It took them seven matches, but Unai Emery’s Paris Saint-Germain turned in their first terrible performance of the Ligue 1 season, highlighting their overdependence on Neymar Santos Jr. in a scoreless draw with Michel Der Zakarian’s Montpellier HSC at the Stade de La Mosson. The result does not bode very well for Paris against a Bayern Munich side who also took it easy in league play against VfL Wolfsburg.
Kylian Mbappe looked like a National-level forward, being unable to connect and overdribbling. Meanwhile, Edinson Cavani was double-teamed on possession and was a non-factor all match. Montpellier had some good chances off the counter and Casimir Ninga showed excellent pace, while Benjamin Lecomte, our man of the match, was rock-solid in goal with a number of routine collections.
“We know it’s always difficult here with this pitch and atmosphere,” said owner Nasser Al-Khelaifi to Canal Plus. “It was really a difficult game. We knew that beforehand. The players tried everything. We can’t win every game. The coach and staff are going to analyse the match to try and improve. We didn’t really play today. We motivated and focused for Bayern. Wednesday is the most important thing now.”
“Our opponents, who defended well, deserve credit,” said Emery. “They were very effective in closing down the space. We played the match we wanted to, with a lot of possession, but we needed to push more to score goals. We had chances, but that’s not enough to win the game. The first thing is not to concede a goal. It’s important, of course, but the aim is to win. It’s true that today a point isn’t enough. This match gives us a lot of things to analyse to continue our progress.”
1 – Paris have only registered 1 shot on target v Montpellier (Mbappé), their lowest tally in a L1 game since August 2016 v Monaco. Mute. pic.twitter.com/edjU0YZ6iM
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) September 23, 2017
“It was a difficult match, there wasn’t a lot of space,” added PSG midfielder Marco Verratti. “The most difficult thing is to score a goal. We didn’t manage to do that, despite some chances. We’ll try to do better in the Champions League. We didn’t score, but I think we played well. We played at 100%. It’s not easy to win every match.”
The schedule won’t get any easier for Paris. Next Saturday, the Parisians host another unbeaten team in Jocelyn Gourvennec’s Girondins de Bordeaux and even though Paris have had form against FCGB, their effort against Montpellier is sure to provide a clue as to how to come up with a similar, if bigger, scalp at Le Parc.