Nantes – Paris Saint-Germain: Neymar-less PSG Win Despite Shaky Finish (1-2)
In the midweek game in Ligue 1, PSG won their second game of a three game week but went very close to drawing. After controlling the game for seventy minutes with two goals, an individual mistake gave Nantes a goal, which led to a crazy ending where the hosts should have equalized.
Tactial analysis and match report by Simon Piotr.
Nantes hosted PSG at a difficult time, having lost their two previous league games. It was easy to predict Nantes would play in Christian Gourcuff’s trademark flat 4-4-2 system. However, Nantes were missing several regular starters: defenders Nicolas Pallois and Dennis Appiah, as well as the young goalkeeper Alban Lafont. Despite some substitutes starting, Nantes still had an interesting force up front with the Ludovic Blas and Moses Simon given the start.
Unsurprisingly, PSG came to La Beaujoire stadium in their current 4-4-2 system, although manager Thomas Tuchel would play inverted wingers or offensive midfielders instead of regular wingers. Nine players were starting from the previous game against Montpellier - With Neymar officially missing due to a rib injury (or just having some rest after his birthday party as rumors say). Pablo Sarabia started as left midfielder, meaning Mauro Icardi was back in the striker position Sarabia had occupied in previous match. The only other change saw Thilo Kehrer take over for Tanguy Kouassi in central defense.
PSG in control before opening the scoring
Despite being renowned for an attack minded philosophy, in the traditionally defensive landscape of French football, it was clear that Nantes manager Christian Gourcuff would leave PSG ball possession and try to hit them . . .