“I am disappointed to have had to play outnumbered in both matches, even if we did not take ten goals”. Mauricio Pochettino regretted in a press conference the exclusion of Angel Di Maria (33) in the semi-final second leg of the Champions League on the lawn of Manchester City (2-0). The Argentine, one of the few capable of putting the Mancunian defense in danger so far, let his partners end the game at ten from the 69th minute.
El Fideo was trapped by the provocation of the Brazilian Fernandinho on an innocuous action. And the international albiceleste could have been accompanied by other teammates in the following minutes. Marco Verratti, Presnel Kimpembe or Danilo Pereira, barely entered into play, received warnings for more than limit faults. By unpinning, the Parisians mortgaged the meager chances that remained to them.
Boxes in stock
Pep Guardiola did not hold it against them, putting it down to “The extreme competitive spirit” of the Parisian stable. If the accusations to the attention of Björn Kuipers can partly explain this climate of tension, these facts testify to the ambient nervousness within the Parisian team. Mental bankruptcy for Arsène Wenger. A bad habit for the reigning French champions, sometimes crumbly on an emotional level.
A week earlier, at the Parc des Princes, Idrissa Gueye had also taken a red in the 77th minute, tired of running in the wind to squeeze the Skyblues. The Senegalese had also already been excluded in the group stage, on the lawn of RB Leipzig (2-1, 1st day of C1), for two yellow cards. This season, in L1, the Rouge-et-Bleu have taken 6 reds and are in 17th place in the fair play classification (76 yellow by the way). A fragility to work, too, to dream bigger.