It is part two of Paris Saint-Germain vs AS Monaco tonight. The 0-0 stalemate last Sunday was by no means a classic but the result certainly favoured Les Rouges et Blancs more than it did us as they seek a return to the Champions League next season. Unfortunately we were unable to capitalise on Lyon’s loss against Lille to go top but matters now turn to the Coupe de France with a place in the last-four at stake.
The ambition of a domestic treble hinges on victory tonight. We can take positives from the point at the Stade Louis II where we dominated proceedings for well over an hour. Yes, we faced a Monaco side that had played prior on the Wednesday at the Emirates, whereas we had a free week to prepare. But, Laurent Blanc will remonstrate to his players that they were the better side and there is no reason why they cannot put on a similar performance this evening.
Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim said in his post-match presser last Sunday that fatigue played a part in his team’s performance due to the effort they put in over Arsenal. He said this was the main reason for Paris’ dominance in the game; “Monaco weren’t better than PSG. I saw a big difference between the two sides, because our team was tired after the Champions League,” said the Portuguese coach. “It is the fatigue of having played a top-level game such as that against Arsenal. This evening we played against the best team in the league, so it’s a good point. Both teams will have the same amount of time to recover. But we’re more tired than PSG right now. And my squad isn’t at full strength at the moment. We need to find solutions to make up the squad.”
Putting the ball in the back of the net was the main problem for PSG. We had at least five clear cut chances but were unable to take any of them. Blanc alluded to the fact that there has to be a winner this time around. It is all or nothing in the cup!
He said in his pre-match presser; “The stakes are completely different, it’s a different competition compared to last Sunday’s game against Monaco. I think both teams will be more or less the same, and our styles won’t change. But this time we need to score and there has to be a winner. I hope the match will be a little more open than Sunday’s. Meeting three days later doesn’t worry me too much. Monaco are a form team at the moment, they’re playing well. This quarter-final may well be decided on the little details. If my team plays like they did on Sunday, I’ll be happy, but we will need to take our chances. Only winning counts in the Cup if we want to reach the next round”.
LB was asked about the lack of a killer instinct in front of goal but he does not seem to be too concerned. The positive thing for him was the amount of chances we created which of course is encouraging. It is just that last little detail that he hoped will be rectified.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not be the one to do that as he is suspended for the game. Thiago Motta was expected to return but has not fully recovered from his calf problem. Apart from the likes of Lucas Moura, Serge Aurier and Yohan Cabaye, everyone else you would expect is named in the squad.
This will be the seventh meeting between both clubs in the Coupe de France with both on three wins each. If we can etch ahead on four come the end of the night then that potential domestic treble will look even more probable!