Four months after a “Clasico” won by OM but marked by mutual accusations of racism and homophobia, PSG and OM meet on Wednesday for the Champions Trophy. The opportunity for the new Parisian coach Mauricio Pochettino to launch his mandate.
In the land of the settlements, despite the camera and the winter temperatures, the atmosphere will be hot Wednesday January 13 on the lawn for the Champions Trophy between PSG and OM. The capital club have revenge to take on their rival Marseille after their first defeat in nine years in the “Clasico” in September after a heated match.
It is “much more than a Clasico”, notes Wednesday the daily Le Parisien, evoking the bad memory of September 13th. Provence, for its part, is on “the revenge” on the front page of the newspaper.
“Things that must not happen in football”
Five red cards, the start of a general fight, accusations of racist and homophobic insults, a spitting from Angel di Maria towards Alvaro Gonzalez … On September 13, in a match counting for the third day, the two rivals of the French football parted in a deleterious atmosphere.
“Things have happened that should not happen in football,” said Paris goalkeeper Keylor Navas, not to mention revenge.
The match ended above all with Marseille’s first victory in a “Clasico” (1-0) for nine years and the first victory at the Parc des Princes in over a decade. The result proved that OM are now looking their rivals straight in the eye and the match should be open, especially as Paris, the seven-time defending champion, is in the midst of work, since the replacement on the bench of Thomas Tuchel by Mauricio Pochettino during the winter break.
>> To read also: “Football: Mauricio Pochettino, a ‘sheriff’ to revive the PSG machine”
“It’s a matter of pride”
“It’s special, against a rival club. The most important thing is to win. It’s also a question of pride,” said the Parisian coach, who has played six as a player, for three wins and two defeats, between 2001 and 2003.
💬🎙️ M.Pochettino: “I remember these special matches very well. I am aware that they are not like the others. There is a special importance for the supporters, but also for the players” # TDC2020
– Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_inside) January 12, 2021
Winner of the last seven editions of the Champions Trophy, PSG is going through a period of reconstruction under the leadership of “Poche”, who is looking for the right strategy to “win in style”.
Neymar’s return, available after a month’s absence due to an ankle injury, is good news for the spectacular football he has promised, but he has no margin: his team have just completed his worst league leg in four years.
Pochettino must absolutely win to launch his mandate … and open his record as a coach, he who has won nothing during his stints at Espanyol Barcelona, Southampton and Tottenham.
A first trophy for OM?
“The norm is that PSG wins all national competitions. So we don’t have this pressure to be forced to win. It’s not OM’s fault, it’s the reality of the championship the most unbalanced in the world “, assured Marseille coach André Villas-Boas, to sweep away growing expectations around a first OM trophy since the 2012 League Cup.
“Disappointed with the result, we pushed to try to win the match. In the first half we have to be more efficient, it’s a missed opportunity.
Wednesday’s match against Paris is an important match, a Clásico, I hope we can give everything and play hard. ” pic.twitter.com/LmlAfJb5vL
– Olympique de Marseille (@OM_Officiel) January 10, 2021
But since his signing in 2019, the Portuguese has exploded the barriers one by one: it was he who brought OM back to the Champions League after seven years of absence and who led him to his first L1 podium. since 2013.
All that’s missing is a trophy for the charismatic technician, who is reflecting on the follow-up to his contract expiring in June 2021.
“The victory at the Park can serve as inspiration. Winning a trophy is important for OM and especially when it is against PSG. It’s an opportunity,” admits the Portuguese coach.
Villas-Boas will be able to count on his rookie Pol Lirola, the Spanish right-back loaned Tuesday by Fiorentina until the end of the season.
However, confidence at the start of the season has crumbled over a failed Champions League campaign, which ended in last place in the group. The Marseillais have also won only one of their last five league games.
Pochettino wants to get started, Marseille to relaunch … Le 99e “Clasico” of History promises.