It was only a League Cup match against an AS Saint-Étienne team that was fairly reworked and very quickly outnumbered. The broad 6-1 success of this Wednesday evening at the Parc des Princes, for the quarter-finals of the League Cup, nevertheless constituted the first outing of the year for the now usual offensive quartet: Angel Di Maria and Neymar on the wings, Kylian Mbappé and Mauro Icardi at the forefront. And what an exit! They knew how to be decisive in turn.

Mauro Icardi is certainly the man of the match, with his three fox goals from the surfaces in just four shots (2nd, 49th, 57th). With, as icing on the cake, a decisive pass before giving way to Edinson Cavani. Neymar distinguished himself on the second goal by a nice ball pitted over Jessy Moulin, thanks to a perfect opening of Angel Di Maria (39th). A few minutes later, the Argentinian provoked the unlikely keeper of the Stéphanois goalkeeper (44th). As for Kylian Mbappé, his little bridge sowed confusion over this same third goal, before delivering two assists for Mauro Icardi and then getting a lift back for the ultimate Parisian achievement (67th). His confidence was such that he almost scored the goal of the year, with a stroke of the scarf (82nd).

A satisfactory balance for the moment

These goals show that the four players manage to find themselves, to play together, to make themselves decisive among themselves. They seem not only to approach each of their best individual level, in particular Kylian Mbappé who seems more and more altruistic, but they give the impression that their understanding improves from match to match. Progress has been noted since Thomas Tuchel decided to use this system in 4-4-2 against Montpellier (victory 1-3 on December 7). The content is all the more positive because the classic pitfall of such a tactical device, namely a team cut in half and a defensive sector forced to redouble efforts to compensate for the inactivity of the attackers, is for the time being avoid. Thomas Tuchel, who feared this problem after the draw against Real Madrid (2-2), now seems satisfied with the balance of his eleven.

“In 4-4-2, in a team like ours which wants to play offensively and develop attacks, it is absolutely necessary to work together when we do not have the ball and it is the responsibility of the team and players individually, said the German coach at the microphone of Eurosport after the victory in the Coupe de France against Linas-Montlhéry (6-0). I must say, they have done super well in the last weeks Now there is no need to change, we keep that, we work a lot and it is necessary that everyone helps and works together “.

Weak adversity prohibits final conclusions, but this demonstration has in any case the merit of boosting the confidence of the team and undoubtedly makes Thomas Tuchel want to continue on this path before the long-awaited trip to Dortmund for the eighth of the Champions League.


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