LOSC – PSG: Zhegrova, Bentaleb, Yoro… the infernal trio of Mastiffs!


By: Manu Tournoux

94th minute of play. Already autumn champion, Paris Saint-Germain was heading towards a ninth victory in a row in the league thanks to Kylian Mbappé’s 16th goal in Ligue 1. Yes, but there you have it, a few seconds before see Willy Delajod blow the whistle to send the 22 actors back to the locker room, the new entrant Jonathan David decided to delight the 47,993 spectators present at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium. Opportunistic after a final attempt by Adam Ounas, the Canadian striker then passed in front of Marquinhos to deceive, with a header, a previously rarely worried Arnau Tenas. Final score: 1-1 and a great missed opportunity for Luis Enrique’s men, fall champions after the defeat of OGC Nice. However, given the content of this shock, it is difficult to dispute the accounting outcome.

Targeted by PSG, Leny Yoro disgusted Mbappé!

Caught by an avoidable error – Bafodé Diakité did not control his intervention against Lucas Hernandez – LOSC also showed a very good attitude. Solid defensively, like the XXL performance produced by Leny Yoro, compact in the midfield, as evidenced by the recital proposed by Nabil Bentaleb, and sometimes brilliant offensively, notably thanks to Edon Zhegrova, the northern club was thus able to press on its frames. Credited with a 7 by the FM editorial team, the young Lille defender has, with this in mind, confirmed his excellent start to the season. Tracked by… PSG for several weeks, the number 15 of the Dogues perfectly blocked Mbappé, uninspired in this role of number 9. Intelligent in his placement, the Frenchman knew how to manage the movements of the Parisian offensives in his zone while showing heroism for his team, like his rescue a few meters from his goal line (36th). Already impressive in his maturity, the French international Espoir has never wavered. Result ? 100% duels won, 5 balls recovered and 5 interceptions, all while using his wingspan and bodywork to disgust the Parisian attacker.

In line with the performance performed by Leny Yoro, what can we say about that offered by Nabil Bentaleb (29 years old). Aligned alongside Benjamin André in the Lille midfield, the Algerian international (43 caps, 5 goals) also particularly shone. Slightly more discreet upon returning from the locker room, the former Angevin, despite everything, delivered a very high quality first act. Omnipresent in the duel (13/16), he is, moreover, the player who recovered the most balls on Sunday evening (12). Precious in his vision of the game and capable of getting out of Parisian pressure thanks to his technical quality, he never refused the fight and remains one of the great architects of this drawn draw. Present in the mixed zone at the end of the meeting, the one who was also rewarded with a 7 by our editorial team did not fail to highlight the performance of his team.

Bentaleb omnipresent in the middle, Zhegrova unstoppable!

“I think it was a complicated match, we did well and we were rewarded with this goal, which explained this explosion of joy. If we wanted to obtain a result against this Paris team, we had to maintain a certain defensive solidity and play shots and counterattacks to the maximum, which is what we managed to do this evening. We knew they were going to have their moment, we tried to help our full-backs with Barcola and Dembélé on the sides, we played with our guts not to say another word and we also had to impose our style of play, not refuse the fight in midfield and I think we managed to do that well. We could have played a few shots better but we have nothing to be ashamed of with our performance. PSG less strong? It discredits our performance to say that, PSG is still scary, they have international class players, we are not going to present them. I think we start each match with the same desire, we respect our opponents and we believe in our qualities, that’s what makes us strong. We remain humble but we always go there to win”thus ensured the Lille number 6 before returning to his match and the upcoming objectives of LOSC.

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“I felt good, my performance is not perfect but above all I am satisfied with the collective performance. We’re not thinking about the Champions League yet, we’re taking it match by match. It is at the end of the ball that we pay the musicians and in this case, it will be at the end of the season that we will be able to establish that. We’re not too bad at the moment, we’ll have to continue like this, start the meetings with the same seriousness and take points where we need to take them.. “He played very well. His characteristics suit our team. He’s an important player for us.”, added Paulo Fonseca about his midfielder. Finally, if the Portuguese men were able to rely on a Yoro for the big nights and a Bentaleb ready to do battle with the Parisian midfield, what can we say about the performance provided by Edon Zhegrova. A real dynamite of this Lille attack, the 24-year-old Kosovar thus undermined Lucas Hernandez as rarely. Lively, unstoppable on his first steps and terribly precise with the ball, the northern number 23 was a real poison for the Ile-de-France rearguard. Very involved defensively, the Lille winger especially highlighted his technical qualities to get by in small spaces in the offensive phase (5 successful dribbles).

In the end, only a small goal was missing for the man who was nevertheless voted man of the match by our editorial team. Very close to finding the fault several times in this clash (15th, 16th, 55th, 57th), the person concerned, aware of his good copy, however also preferred to highlight the collective work. “I think the team did a good job throughout this meeting, especially defensively because PSG often had the ball. This goal at the end rewards our work. We have to keep this mentality. The whole team did a great job, I try to do the best possible in each match, to show my qualities, I think today was good but the whole team was good. We must continue like this. It’s always a pleasure to score, even more so at the end. Jonathan David is a scorer, he felt things, it’s very important for us”, assured the former FC Basel player in the mixed zone. One thing is certain, with such a backbone, LOSC has everything to continue its incredible series of 15 matches without defeat, next Wednesday, on the lawn of Strasbourg.

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