Lionel Messi-less PSG slump to 3-0 defeat at Monaco in Ligue 1 clash
With Lionel Messi ruled out by a bout of flu, PSG showed close to nothing at the Louis II stadium 11 days after being knocked out of the Champions League last 16 by Real Madrid who scored three goals in 17 minutes.
Paris St Germain produced a woeful performance as they lost 3-0 at Monaco in Ligue 1 on Sunday (March 20), a result that will put coach Mauricio Pochettino under more pressure less than two weeks after their Champions League exit. PSG, on 65 points from 29 games, still lead second-placed Olympique de Marseille by 12 points after OM beat Nice 2-1 courtesy of an Arkadiusz Milik penalty on the stroke of halftime and a late goal by Cedric Bakambu.
Nice moved down from third to fourth on 50 points, two behind Stade Rennais who demolished strugglers Metz 6-1 with a Serhou Guirassy hat-trick. With Lionel Messi ruled out by a bout of flu, PSG showed close to nothing at the Louis II stadium 11 days after being knocked out of the Champions League last 16 by Real Madrid who scored three goals in 17 minutes.
Monaco climbed to seventh on 44 points. “They played well, congratulations to them. They`re a good team, a great club,” PSG striker Kylian Mbappe said. “The goal is to get the 10th French title. We can win 8-0, 9-0, people will talk about the Champions League. Whatever happens we must respect ourselves, if we have a little bit of self-esteem. We also need to respect the fans.”
The usually soft-spoken Pochettino also had strong words. “The way we lost is not acceptable at this level of competition. We can’t start a game the way we started this one,” said the Argentine who took over midway through last season.
“We need to get over the Champions league exit; hopefully the international break will help put it behind us.”
PSG were overwhelmed in midfield and it was not long before they were punished. Wissam Ben Yedder put the hosts ahead on 25 minutes after beating Presnel Kimpembe at the near post to deflect Youssouf Fofana`s cross into the top corner.
The opener came shortly after PSG’s first attempt of the game, a curled shot from Neymar that went just wide. The capital team improved slightly before the interval, with Mbappe and Achraf Hakimi creating chances, but their performance was still well below their best.
PSG were not much better after the break and Mbappe wasted a couple of good opportunities before Monaco doubled their advantage in the 68th minute. An unchallenged Fofana found Ben Yedder on the right and the France striker’s pass reached Ruben Aguilar who deflected the ball for Kevin Volland to score from six metres.
Pochettino replaced Leandro Paredes with Mauro Icardi and Neymar with Julian Draxler, but the changes had zero effect as PSG conceded another goal six minutes from time. Volland was tripped in the box by Kimpembe and Ben Yedder converted the resulting penalty to confirm PSG`s fourth consecutive away defeat in all competitions.
(with Reuters inputs)