Monday, October 25, 2021

Kimpembe: Absence of supporters weighed heavily on PSG last season

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 5 Aug 2021

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Presnel Kimpembe conceded the absence of supporters proved costly to Paris Saint-Germain’s Ligue 1 title hopes last season.

Les Parisiens’ run of three straight league titles ended as they finished a point behind champions Lille under Mauricio Pochettino.

Pochettino’s side surrendered top spot following a 1-0 defeat by Lille at the start of April, and were unable to reclaim it as the French domestic crown eluded them for only the second time in nine seasons.

That loss was one of five they suffered during the Ligue 1 campaign at Parc des Princes, where they scored 44 goals while conceding 14 and keeping nine clean sheets.

By contrast, 2018-19 – the last full season played in front of full-capacity stadia – saw them go unbeaten on home soil, finding the net 63 times and letting in just 10 goals and recording the same number of clean sheets.

And Kimpembe believes the potential return of supporters will be instrumental as he and his team-mates look to regain the Ligue 1 crown.

“For me, it will make all the difference,” the vice-captain told the official club website.

“They are the 12th man and given how important they are to us, last season was not easy. 

“We felt that the absence of the supporters weighed on us when we were a bit down. 

“You hear the voice of the supporters, the chants, the shouts and obviously that pushes you on. 

“I hope that they will come back soon and that we will be able to have a great season together.”

They launch their quest against reigning Ligue 2 champions Troyes on Saturday.

Laurent Batlles’ side are back in the top-flight after a three-year absence, having finished five points clear of second-placed Clermont.

PSG began 2020-21 with back-to-back 1-0 defeats against Lens and Marseille; a start to the season that Kimpembe is eager to avoid this time around.

“We saw last season that the start of the championship was complicated,” he added. “We lost a lot of points stupidly.

“Against Troyes, we know what to expect. They’re not going to do us any favours and they’re back from Ligue 2. 

“We know that they will want to play well against us. We need to get off to a good start.”

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