Saturday, September 23, 2017

Paris Saint-Germain v Metz: Injuries prove a frustration for Blanc

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 26 Apr 2015

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Fresh from hitting Lille for six at the weekend, Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc has few concerns other than injuries ahead of their Ligue 1 clash with Metz.

Struggling Metz visit the Parc des Princes on Tuesday still in desperate need of points to avoid an immediate return to Ligue 2 but face an in-form PSG side.

Ezequiel Lavezzi’s hat-trick helped Blanc’s men thrash Lille in the capital on Saturday – with injuries to Salvatore Sirigu and Serge Aurier the only sour points for the French champions.

Edinson Cavani also scored twice to keep PSG on course for the title but Lyon’s 4-2 win over Reims on Sunday means they will only enjoy daylight at the top with a positive result in this game in hand.

That result also impacted Metz, as Reims remain a side Albert Cartier’s men will have designs on reeling in.

In November’s clash between PSG and Metz, only a late Lavezzi strike sealed a 3-2 win but Blanc says destiny is now in his side’s hands as they target a third consecutive title.

“Overall it was a very good afternoon. My only regret is that we were not left alone by injuries,” said Blanc, who looks set to again be without captain Thiago Silva (thigh).

“We are having no luck in that area. It was good that we scored six goals from seven shots on target. A lad like Lavezzi is an example of how things can change.

“He is a lad who has often had a lot of chances and converted very few of them. Today he scores a hat-trick. That proves that you need to believe in the players and give them the best conditions in which to perform. 

“Cavani also scored a double. It is good for their morale and for ours as we near the finish line. We are happy to have won but we are not sending a message to anyone. 

“It is a good thing to have scored a lot of goals and it would be good to continue like that. We have lots of respect for the teams who await us but we must be determined, we have our destiny in our hands.”

Metz are four unbeaten in the league but remain eight points off safety ahead of their trip to the capital.

Cartier’s side are without a win on the road in the top flight since September but came within seven minutes of claiming victory at Bordeaux on Saturday.

Regardless of Wahbi Khazri’s dramatic equaliser in the 1-1 draw, Cartier explained: “I am proud of the energy and determination shown by the lads. We suffered but we hung on.

“When we played them at home we had a penalty in the 87th minute that we didn’t convert and tonight, although we were put under a lot of pressure in the second half, we also had the chance to make it 2-0.”

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