RC Lens – Paris Saint-Germain: Lens Claim A Scalp In Historic Win (1-0)
A coronavirus ravaged Paris Saint-Germain side, missing their entire frontline, looked bereft of ideas against Lens’ well-drilled 3-4-1-2 shape. The normal press resistance and rapid transitions we have come to expect from the capital club were absent from a performance that featured plenty of ball possession and little incisiveness.
Tactical analysis and match report by K.T. Stockwell.
A spike in coronavirus cases across France has taken its toll on Paris Saint-Germain. Several members of the starting eleven were ruled out for the club’s match against Lens after having tested positive for the virus, including: Kylian Mbappé, Neymar, Keylor Navas, Marquinhos, Leandro Paredes and Ángel Di María.
The loss of so many regular starters left manager Thomas Tuchel scrambling for replacements in his 4-3-3 formation. The result was a deep-dive into the club’s development system and a reworked frontline, led by 18-year-old striker Arnaud Kalimuendo, nestled in between wingers Pablo Sarabia and fellow 18-year-old Kays Ruiz-Atil. Meanwhile, 20-year-old Polish keeper, Marcin Bulka was given his first start between the posts.
Lens asserted themselves well in their first match back in the top-flight – outplaying a favoured OGC Nice side, before ultimately falling short thanks to an Amine Gouiri wonder-strike. Manager Franck Haise stuck with his preferred 3-4-1-2 formation against PSG, which leans heavily on the young spine of Loïc Badé in central defense, Cheick Doucouré in the holding midfield role and Igniatius Ganago up front.
PSG struggle to adapt
A tepid first half saw PSG ease their way into the fixture . . .