Slovan Bratislava v PSG and Rennes v Celtic – Europa League Match Reports
PSG fan Nicolas Peuch gives us his lowdown on the club’s disappointing 0-0 draw in Slovakia.
Yet another uninspiring performance from the capital club in Europa League.
Despite a complete domination over a weaker Bratislava side, Paris Saint-Germain weren’t able to get more than a poor and goalless draw, missing numerous opportunities and eventually losing control with two sent off players. PSG keep the second place of the group though, behind Bilbao that they will play next week.
Due to several injuries (Bodmer, Matuidi) or suspensions (Sissoko), Antoine Kombouaré had to go to Bratislava with a surprising new pair of midfielders, Armand (a defender) and Chantôme, but maintained Nenê-Ménez-Pastore’s « magic trio ».
According to an old PSG tradition of substitute keepers playing cup’s games, Nicolas Douchez was on the field too – he had not much to do though, Paris outrageously dominating an easy game, creating a large number of opportunities. But neither Nenê (45th, 84th), Erding (25th, 26th, 66th) or Ménez (11th, 34th, 62nd) were able to score, favouring difficult slaloms and personal attempts over collective solutions. Javier Pastore seemed very tired – or lacked motivation ? – and was replaced by Kevin Gameiro (70th).
Eventually, even though Bratislava never showed themselves very dangerous, impatience (and a bit of stupidity ?) led Clément Chantôme (63rd) and Siaka Tiéné (80th) to be sent off. In such circumstances, Paris put up with the draw and tried to score on counter attacks.
PSG coach Kombouaré praised the « mentality » of his players : « I’m happy with the second period. Because off the expulsions, I had to reorganize my team ». « You can’t win every game, he added, what’s important is how you behave. Tonight, we lacked efficiency, but it’s encouraging. Now we need to win the upcoming games ».
Kombouaré also defended Pastore, who had already been under his usual level against Ajaccio on sunday, arguing the Argentinian playmaker « has some problems, he didn’t play with his national team, and his convocation [in Palermo, to be heard by the Italian justice after Palermo’s president Zamparini lodged a complaint against Pastore’s agent] might have disturbed him ».
Although Europa League is supposed to be a high priority in PSG’s season according to Leonardo, Kombouaré’s men will need to play a much better football if they want to achieve their objectives.
Resident Rennes fanatic Bastien Leclair offers his thoughts on SRFC’s frustrating 1-1 draw with Celtic.
It has become something of a nasty habit: Rennes dominates, strikes first, lose its focus and ends up ruing on wasted chances. Against Celtic Glasgow, history repeated itself once again, and for the third time in as many game weeks, the Breton left the field frustrated after giving up an early lead.
Enjoying close to all the ball possession in the first 20 minutes, Rennes was pressing high and bringing the game in Celtic’s area. Looking for openings on the wings and in the depth, the Rouge et Noirs were denied by a well organised, compact Celtic defence for most of the first half, and the Scots were even the most threatening side on rare counters.
It would take a long clearance by Costil for the game to take an unexpected turn. Alone and 40 metres away from his goal, Cha-Du-Ri passed the ball back to his keeper who seemed glued to his 18-yard line. The ball rolled slowly along the post and Rennes led the game without a single attempt on target at half-time.
A lacklustre Celtic team was taking the initiative back in the second act, clearly lacking inspiration but showing much more intent. Making the most of misunderstanding in the Rennes defence, Stokes, Cha and Ki all took their chance but Costil was ready to intervene. He was left without a chance when Ledley connected to Mulgrew’s cross to lob the ball into the back of the net however. With twenty minutes to play, Celtic was back in the game.
Rennes finally reacted: Pitroipa and Kembo led the charge while Hadji’s superb overhead kick was deflected away by Forster. There would be more attempts at goal in 20 minutes than there had been all game but too little too late. Once again, Rennes had failed to hold onto a precious advantage and grab all three points in a game they could and should have won. The situation is now looking grim for the Bretons, with two points out of the first three games. Failing to achieve victory in a fortnight in Glasgow would probably mean the end of the European dream for the Stade Rennais. And even if they were to conquer Glasgow, the road to the knock-out rounds has just stretched a bit longer tonight in Rennes.