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“It was easy: Neymar, Messi and Mbappé don’t defend”

Reims defender, Yunis Abdelhamid, acknowledged in the mixed zone that his team were very comfortable with the ball against PSG.

París (Francia)Update:
Paris Saint-Germain's Argentine forward Lionel Messi (L) Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar (C) Paris Saint-Germain's French forward Kylian Mbappe (R) warm up ahead of the Riyadh Season Cup between the Riyadh All-Stars and Paris Saint-Germain at the King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh on January 19, 2023. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)

Reims picked up a valuable point against PSG at the Parc des Princes on Sunday. They did so thanks to a last-minute goal from Folarin Balogun in a game in which they deserved much more in the first half. In the second half, they went 1-0 down, but had numerical superiority due to Marco Verratti’s sending-off. Reims defender Yunis Abdelhamid admitted in the mixed zone post-match that it is easier to attack when you are up against a team whose front three don’t defend.

“I didn’t feel that they were nervous. I think PSG are a team who are aware and confident in their ability. We analysed them and knew their weaknesses. We know their forwards don’t defend much (laughs). We could have been more decisive because we didn’t take our chances. They had weaknesses and we tried to exploit them. It’s difficult to play them because when they have the ball they are very good. But there’s more to the game than that,” said the 35-year-old defender.

PSG trio struggle to defend

The Moroccan also highlighted the lack of defensive work from Neymar, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé. “When we came out with the ball, it was easier because the three up front - Messi, Neymar and Mbappé - don’t defend. We knew that when we got past the front line, they then sometimes make the effort to press a bit. They made it very difficult for us in the reverse fixture. This time, I didn’t think we suffered the same,” he added.


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