After a meeting between his training club, PSG, and the one with which he was champion of France, OM, Fabrice Abriel salutes the superior “consistency” of the Parisians in the Champions Trophy (2-1). The former midfielder particularly appreciated the role of Marco Verratti and Mauro Icardi, scorer.
Does PSG deserve its success in this Champions Trophy?
FABRICE ABRIEL. I believe so. Above all, the Parisians were able to score the goals they needed when they needed to make the difference. With this goal from Icardi, they were able to cut the good start of the match for OM. They held the ball well despite the good pressing of the Marseillais at certain passages. Paris remained calm and in control outside the last five minutes. The PSG was more consistent and more enterprising for 80 minutes.
How do you explain this muddled end of the match?
There have been a lot of changes already. And then I have the impression that this story between Alvaro Gonzalez and Neymar was not completely settled. It became a personal match but the referee was able to hold the exchanges.
How do you judge the performance of OM, which seems too limited to worry PSG?
I still think they played a good game. They decided not to suffer and to install an interesting balance of power. What makes the difference is the number of quality players, high level in all positions. OM lacks homogeneity. We saw a lot of off-target strikes, very far from the goal, it’s symptomatic. Against PSG, especially in the final, you have to be super efficient.
Mauro Icardi has been named man of the match. Did you like it?
In his role, he was good. Efficient in the penalty area, in his ability to occupy space, depth, leave gaps, room for Mbappé or Di Maria … The attacker must stay very high without going down to participate too much in the game. , even without being concerned by the game, he remains very focused. This ability to concentrate is interesting to observe, just like his movements.
Who is your preference between him and Moise Kean?
There are matches that will benefit Icardi’s qualities, others to Kean’s qualities. They have different profiles while remaining good scorers. Kean has that aggressiveness and back-to-goal play that Icardi has less. But Icardi creates spaces, is able to make calls in a vacuum to allow Mbappé or Neymar. It’s good to have both options and it’s a real style choice.
What do you think of Verratti’s new match in this free electron role?
That’s it, he is free, he walks in small spaces. Its role greatly prevents pressing for the opponents because you always have to look behind you. It poses problems for the defense and the middle line. It’s like a relay, like a board that you can lean on and the ball will always come back to the right place. It helps to crash.
The only disappointment would it not be Kylian Mbappé, who seems to have lost his “mojo”?
I saw him enterprising. It is less decisive than usual but it is still dangerous due to its speed and its races. There are passages like that in a career… I am not worried because, for the adversary, his presence remains a permanent danger.
The returns from injury, this victory in the final … Can PSG finally start its season and create a group to win the Ligue 1 and the Champions League?
It’s good to have spent this difficult first part of the season with physical problems, staggered preparation, early recovery with the Covid … Everyone will now be able to return to 100% within a few weeks. We will see the eleven type aligned by Pochettino and especially if he manages to create an emulation in this group to want to repeat the efforts and a course in the Champions League. Barça arrives very quickly, it will be a hell of a temperature catch for this PSG.