Messi on his legs, Icardi’s head elsewhere

Lionel Messi sharp, Mauro Icardi not worried C. Gavelle / PSG – AI / Reuters / Panoramic

For the first from his new coach Christophe Galtier, PSG won 2-0 against Quevilly-Rouen. Our tops and flops of the meeting.

TOPS

Lionel Messi reassures

With the absence of his attacking companion Neymar, hit in the hip, and Kylian Mbappe, who only resumed training at the start of the week, Lionel Messi had to take matters into his own hands for this friendly against Quevilly-Rouen (2- 0), this Friday, at Camp des Loges. One thing is certain: the Argentine’s performance in this first friendly will herald the color for the rest of the summer prep. Fast on pace, the ex-Barcelona didn’t wait long before showing himself dangerous. From kick-off, his percussion at the entrance to the surface provided an interesting free kick (3rd). At the start of the penalty transformed by Sergio Ramos (33rd), he did not stop controlling the meeting by leading his team’s play, while trying to deeply serve Arnaud Kalimuendo or Eric Junior Dina-Ebimbe.

Young people benefit

Besides Mbappé and Neymar, several players from the Paris group were missing, such as Nuno Mendes, Presnel Kimpembe, Danilo Perreira and Marco Verratti. Enough to leave minutes and space for the young players of the training center who could compose brilliantly. This is the case of Dina-Ebimbe, cast aside and author of many breakthroughs in Normandy (32nd, 35th). At halftime, Christophe Galtier let go of all his starting eleven. Baldé and Najeh played in defense throughout the second period, as did Zaire-Emery, who perfectly celebrated the signing of his professional contract, alongside Nathan Bitumazala in the middle. When Djeidi Gassama doubled the stakes thanks to a very good dribbling run (54th), his teammate Sekou Yansané missed a ready-made action in front of the cages of Quevilly-Rouen (82nd).

FLOPS

Mauro Icardi has his head elsewhere

Mauro Icardi, who was set up on offense alongside Lionel Messi and Arnaud Kalimuendo, seemed unconcerned about this first friendly. The Argentine didn’t seem sharp, far from being as impactful in depth compared to some of his teammates in the attacking sector. At the heart of the departure rumours, Icardi seemed to have his head very far from the capital, such as this series where he doesn’t even try to control the ball that Lionel Messi (22nd) gives into the area.

Keylor Navas got scared

If the meeting was of no importance, Keylor Navas almost made two major recovery errors in the second half. The Costa Rican replaced Gigio Donnarumma in the game and completely missed his distances on foot, offering Quevilly-Rouen two dangerous moves. Like Icardi and unlike Herrera, Gueye or Kurzawa, who weren’t bad, Navas didn’t seem quite focused on Christophe Galtier’s first on the PSG bench. However, the new Paris coach had set his goals for this meeting: by testing two devices (3-4-3 then 4-3-3) the main idea was to be solid, efficient and committed. Mission failed for Icardi and Navas.

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