Paris fall to Nice
Paris Saint-Germain fell at home to Nice on a night of contrasts, with the emotion of a touching tribute and the frustration of an unfavourable result (2-3). Here is a look back at the match.
Some departures are more difficult than others. This Friday evening was one of those difficult ones. A moment of communion as an Italian Prince bade farewell to an emotion-filled Parc des Princes: this curtain-raiser to Ligue 1's Round 5 began with a healthy dose of emotion courtesy of the vibrant tribute paid to departing club legend Marco Verratti.
But there was no time for reflection, as Les Rouge et Bleu had to get their heads back in the game against a formidable opponent: OGC Nice. Deprived of several players, including Marco Asensio, Luis Enrique changed his starting line-up, introducing Gonçalo Ramos in the centre between French duo Ousmane Dembélé and Kylian Mbappé. Warren Zaire-Emery, meanwhile, started in midfield with Vitinha and Carlos Soler.
The tactical opposition was expected to be as interesting as it was difficult, against a valiant opponent with a bold game plan. And the start of the match did not belie the predictions, confirming that Le Gym had not come to the capital to make up the numbers, and that they were going to play in the same vein as our players: pressing, attacking, maintaining possession... So, despite our desire to stifle our opponents, it was Nice who struck first in this match. Moffi broke the deadlock on the quarter-hour mark after a commotion in the box (0-1, 20').
But that was without counting on the iron will of our Parisians to set the record straight! And who better to do it than the league's top scorer? The Moroccan's cross from the right was met by the ever-lethal Kylian Mbappé! (1-1, 28'). An equaliser that got the match back on track. From the impact of Ousmane Dembélé to the powerful headers of Gonçalo Ramos, the attacking waves began to rain down on Nice's goal.
However, in an open battle where the two teams played off each other from one end of the pitch to the other, the visitors caught the Parisians on the break again at the start of the second period, when Laborde counter-attacked (1-2, 53'). It was a night when things didn't really go Paris' way, as the irrepressible Moffi again hitting the target with a deflected shot after another Nice attack (1-3, 68').
Everything had to be done again, but there was no question of our Rouge et Bleus' deviating from their gamer plan! Luis Enrique's men maintained their structure, but the last half-hour was filled with fresh legs following the introduction of Manuel Ugarte, Randal Kolo Muani and Bradley Barcola. The Parisians threw everything they had into the battle, and Kylian Mbappé brought the Parc to its feet with an acrobatic finish after a precise cross from Randal Kolo Muani (2-3, 86')! Hope was rekindled, the crowd was in raptures and the final minutes were full of excitement - but the scoreline never changed.
At the end of a lively evening, Paris Saint-Germain were not rewarded and conceded a frustrating defeat. But Les Rouge et Bleu need to turn the page quickly, with Borussia Dortmund's visit for their UEFA Champions League opener on Tuesday followed by the always tasty Classique against Olympique de Marseille on Sunday. The dates are set.