PSG got scared. Four days after their defeat against Manchester City in the Champions League (2-1), the Parisians were eagerly awaited this Sunday on the lawn of Saint-Etienne. And if they have imposed themselves in numerical superiority in the Forez for the first appearance of Sergio Ramos (1-3), they are far from having removed all doubts, in addition to having lost Neymar, hit in the ankle in end of the game.
Apart from this 13e victory of the season in Ligue 1 in 15 days, and the first convincing steps of Sergio Ramos five months after his arrival, the club of the capital should not retain much of this trip to Stéphane soil close to turning into disaster. Under the snow, which had fallen in abundance, Mauricio Pochettino’s men did not go far from the cold snap, which would surely not have arranged the affairs of the Argentine coach, after the opening scoring of Denis Bouanga (25e) on one of the first Saint-Etienne occasions. A goal against the short of the game, even if the Parisians were again having difficulties in the game.
But the meeting changed just before the break. On a deep ball, Kylian Mbappé was stopped irregularly by Timothée Kolodziejczak, sent off by the referee. And on the free kick that followed, Lionel Messi, in difficulty, found the head of Marquinhos, who equalized and as often put his team back on the right track (45e).
In the second half, the teammates of the Brazilian defender stumbled for a long time on the Stéphanoise defense and his goalkeeper Etienne Green who achieved prowess in his cage, especially in front of Mbappé, little success as rarely his last weeks. But the proteges of Claude Puel, in the fight for maintenance, ended up giving in ten minutes from the end. On a new serve from Messi, Angel Di Maria gave the advantage to his team (79e) before the six-fold Golden Ball delivers his third assist of the afternoon for Marquinhos, sealing the Parisian victory (91e).
But at the time of this goal, the Parisian medical staff were worried about Neymar’s state of health. Minutes earlier, the Brazilian left the pitch on a stretcher in tears after twisting his ankle. The images let fear the worst and an absence of several weeks. Mauricio Pochettino and PSG, who did not necessarily reassure, did not need that, especially before receiving, Wednesday, Nice and moving, next weekend, to Lens.