass for the occasion from Ismaël Gharbi (70th) or a good ball out to Fabian Ruiz (88th). He even tried a direct shot from a free kick (86th), into the wall. Encouraging after a very delicate season.
There were some good managements on crosses, more approximations on corners. But Gianluigi Donnarumma will especially remember his parade against Cristiano Ronaldo, the one worthy of his title of best player at Euro 2020, received just before signing for PSG. On a volley of the fivefold Ballon d'Or to six meters, the Italian had an excellent reflex to save his people (39th). Like his compatriot Verratti, something to reassure himself after the last painful months in Paris.
13 shots, 7 on target and the last or penultimate passes to review. Paris attacked, often, and was wrong, regularly. The initial attacking trio (Lemina, Asensio, Soler) sought its bearings. The French made his show in his corner and the Spaniards never understood each other. The few passes that broke the lines (Zaire-Emery, Verratti…) ended with random finishes, or an impeccable Nawaf Al-Aqidi on his line. There is no doubt that with Neymar, possibly Mbappé and perhaps a new renowned centre-forward, the situation will change.
It is in this same Nagai Stadium and its nearly 50,000 seats that Paris will play again Friday against Cerezo Osaka, at the same time (12:20 p.m. in France, 7:20 p.m. local time) as this Tuesday. With, the Parisians hope, a little more enthusiasm. The corners were filled against Al-Nassr, not the side stands. The few hot moments or counter-attacks, from one side or the other, were very weakly supported by the Japanese public. Perhaps the loudest moment was for… Neymar, in a pinafore, waving to the spectators before the start of the 2nd period. The Brazilian didn't play.