For the third time in seven days, Paris Saint-Germain had to play a road match.
On Wednesday evening, manager Thomas Tuchel led his team to the Stade Auguste-Delaune to battle Stade de Reims in the semi-finals of the Coupe de la Ligue. With a birth in the finals on the line, the German tactician went with a very strong lineup.
The match started out positively for PSG as they scored a rare goal off of a corner kick. Neymar Jr. whipped a ball in and Marquinhos out-jumped the defenders to head the ball past Reims keeper Predrag Rajkovic (who later picked up a yellow card for shoving Kylian Mbappé to the ground).
In the 31st minute, PSG doubled their lead with what was officially recorded as a Reims own-goal. Neymar curled in a free-kick from close to the corner flag and it was close enough to the goal that Reims defender Ghislain Konan had no choice but to score in his own net.
PSG’s third and final goal of the night was special for two reasons. Seventeen-year-old Tanguy Kouassi scored off a rebound from Leandro Paredes’ volley. It was the Frenchman’s first goal for PSG and the club’s 4,000th goal in their history.
There was some rough play from Reims in the match that led to Marco Verratti being tackled from behind by Marshall Munetsi who received a straight red for his actions. Verratti was subbed off in the 82nd minute as was Marquinhos in the 71st due to a hamstring issue. Luckily, it appears as though both players will be able to recover in time for the club’s match against Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League on February 18.
After the match, much of the talk centered around PSG’s performance and Edinson Cavani who was left out of the squad as he waits to see if he will be sold in the January transfer window.
Satisfied With PSG’s Performance?
“Very, because we played against a very strong team, defensively. It is the best in Ligue 1. It’s good to take advantage of set-pieces. We made a lot of defensive efforts, we were disciplined, we played strong, we gave in to our opponent. We were very serious. We had changed a few players and I felt we were fresh. 3-0 is great! It’s a big final to be played against Lyon. — Thomas Tuchel, Le Parisien
Did You Work on Corner Kicks?
“I would like to say yes, but no. We did not work on this aspect. We have the quality of being good in this area. We were lucky on very difficult terrain.” — Thomas Tuchel, Le Parisien
Why Was Draxler Subbed Off at Halftime?
“It was too dangerous for him: he could have gotten a red card. It was dangerous.” — Thomas Tuchel, Le Parisien
Lack of Respect for Edinson Cavani?
“No, we don’t lack respect. Edi is not there and it is a shame, he said that he did not feel comfortable with his groin so it was not possible that he was with us. If his situation has changed? No, I have no news.” — Thomas Tuchel, Culture PSG
“It is a pride of course. In circumstances like that (Marquinhos was captain before being subbed off due to injury), I don’t want to but it is always a pleasure to wear the captain’s armband of PSG.” — Presnel Kimpembe, Culture PSG
Kouassi’s Reaction to First Goal
“You could feel how happy I was after the goal. I shouted, I showed how happy I was. I’ll remember my goal forever, I’m going to tell all my friends. I’m very happy I scored. I came on 20 minutes from the end, we had the ball, they went down to 10 men, and we played our game. Paris’ 4000th goal? I’m really happy to get myself into the club’s history.” — Tanguy Kouassi, PSG.fr
Herrera on the Playing Conditions
“We can be very happy and I think it wasn’t an easy game between the cold, the state of the pitch…so, there are a lot of positives for us.” — Ander Herrera, PSG.fr
The Importance of the Victory
“We are in the final, and this is the last in the League Cup, so we are committed to making history. The pitch was difficult, but the score is wide, so we will be happy with it. If we enter a competition, it is to go to the end. It will be a very nice match against a big team in France.” — Abdou Diallo, Le Parisien
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