On April 3, Lyon only needed 3 shots on target to beat PSG. Lionel Messi is constantly mocked every time he touches the ball. Kylian Mbappe looks for opportunities on his own, rejecting open plays with teammates and instead regularly crashing into the Lyon defence.
The final whistle sounded, Messi bowed and quickly went straight down the tunnel of Parc des Princes. Another disappointing result in a long string of poor performances by PSG from the beginning of 2023. They lost five matches in Ligue 1, as well as being knocked out of the Champions League and the French Cup.
From a unique position, 11 points more than Marseille on March 5, the gap is now only 6 points. In the event of not being able to win Ligue 1, it is a great shame for Messi and Mbappe personally.
PSG has never been considered a true collective. “A patchwork squad that only depends on star power,” Goal said. That’s when Messi or Mbappe must stand up to help the team overcome the crisis.
In fact, there is a contradiction. Leo improved significantly compared to his first season in Paris. He has 13 goals and 13 assists in Ligue 1, while Mbappe leads the list of top scorers with 19 goals. He also became PSG’s all-time top scorer.
However, that is not enough. Without Messi, Neymar and Mbappe had previously helped PSG maintain its dominance in Ligue 1. Of course, PSG still had a moment of decline when it lost the championship to Lille of coach Christophe Galtier in the 2020/21 season. . This season, PSG should have shown the superiority when owning the best attack.
In theory, Messi and Mbappe will help PSG overcome difficulties. But the duo’s influence dwindled. In PSG’s 5 defeats in Ligue 1 since the beginning of the year, both have not scored or provided any assists. Neymar, when healthy, doesn’t stand out either. He scored one goal, added another assist and was sent off for a foul before sustaining an injury that forced him to miss the rest of the season.
Of course, PSG fans don’t always expect Messi and Mbappe to score or assist in every game. But at the very least, they need to show their ability to lead the team better.
Currently, PSG becomes easy to catch cards. The opponent comfortably blocked Messi and Mbappe. In particular, Leo experienced a period of decline in form in the context of the future becoming unpredictable.
When Messi or Mbappe disappeared, PSG also had no one to rely on. Renato Sanches, Fabian Ruiz and Vitinha are all considered energetic midfielders who are also a bit refined but play unsatisfactory. It feels like they are only looking at the attacking trio above to play.
Winning Ligue 1 is a must
However, it is also hard to blame the surrounding satellites. Messi, Neymar and Mbappe get the highest salaries ever. At that time, they have to take on greater responsibility every time the team fails.
Messi used to carry Barcelona alone at the end of his career at Camp Nou. Mbappe, at the age of 19, was the key to helping France win the 2018 World Cup. At the 2022 World Cup, both played excellently and contributed an attractive final to the penalty shootout.
But in important matches this season, Messi or Mbappe are all underpowered. That was when PSG were knocked out of the French Cup by Marseille, a complete defeat to Bayern Munich in the round of 16 of the Champions League and let Lyon beat in Ligue 1.
With PSG, they have 9 games ahead to avoid disaster. With a distance of 6 points, it feels like PSG has a certain comfort in the top of Ligue 1. Even a falling PSG is capable of beating any team in the domestic league. But the unique position of PSG that was once certain is now beginning to shake.
With their current form, don’t be surprised if PSG continue to slide. If he was toppled in Ligue 1, it would be a huge shame. With Messi, he faced the harsh reality in France. Without the glitz of his first day in Paris, Leo is under a barrage of criticism. Another failed tournament is like a tragedy for the Argentine superstar.
Messi’s chapter with PSG may close after this season, but he needs to work hard to help PSG win Ligue 1. That is the best El Pulga can give PSG before considering leaving.
Xiaofeng | 11:00 09/04/2023