Women’s football: “PSG has the potential to run for all the titles”

In four years – 2010 to 2014 – he led the Olympique Lyonnais to his first two European coronations and gleaned the trifle of 10 trophies with the proteges of Jean-Michel Aulas. But Patrice Lair, 60, also led the PSG girls for two seasons from 2016 to 2018. The ideal man, in short, to decipher the victory (1-0) of the players of the capital in the shock at the top of the 9th day of D1 Friday evening and its consequences for the rest of the season.

Were you surprised by the success of PSG on Friday night against OL?

PATRICE LAIR. Surprised, not really. In addition to its young people and foreigners, Paris also has a backbone of players who have worked together for 4, 5 years and that Olivier Echouafni has made good progress. As much as I found that the PSG had not been able to seize its chance last season in the semi-final of the Champions League while Lyon seemed to me to be taken, as this time the Parisiennes took the match by the right end. I had rarely seen OL put under such pressure. It was not Lyon who missed their match, it was Paris who caused them problems.

Has PSG finally pierced the glass ceiling that will allow it to compete with Lyon?

With this victory, Paris especially gave a real attraction to the French Championship. If OL had won, they would have had a five-point lead, it was already the end. There, the suspense remains. It is too early to talk about passing the baton. This aspect will be evoked if Paris is champion. But there is still a season and a return match to play. This one will undoubtedly be different, it will perhaps be played in public, OL will have recovered from the world, PSG will undoubtedly have further progressed… All this is above all a great reward for women’s football and for the two clubs which did a big job.

How do you see the rest of the season?

For Paris, it is important not to ignite and not lose a match because OL, for sure, will not lose much. In Paris to keep its advantage. But when I see that this team has only taken one goal since the start of the season, that it has scored 10 more than Lyon, I tell myself that things are changing. But beware, the Lyonnaises were upset, they will be revenge.

Can this victory have an impact on the European campaign of PSG?

Necessarily! There is no better way to build confidence than to beat a team that has just won the Champions League five times in a row. But we must not fall into overconfidence and forget to question ourselves. PSG have the potential to run for all titles. But the difficulty is knowing how to put the cover back. It’s good to be at the top, but the hardest part is staying there. In the costume of the hunted, the pressure is not at all the same as in that of the hunter.

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