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Herrera, the good soldier turns into an opportunistic scorer

Double scorer on Saturday, against Clermont, the Spanish international midfielder guided PSG to victory (4-0). A role he is not used to taking on …

At the Parc des Princes

Lionel Messi who? Deprived of several major elements this Saturday, against Clermont, including most of the South Americans, Marco Verratti and Sergio Ramos, Mauricio Pochettino aligned a mixed eleven, with in particular a trio Danilo-Gueye-Herrera in the middle. Three players who are not known for their qualities on the offensive plan, even if the Portuguese can put his two cents in the head or that the Senegalese has already demonstrated his skills on strikes from afar. Herrera? The 32-year-old Spain international (2 sel.) Had scored just two small goals since making his Paris Saint-Germain debut, before the three shots in the 2021-22 season. In four matches, he had already scored a third goal in Red and Blue, in Brest (4-2 victory), with two bonus assists, in Troyes (2-1 victory) and Brest. On Saturday, he scored two more. Improbable!

Not enough to forget the Argentine star with six Golden Balls, forfeit against CF38, Neymar, also absent, or Kylian Mbappé, author of the third Parisian goal in this controlled meeting (4-0). But enough to put PSG on the right track against the attractive promoted Auvergne and put him in the best possible condition before the Champions League, next Wednesday (9 p.m.), on the ground of FC Bruges.

First double with PSG

Herrera, however, is not used to the light. He is the shadow worker, the good soldier, the model teammate. A Swiss army knife which had established itself as an important element at Manchester United before evolving into a relay of the Parisian stars. Saturday, he evolved again in this role, precious without being flamboyant, reliable, with 68 balls touched and 94.3% of successful passes. But he took advantage of the work of arrows Achraf Hakimi then Mbappé to score his first double with Paris Saint-Germain, his first double since… April 2015 with the Red Devils. Two fairly similar goals, with crosses from the right badly repelled by the Clermont goalkeeper or his defense. The Basque put his head on the first, scoring in the empty goal, before hitting hard from the right on the second. Same causes, same effects. Mbappé and Gana Gueye were responsible for increasing the bill later, crucifying Clermontois not rewarded for their efforts.

«It’s good to score two goals but if you don’t win it doesn’t count. Clermont is a team that plays a lot, all the time. If we get the ball back, we can do a lot of counterattacks and score other goals, but we have to be careful.», Said Ander Herrera, on Prime Video, at the half of this part. An analysis which was perfectly verified in the second half during this fifth success of the season in Ligue 1 for Paris Saint-Germain, solid leader in the classification of this championship of France.

Ideal replacement

Obviously, this double will not change the hierarchy in midfield. Ander Herrera will always pass behind Verratti, Gini Wijnaldum and Idrissa Gueye. But “Poche” can count on him, just in case. Admittedly, the former Bilbao player is not the fastest, the most powerful, the most technical. But he has no real weak point either and he always responds when called upon. In short, it is the perfect replacement for this Paris-SG. More generally, seeing midfielders find the net is excellent news for Mauricio Pochettino: “It’s important for the team that the midfielders are decisive, not just the attacking players. It brings different options.And here, three points.

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