On Sunday evening, Paris Saint-Germain cruised to a 6-0 win over ESA Linas-Montlhéry in the Round of 64 of the Coupe de France.
The amateurs of Linas-Montlhéry should be applauded for their efforts but in the end, PSG was always going to win this match going away. Their opponents, who play in the sixth tier of French football, may not have been able to test the reigning French champions too much but we were able to learn a few things from the match overall.
PSG Must Sign Aouchiche
The 17-year-old Frenchman started the match and it was the second time he featured in Thomas Tuchel’s squad this season. Aouchiche made the most of his opportunity in the first half by scoring his first professional goal for PSG, making him the second-youngest goalscorer in club history.
The goal was taken with such patience from a player so young. Coming off an impressive FIFA U-17 World Cup, it’s clear that PSG needs to sign Aouchiche to a professional contract and keep him away from other clubs hoping to lure him away from the French capital.
Sergio Rico Might Be…Good?
The Spaniard is currently on a season-long loan from Sevilla FC but has seen limited playing time with Keylor Navas ahead of him in the goalkeeper hierarchy. Rico did get the nod against Linas-Montlhéry and while a clean sheet was practically a given, he did have a moment of brilliance:
After the match, Rico stated that he would love to stay in Paris and with saves like this, I’m starting to think that’s a good idea.
The transfer rumors continue to swirl around Edinson Cavani but he’s more than likely going to stay until the end of the season when his contract expires. Having struggled for most of the season with injuries, it was great to see El Matador score a brace even if it was against inferior opponents. Sometimes, just seeing the ball hit the back of the net is enough to get you going again.
With a busy schedule coming up (12 games before PSG face Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League on February 18), Cavani could play a vital role for PSG.
The 4-4-2 is Officially Here to Stay
If you love attacking football, you’re going to love watching PSG for the rest of the season. Towards the end of 2019, Tuchel finally implemented the 4-4-2 formation, which included Angel Di Maria, Mauro Icardi, Kylian Mbappé, and Neymar Jr. all on the pitch at the same time.
It’s a risky formation given how attack-minded those players are and it does leave only two midfielders. Speaking to the media after the match (via Culture PSG), Tuchel explained why the formation has worked lately and what the players are being asked to do:
“It works very well! It’s very offensive because we always have four offensive players on the field. We gave spaces to the guys, which means that in 4-4-2, in a team like ours who wants to play offensively and develop attacks, it is absolutely necessary to work together when we do not have the ball and it is the responsibility of the team and the players individually. I must say, they have done super well in the past few weeks. Now, it is not necessary to change, we keep that, we work a lot and it is necessary that everyone helps and works together. It’s a good formula right now.”
Essentially, what Tuchel is saying here is that the 4-4-2 formation is the best for this team but it only works if the players work hard for the entire 90 minutes to play defense and win the ball back when they’re not in possession, much like Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool FC.
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