Paris Saint Germain is already champion of ‘Ligue 1’, although it is not even a real consolation for the millionaire Parisian project, final winner of the tournament with a day in advance due to its gray draw against Strasbourg, thanks to a goal from Lionel Messi was later leveled by Kevin Gameiro to culminate a lackluster title, foreseeable for months, almost from the beginning of the course.
In the 58th minute, in one of the few appearances in the area of the Parisian team, in one of the sporadic connections between the French phenomenon and the Argentine world champion, PSG won (a draw would have been enough) and lightened the weight of disappointment, undoubtedly as their season has been. Probably the last service for Messi, whose future points far from the Parque de los Príncipes. His sixteenth goal of the campaign.
Enough to be champion. It was worth the tie. For this reason, Kevin Gameiro’s equalizer in three minutes on the field -he came on at 76 and scored at 79, after a rebound from Donnarumma to a shot from Sanson- did not cause any nerves in the Parisian team either. Nor an offensive.
no restlessness, aware that his final triumph was a matter of time.
Incompetent in this edition of the Champions League, out of the Cup in France and leader throughout the league competition in his country, but without the indisputable condition that is presupposed to the difference of his brilliant stars, his apparent team and his unattainable budget , the title – the eleventh in its history in the French league, the fifth in the last six years – was an obligation for him. The failure would be loud if he had not won it.
It was predictable for months. Maybe since the competition started, no matter how many ups and downs, bumps or controversies he has endured in recent times, when he concentrated three unimaginable defeats in the Parc des Princes, when he felt that Lens or Olympique Marseille got too close, but also when, faced with such a risk, he reacted to hit of victories He has won 28 of his 37 matches. But he has lost another six.
The question is how much it reduces the undoubted fiasco of this campaign or the feeling of a lost season that remains for the Qatari leadership, the fans and even the PSG players. And how it affects Kylian Mbappe, his most expressive asset, with his future always up in the air. Or Lionel Messi, who is moving away from Paris. Neymar, Sergio Ramos, Vitinha, Marquinhos, Verratti… And, above all, his coach: Christophe Galtier.
The ‘Ligue 1’ does not seem enough to survive at PSG. He has a contract for another year. It is unknown if, sooner or later, he will be another coach devoured by the demands, the rush and the circumstances of a group full of priceless individuals for almost everyone in Europe.
As were Mauricio Pochettino, Thomas Tuchel, Unai Emery before… The three in the last five years, in the obsessive pursuit of the ‘Champions’.
The game was practical for PSG. It was not over-demanded. He didn’t even feel rushed. He just waited for the momentum that led him to the title. He was unfazed by the goals at the same time from Lens, who were leading at halftime 3-0. For the leader then, champion later, a tie was enough, even though his football was such a predictable sequence of passes, so slow in its transition, so bland, according to what was happening on the field, without considering going much further.
In more than 20 minutes, Galtier’s group had not shot on goal. Neither outside nor inside nor between the three sticks. His opponent is already saved despite the defeat, he had done it five times, within the offensive deployment that promoted his firm defense, unapproachable at that time for Mbappe, Messi and company, stuck at 0-0. It was enough.
He did not make any more offensive merits in the first half than a volley from Renato Sanches, to which Sels responded on the verge of half an hour, and a direct free-kick off Messi. His rival had been more incisive. He even claimed a penalty or scared the PSG structure on a couple of occasions, exposed too vulnerable beyond their casualties.
Diallo, the local attacker, shot the same times in the first act, four, one of them to the post, as the entire Parisian team. But the difference was there. In the attack. The confirmation, on the verge of time: Mbappe controlled a long ball, left it glued to his foot, lowered it to the ground, endured Messi’s appearance inside the area and the Argentine did the rest, the next control in the race and the shot with the left with which he unbalanced the match (0-1).
Neither more nor less for PSG, who did not even win this Saturday, suddenly tied by Kevin Gameiro. Mbappe had the win. He didn’t get it right either. It did not alter such a satisfying tie for both of them.
But also as sad as the end of the season for the Parisian team, a champion and a season below expectations. The ‘Ligue 1’ does not seem a consolation.
– Data sheet:
1 – Strasbourg: Sels; Perrin, Doukouré, Nyamsi; Dagba (Lienard, d. 66), Sanson, Sissoko (Gameiro, d. 76), Guilbert; Diarra, Bellegarde; Diallo.
1 – Paris Saint Germain: Donnarumma; Zaire-Emery, Bitshiabu, Sergio Ramos, Danilo Pereira, Bernat; Renato Sanches, Verratti, Vitinha (Carlos Soler, m. 84); Messi, Mbappe.
Goals: 0-1, m. 58: Messi. 1-1, m. 79: Gameiro.
Referee: Jerome Brisard. He admonished the local Diarra (m. 23) and the visitors Vitinha (m. 6) and Verratti (m. 75) with a yellow card.
Incidents: match corresponding to the thirty-seventh and penultimate day of the French Ligue 1 played at the Meinau stadium in Strasbourg before some 27,000 spectators.