Paris Saint-Germain Lose to Last-Place Dijon

On a cold rainy night in eastern France, Paris Saint-Germain came up short against Dijon FCO at the Stade Gaston Gérard losing their third match of the Ligue 1 season.

The 2-1 defeat won’t seriously impact the capital club’s standing a the top of the table, but losing to last-place Dijon is certainly a hit to the ego of Les Parisiens.

Manager Thomas Tuchel was without several players due to injury and illness, including Thiago Silva, Marco Verratti, Ander Herrera, and Neymar Jr. However, Kylian Mbappé, Marquinhos, Edinson Cavani, Presnel Kimpembe, Mauro Icardi, Idrissa Gueye, and Angel Di Maria were all available. Here is Tuchel’s starting XI:

Cavani started the game from the bench with Icardi given another start as he is the clear choice at striker for Tuchel. Di Maria and Mbappé flanked him on either side to form a potent attacking force that really should have taken advantage of a tired Dijon team.

The midfield was solid as well. Marquinhos and Gueye are more than capable of controlling the middle of the park and while Leandro Paredes has struggled since joining PSG, he’s a player you would expect to do well against an opponent like Dijon.

Finally, in defense, missing was Silva but Kimpembe and Abdou Diallo are two very solid players. Juan Bernat and Colin Dagba are the preferred full-backs as well. Keylor Navas started per the usual in goal.

It was a very talented starting lineup from Tuchel when I had originally predicted he would rotate the team a bit and give some of the regular starters a rest. All of that offensive firepower and experience on defense didn’t help against an inspired Dijon side.

In the 19th minute, Mbappé put PSG up 1-0 when Di Maria found him sprinting towards goal and played a brilliant through ball. The Frenchman finished calmly and most supporters would have thought PSG would go on to roll from there but that wasn’t the case.

The goal from Mbappé was his seventh in the last four games and Di Maria now has nine assists in all competitions this season. That was about as good as it got for PSG in this one though.

The worst time to give up a goal is right before halftime and that’s exactly what PSG did in stoppage time before halftime. Mounir Chouiar’s goal breathed life into Dijon and you can’t say they didn’t deserve it. In fact, they put PSG’s defense under more pressure than anyone else in Ligue 1 this season.

The second half was more of the same. In the 54th minute, Dijon made their third substitute and even on tired legs, they held off PSG who couldn’t finish goal-scoring opportunities in the rain. Icardi especially wasted several chances to score, which is very uncharacteristic of him.

Dijon’s Jhonder Cádiz had no problem scoring past Marquinhos who was shockingly poor in letting up Dijon’s second goal. I also think Navas could have done better to keep the shot from hitting the back of the net.

Paris Saint-Germain ultimately failed to break through Dijon’s defense and the match ended in defeat with several PSG players walking off looking frustrated. It was a very physical match with Dijon players constantly taking down Mbappé and others with harsh tackles.

The defeat should be concerning to Tuchel as he prepares his team for the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League. The lineup he started was good enough to get a comfortable win against Dijon but without Verratti and Silva, PSG appeared to lack a spine. Silva is currently out of contract at the end of the season but maybe sporting director Leonardo should think twice about letting him leave on a free. Verratti will be sticking around in Paris for a few more years as he signed an extension earlier this week.

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Tags Abdou Diallo Angel Di Maria Colin Dagba Dijon FCO Idrissa Gueye Juan Bernat Julian Draxler Keylor Navas Kylian Mbappe Layvin Kurzawa Leandro Paredes Ligue 1 Marco Verratti Mauro Icardi Presnel Kimpembe Thiago Silva Thomas Tuchel