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PSG Game Review
posté 06/08/2011 23:09
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FIFA 11 Edition V3.0 Winner :cqfd:

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I'll start off by saying i was watching the game on a stream with a crappy third world connection so my judgement may be clouded.

06/08/2011 : PSG - Lorient :

Pre-Game expectations :

Huge pressure on PSG due to its heavy spending on key recruits : if football was played on paper, one cannot but grant the win to PSG.

However many were to note that the first eleven hadn't played together for more than 45 minutes in all of the preparation games and some players were out of form (Mainly Menez who started his preparation later than the group.) Two key players were missing : Javier Pastore, the new star of Paris, who won't be fit before the end of the month due to his participation in the Copa America, and Momo Sissoko who is probably suffering from a minor injury (expected time out ~1 month)

Despite all that, and due to my fan bias, my prediction was a heavy win for PSG (boy was i wrong!)

Starting Eleven and Formation :

Antoine Kombouare stayed loyal to his 4-4-2 and starting Hoarau upfront. A lot of fans were hoping for Bodmer to start in 4-5-1 to stabilize the midfield, but Hoarau's good performances in the pre-season games earned him a spot in the starting lineup.

Unsurprisingly Jallet was chosen over Ceara due to the latter's uncomplete preparation (he suffered an injury right at the start of the preparations)

Kombouare also chose to start Menez who showed some promise in the friendlies but seemed to be not totally fit. One could expect he wasn't going to finish the game.


Game Analysis :

Terrible start of the game from PSG, the nervousness was visible on most if not all the players and a lot of technical errors by the midfield led to a heavily Lorient dominated first 10-15 minutes. This period was capped off by a huge miss by Monnet-Paquet in front of the empty goal.

Some people could have pointed out the rain was behind PSG's shortcomings but that didn't stop Lorient from performing well so that can't be it.

Surprisingly, two of last year's best players were those that showed the most nervousness:
- Mamadou Sakho, new captain, was doing a lot of concentration errors and useless fouls in dangerous areas.
- Clement Chantome, the fiery central midfielder, was unable to relay the game between the back on the front when he was so good at it no latter than last week.

With Menez and Nene not known for their defensive efforts, the midfield was quickly sinking and Lorient finally managed to capitalize on that on the 30 minute mark : Another silly foul by Sakho led to a dangerous free-kick for Lorient that was very well taken by Jouffre. Chantome missed the header in front of goal and the ball sank to the far side with Quercia there to tuck it in (Tiene is not totally blameless for letting go of his man)

Offensively, PSG showed some promise in a few well-built actions but were unable to capitalize. Ecuele Manga was huge for Lorient's backside and won most if not all his duels against the Parisian strikers.

The second half witnessed an awakening by PSG mainly thanks to Bodmer coming in for ghostlike Hoarau. The former French international managed to stabilize the midfield and helped build the play with quick and precise passes.

Unfortunately PSG were unable to break through the Lorient defense despite heavy domination and many chances (Fabien Audard was on top of his game). Credit to Lorient who continued to counter with 4 or 5 players and create continuous danger on Sirigu's goal. (Another Sakho foul led to a marvelously taken free-kick that hit the top of the bar by Mvuemba)

Neither Bahebeck who came in for Menez around the 70th minute, nor Erding who was subbed in with 10 minutes to go were able to help and PSG suffered their first defeat of the season.

Player Ratings :

Sirigu : Did his job right when he had to including one good save of a tricky outside shot. Nothing he could've done to stop the goal. 6
Jallet : Tried to help offensively but his crossing abilities are perfectible. 5
Bisevac : Did his job well. Had one good shot saved by Audard. 5
Sakho : Didn't seem to handle the pressure well, hopefully he'll bounce back very soon, he's a fighter wub.gif. 3
Tiene : Compasented his defensive error with good offensive presence. However i still believe he doesn't have the talent to be in this so-called dream team. 4
Matuidi : Suffered a bit early in the game having to do the work of four guys. Was able to bounce back in the second half however he showed his limits when he had to go forward. 5
Chantome : Terrible first-half but managed to pull himself together thanks to Bodmer mainly where the two combined beautifully. His lack of understanding with Matuidi was visible most of the game. 4
Menez : Was amongst the few PSG players that was performing okay in the first half, however his inability to pass after eliminating many players was frustrating. 5
Nene : 5 new players on the starting lineup, but the star is still Nene. Probably the best player on the field tonight and a constant danger in the PSG side. 6
Hoarau : Won some aerial challenges, failed everything else he attempted. 3
Gameiro : His numerous deep calls weren't posing many problems for the quick Lorient defense. One can bring up that he wasn't being served well by his teammates and his frustration was visible by the end of the game. 5

Special mention to Bodmer who played 40 minutes and helped the team greatly. 6

Final misc notes :

Whoever was saying we didn't need another striker was proven wrong tonight : We need a killer upfront that can score goals with the tiniest of chances.

The defensive back-line isn't that of a team that wants to challenge for the title. I wonder if Leo continues to see eye-to-eye with AK on this issue.

Sissoko and Pastore can't get here soon enough.

Ecuélé-Manga is a boss. Man of the match in my opinion.

Not much to take out of this first game except that the players need some time to get to know each other, hopefully it won't cost us too much points.

Some players need to bounce back quickly and show what they're made of. (Come on Sakho! wub.gif)
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