Real Madrid-PSG: Pochettino sets unwanted record ahead of Champions Leaugue tie
For the first time since Nasser Al-Khelaïfi's arrival, PSG have failed to score again the same side three times in a season ahead of their trip to Real Madrid.
Christophe Galtier has turned Nice into PSG’s bête noire this season. In three games against Mauricio Pochettino’s side in 2021-22, the south coast club have completely nullified the much-vaunted PSG attack, blunting Leo Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappé to the extent that the Parisians have failed to score in 270 minutes. On Saturday, Nice pulled off a 1-0 victory in the Allianz Riviera that in all likelihood won’t affect PSG’s title charge but took Galtier’s side into second and went some way to confirming the Eagles under the former Lille manager can now be considered back in the Ligue 1 elite. It will also have set alarm bells ringing over the Champions League second leg against Real Madrid on 9 March.
Nice also dumped PSG out of the Coupe de France in January, winning on penalties after a 0-0 draw in the Parc des Princes, and held Pochettino’s league leaders to the same score in the reverse fixture in December. Those results represent a first for PSG under the stewardship on Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who has never seen his side fail to score against the same opposition three times in a season. The last occasion was in 1986-87, against Bordeaux. Added to last season, Galtier’s run against PSG now stands at five games without conceding, the former defender having clearly found a formula to frustrate the big-spending Parisians.
Galtier: “PSG are one team with Mbappé and another without him"
“PSG are one team with Mbappé and another without him,” Galtier said. The France striker was on the bench for the Coupe de France match and unable to alter the course of the game after his introduction due to Nice’s excellent work off the ball. On Saturday, Mbappé was suspended and forced to watch from the stands as PSG again failed to find a way around Galtier’s side.
Pochettino: "There are times when if you cannot win, you mustn't lose"
"We thought it was going to end in a draw because neither [side] had done enough to win," Pochettino stated in his post-game conference. “We had control of the game, especially in the second half, but we took a goal in transition and we lost. There's not much to analyse. There are times when if you cannot win, you mustn't lose.
"Wednesday will be a different game, a different opponent, a different competition. I have no doubts that we will play the game that we have to do."