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Strasbourg 1-1 vs Paris Saint-Germain: Talking points as spoils shared bring success to both sides

Veselin Trajkovic in Editorial, Ligue 1 28 May 2023

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Strasbourg and Paris Saint-Germain played a 1-1 draw at the Stade de la Meinau on Saturday evening, and the point earned therein was enough for both sides to leave the venue satisfied; PSG have won another Ligue 1 title, and Strasbourg have secured survival in the French top flight.

Lionel Messi broke the deadlock for the visitors in the 59th minute, and substitute Kevin Gameiro equalized for the hosts 20 minutes later.

The game

Despite PSG having the ball in their control for 2/3 of the contest, the draw in the end felt like a fair result with what was seen on the pitch considered. Apart from Messi’s goal and two fantastic chances wasted by Kylian Mbappe, Christophe Galtier’s men created very little to trouble the excellent Matz Sels in the Strasbourg goal.

PSG took a total of seven shots; Strasbourg had no less than 17, highlighting the difference in the approach between the two teams, particularly while PSG were in the lead. Frederic Antonetti’s men were very agressive in the middle of the park, frequently winning duels, even though the likes of Marco Verratti and Renato Sanches fought well for PSG too.

Messi tried his trademark bursts towards the opposition box a couple of times, but the Strasbourg defence was obviously well prepared to tackle the issue of stopping the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner.

However, in that fateful 59th minute, Danilo Pereira sent a long diagonal towards Mbappe on the left wing, and the France international took on PSG loanee Colin Dagba before slipping the ball in towards Messi. Strasbourg midfielder Ibrahima Sissoko failed to track Messi’s run from the middle of the park and defender Ismael Doukoure was too slow to come out, and that’s a situation a team cannot afford when playing against arguably the best player the world has seen in the last 15 years. As usual, Messi was ruthless.

Gameiro certainly gave Strasbourg a notable energy boost when he came on in the 76th minute, and it took him just three minutes to get on the scoresheet. The veteran forward combined well with Diarra Mouhamadou before setting Morgan Sanson up for a shot from 13 or 14 yards. Gianluigi Donnarumma in the PSG goal saved the shot, but the rebound didn’t go far enough from his goal and Gameiro was the quickest to react, chipping the ball over the Italian goalkeeper and watching Danilo struggle and fail to prevent it from going in.

Galtier to remain in PSG dugout?

With the unceremonious but hardly surprising Champions League exit in the round of 16 and a couple of disappointing defeats in Ligue 1 as well in the second half of the season, there have been rumours suggesting the PSG board, led by Nasser Al-Khelaifi, are not satisfied with Galtier’s work at the Parc des Princes and that they might soon decide to part ways with the former Saint-Etienne, Olympique Marseille and OGC Nice boss. Nothing from any reliable source, mind.

As for Galtier himself, he said after the game that he believes he has earned a second season at the club, having led them to the title in France, despite the Champions League failure. Whether his superiors agree, remains to be seen, given that most of his predecessors since the Qatari acquisition of the club also led the team to the League 1 title, but nobody has delivered the Champions League trophy as of yet.

Table rankings

As has been said, PSG are Ligue 1 champions again, sitting four points above second-place Lens with just one round left to be played. Lens will join them in the Champions League group stage next season and Marseille will go through the qualifying process, that much has been decided.

But lower down, things remain in the balance. Fourth place, currently occupied by Lille with 66 points, leads to the Europa League, and fifth, which belongs to Rennes with 65, warrants a place in the Europa Conference League. AS Monaco is sixth also have 65 points, which means the remaining two European spots will be decided between these three teams.

At the other end, Strasbourg have now moved seven points clear of the relegation zone, which means they’re quite safe. Troyes, Ajaccio and Angers have already been relegated, and the final spot to send its occupant down will belong either to Nantes (17th, 33 points), or Auxerre (16th, 35).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

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