Paris Saint-Germain continued to prove they can win with a rotated squad as they defeated Dijon FCO 6-1 on Wednesday night to reach the semi-finals of the Coupe de France.
Dijon is in a relegation battle in Ligue 1 but they were the last team to defeat PSG last November at the Stade Gaston Gérard. PSG manager Thomas Tuchel was forced to rotate his squad due to fatigue and injury, which left him without starters like Neymar Jr., Marquinhos, Marco Verratti, and Idrissa Gueye among others.
The absences led me to believe PSG was in for a tough battle against Dijon and for the first 30 minutes or so, it was. Even after Dijon’s own-goal in the opening minute, which was set up by Mitchel Bakker, the hosts fought back to level the score in the 13th minute and it took some brilliance from Kylian Mbappé right before halftime to regain the lead for Les Parisiens.
The floodgates would open up in the second half with Thiago Silva scoring a header from a corner, Pablo Sarabia recording a brace, and another own-goal from Dijon. In the end, it was no test at all, but we did the overall performance is a good sign for PSG heading into the latter part of the season.
The club anticipates competing in four competitions until the very end of the season and being able to churn out convincing results while rotating the squad is essential to keep everyone fresh.
Against Dijon, we saw Bakker get his first start at left-back and 17-year-old Tanguy Kouassi started in the midfield next to Ander Herrera, who has seen limited time this season due to injury. Even Edinson Cavani returned to the starting lineup after a month away while his transfer situation was sorted to give Mauro Icardi a rest.
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_inside) February 12, 2020
Late last season, we saw how thin PSG’s squad was and the effect it had as they lost to Stade de Reims, Montpellier HSC, and the Coupe de France final against Stade Rennais.
This year hopes to be different. With reinforcements brought in last summer, Tuchel now has the flexibility to rest players ahead of big UEFA Champions League matches, which could pay off in the club’s pursuit of European glory.
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