PSG has a losing record since the start of the Ligue 1 season this year going into the encounter against Lens. That remarkable run of victories came to an end, nevertheless, as Mbappe and his teammates suffered a humiliating 1-3 loss to Lens.
Given that Lens finished second in Ligue 1, observers anticipated a challenging contest for PSG. Few, however, anticipated the difficulties that coach Galtier’s troops would endure. The PSG defense had a difficult day as a result of Lens’ ability to lock down the opponent’s attack.
After winning the 2022 World Cup, Messi is still on vacation, while Neymar is out due to a red card he received earlier in the tournament. Kylian Mbappe must therefore team up with Hugo Ekitike, a youthful striker, on PSG’s front line in this game.
Mbappe and PSG have an extremely difficult match when paired with young striker Hugo Ekitike
In the fifth minute, Lens’s exquisite attack coordination caused PSG’s net to tremble. Massadio Haidara quickly made a cross from the extremely open long pass of midfielder Florian Sotoca, and although goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma (PSG) attempted to push the ball away, it ultimately dropped to striker Przemyslaw Frankowski in the ideal position. volley into the goal, giving the host team Lens a 1-0 lead.
Hugo Ekitike, a 20-year-old striker for Lens, leveled the score after stealing the ball from Lens goalkeeper Brice Samba in just three minutes.
The most anticipated player of the game, Kylian Mbappe, did not speak until the 17th minute with a threatening long shot that forced goalkeeper Brice Samba to work hard to divert the ball. Hugo Ekitike then struck the accretion, but his strike was errant.
Kylian Mbappe has started 2023 with a disappointing match
Lens was the better attacking team in the next minutes, but they were unable to take advantage of the several opportunities they presented. Seko Fofana used a very deft slot from home to Lois Openda in the 28th minute to use the technique to get rid of a PSG defender before hitting a shot to bet goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and giving Lens a 2-1 lead.
PSG’s defense made a mistake at the start of the second half by allowing Lens to steal the ball in front of the penalty area, and Openda hit the heel and expertly passed the ball to Alexis Claude-Maurice, who took a shot from close range to make up for it. 3-1 minutes 48 seconds.
The rest of the game saw PSG push their team to find a leveler, but none of the chances they generated reached Mbappe, Sarabia, or Fabian’s feet. PSG ultimately came up short (1-3), and their first game in 2023 bore sour consequences.
Lens celebrates after an impressive victory over PSG
Mbappe is expected to shine on the day PSG do not have both Neymar and Messi. But the French striker was completely contained in this match. He could only hit four shots, but none of the situations made a difference. That led to Mbappe being deɑd .
Messi and Neymar not playing is an opportunity for Mbappe to assert his position as the number one player at PSG. However, being helpless in front of Lens will probably make Mbappe think again. He alone cannot carry the whole team, especially in the matches against difficult opponents like Lens.
Mbappe couldn’t make a difference against Lens
In the event that Messi and Neymar play, Lens will not be able to focus on Mbappe. At that time, the strength of the striker born in 1998 was maximized. And of course, PSG’s ɑ ttack will be much more dangerous if there is enough trio of Messi – Mbappe – Neymar.
Mbappe’s importance at PSG is undisputed. But the satellites around this player are not good enough to fill the absence of Neymar and Messi. PSG can pamper Mbappe, but they need to know how to balance the interests and position of this player with Neymar and Messi.
Mbappe needs Messi and Neymar by his side
Neymar has only been suspended for one game and will return in the next match PSG face Chateauroux. Messi does not know the date of the army reunion, but according to many sources, he ends the post-World Cup 2022 break in early January 2023. Therefore, PSG will soon welcome the combination of Messi – Mbappe – Neymar. Only at that time did PSG return to its fearsome image.
After the PSG match lost to Lens, coach Galtier admitted that the home team had some problems. The PSG captain shared at the post-match press conference:
“Lens deserved to win this game. I see the problems of the whole team. We lost because Lens made good use of their strengths.
PSG lacks cohesion in this match. We lost the game even though we found the equalizer at one point. The team revealеd a lot of space and made many mistakes when holding the ball.
We also proved weak in taking advantage of opportunities. The players don’t know how to save chances and that really surprisеd me.”