Paris Saint-Germain went head-to-head with OGC Nice in a dramatic penalty shootout in the Coupe de France round of 16. While PSG did see goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma deliver for the side with a key save, misses from Leandro Paredes and Xavi Simons wound up sending manager Mauricio Pochettino’s team out of the tournament.
In speaking after the match (via Le Parisien), OGC Nice manager Christophe Galtier gave props to Simons for having the “nerve” to take his late penalty shootout attempt but did also note that the midfielder’s teammates may very well be there for him.
“You have to take away the guilt or the weight of the elimination,” Galtier said. “He is a young boy who went with nerve, with a desire to succeed in his shot at goal. He missed it, but I am sure that his partners will help him to digest this moment, obviously unpleasant for an 18-year-old player. I suspect that Mauricio and his staff had to take the weight of an elimination off his shoulders.”
Simons featured in the second half of regulation as a substitute off the bench, as he went on to complete five successful passes and also won one ground duel during his time on the pitch.
For now, it will be noteworthy to see whether Pochettino will opt to feature Simons in PSG’s upcoming Ligue 1 fixture against Lille OSC.