Christophe Galtier knew it before signing: integrating the “PSG” rocket requires a lot of energy. Especially when you have Kylian Mbappé, Lionel Messi or Neymar as crew chiefs. In less than four months on the Parisian bench, the former Nice coach was quickly able to experience his change in dimension, between the Neymar-Mbappé “penaltygate” affair or the “sand yacht” controversy when he answered to a journalist-in a tone of irony-that he and his players were going to use this means of transport to be more eco-responsible when traveling.
And if the extra-sportsman has a “tired” time, it is indeed a compressor roll that the French technician is building, whose troops overcame Maccabi Haifa (7-2), Tuesday 25 October, at the Parc des Princes, thus validating for the eleventh year in a row the presence of PSG in the European top 16.
Despite fears of a match classified level 3 out of 5 by the national division for the fight against hooliganism, football quickly regained its rights. The thousand agents and law enforcement deployed for the smooth running of the meeting were not called upon.
Flexible and scalable management
The expelled and Parisian supporters showed diplomacy, even if the former cracked smoke bombs from the kick-off, while the latter insisted on peacefully reiterating their support for the Gaza Strip, through flags and banners. And it was the game that came out stronger, between an offensively overpowered Parisian team and a formation from Maccabi, victorious over Juventus Turin in the previous match (2-0), which never closed the game, offered intermittently interesting streaks rewarded with two goals. “I’d rather lose 7-2 than lose 4-2 playing bad football. I regret nothing “, their coach, Barak Bakhar, said after the match.
His counterpart showed how clever it could be to abandon tactical dogmatism. Long a follower of 3-4-1-2, the coach switched to a more classic 4-3-3 scheme (four defenders, three midfielders, three attackers). A provision that has allowed the “MNM” (Messi, Neymar, Mbappé) to best express its creativity. The starting line-up announced Messi on the left, Mbappé in the middle and Neymar on the right, but nothing happened, as the trio played with freedom, unseating the Israeli defense with each touch of the ball.
The triumvirate was also involved in almost all the goals, chaining exchanges of very high level. And Christophe Galtier knows better than anyone that his salvation will come from the performance of his “fantastic three”. “I have three extraordinary players up front. We had to find a system and complementarities in the middle so that they could express themselves more freely, developed the latter after the game. When one of the three leaves with the ball, it comes alive quickly, it plays for each other and it’s very pleasant to see. »
Mbappé, the shadow suits him so well
“I had a reflection on a comment so that they can express themselves in the best possible way with each in their preferential zone”, confessed Christophe Galtier before the match. The coach had a hollow nose in placing Mbappé as a false axial center forward. The one who had expressed on Instagram at the beginning of October his dissatisfaction, considering playing a role of “pivot”wandered in the defense, often starting from the left to return to the heart of the game.
His two achievements are also reminiscent of two capital goals from the Bondynois in the Champions League: on the lawn of Barcelona in February 2021 and in Munich in April of the same year, with actions concluded from the same area of the field, left side of the surface .
Often waving the extra-sports section in recent weeks, the Parisian number 7 has set the record straight on the pitch against Maccabi Haifa. The basketball lover, author of a “double-double” with two goals and two assists, shone in a refined and collective style. A new register this season, as the star sold certain actions by sin of individualism, in particular against Juventus Turin during the first day.
If he is credited with very lukewarm relations with Neymar, the two usual soloists have once again often combined, accompanied by a Lionel Messi who recalled with two magic left paws why some still attribute him the status of best player in the world. .
Kylian Mbappé did an enormous invisible job, symbolized by a run towards the goal sucking up the opposing defense and opening the doors of the goal to Neymar in the 35th minute.e minutes (3-1). Christophe Galtier has already succeeded where his predecessor Mauricio Pochettino failed. The Argentine was never developed to get the best out of his three gems in the 2021-22 season.
“It’s very nice to train them. When they speak like this, it’s the holy grail for a coach.” underlines Galtier, whose team is now the only one, with Naples, in Italy, to be undefeated in all competitions in the five major European championships. It now remains to ensure first place in the group by winning on the lawn of Juventus Turin – already eliminated – on November 2.