Paris Saint-Germain pegged back late by Chambly

By Sports Desk July 17, 2021

Mauro Icardi scored for the second game running but Paris Saint-Germain could only draw 2-2 with Chambly in Saturday's pre-season friendly.

Mauricio Pochettino's team thrashed Le Mans 4-0 in their first pre-season outing, but could not manage to overcome Chambly, who were relegated from Ligue 2 last season.

Icardi opened the scoring from the penalty spot, but Guillaume Heinry got the better of substitute goalkeeper Sergio Rico after half-time.

Xavi Simons scored his second goal of pre-season to nudge PSG back ahead, only for Doucoure to finish from a corner in the 89th minute.

Having made his debut against Le Mans, Achraf Hakimi was not involved for PSG, while Sergio Ramos is still working his way back to fitness.

PSG's other new arrival, Gianluigi Donnarumma, will not return until after his post-Euros break.

Next up for Pochettino's side is a friendly with Augsburg in Orleans on Wednesday.

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  • Jack Grealish: FA Cup semi-final the perfect game to ‘put right’ European exit Jack Grealish: FA Cup semi-final the perfect game to ‘put right’ European exit

    Jack Grealish believes Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea gives Manchester City the perfect opportunity to put their Champions League agony behind them.

    City’s hopes of successfully defending their European crown – and winning a second successive treble – were shattered on Wednesday as they were beaten by Real Madrid on penalties.

    The defeat was particularly galling given that City had dominated the second leg of the quarter-final tie at the Etihad Stadium, but they have little time to dwell on their misfortune.

    Attention has immediately shifted to Wembley and a key clash in City’s bid to retain one of the other two trophies they won in glorious fashion last season.

    Midfielder Grealish said: “We’ve not been used to losing, especially in the last couple of years. We always knew it was going to be a tough game against one of the best teams in the world.

    “It went down to penalties and it’s never nice to go out on penalties. Luckily enough for us we’ve got another game within three days where we can go and put it right.

    “Sometimes it’s better when it’s like that. It’s better when you can put it right straight away rather than waiting and dwelling on it for a couple of weeks.

    “It’s the perfect game for us to put it right.”

    As well as being favourites for the FA Cup, City have put themselves in a strong position to win the Premier League for a fourth year in succession and a sixth time in seven years.

    Grealish said: “This year, if we win the Premier League and the FA Cup it would be a hugely successful season. Hopefully we can go on and do that and that’s our aim.”

    It has been a frustrating campaign in a personal sense for Grealish, although he has regained form and his place in the side in recent games.

    The 28-year-old England international, who excelled in the treble-winning season, struggled to find consistency after an injury in the autumn and was then hindered by further fitness issues.

    “It’s been difficult,” he said. “Especially on the back of last year, I had such a good season.

    “At the moment, I feel good and I feel confident. At the start of the season, I don’t know, I just didn’t feel like I was playing well really. I didn’t really feel that fit if I’m honest.

    “But I feel good now. I feel fit and I feel like I’m playing with good confidence. Hopefully I can bring that into the end of the season.

    “We’ve still got a lot to play for. The season is nowhere near over yet. I still feel like I’ve got a big part to play.”

    Grealish spoke recently about his determination to repay manager Pep Guardiola for guiding him through his difficult spell and he remains keen to deliver for the City boss.

    He said: “I’ve got a really good relationship with him. I’ve said before that he’s the best manager in the world, in my opinion.

    “I’ve had my own problems, even off the pitch, and he’s always spoken to me and been there for me.

    “Hopefully, I can help him and he can help me towards the end of the season.”

  • Cole Palmer has nothing to prove to City, says Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino Cole Palmer has nothing to prove to City, says Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino

    Mauricio Pochettino believes Cole Palmer will go into Chelsea’s FA Cup semi-final with Manchester City on Saturday with nothing to prove to his former employers, insisting he is the right manager to help the 21-year-old continue his stunning ascendancy.

    Palmer, who left Chelsea’s Wembley opponents in a £42.5million deal in the summer, is joint top scorer in the Premier League after his four goals in Monday’s 6-0 demolition of Everton moved him level with City’s Erling Haaland on 20 for the season.

    He has netted an incredible seven times in the team’s last two home games, including a hat-trick in the breathless 4-3 win over Manchester United when two of his goals came in the 10th and 11th minutes of stoppage time.

    He previously scored from the penalty spot in the fifth minute of added time to snatch a point in a 4-4 draw when City visited west London in November.

    Palmer has previously stated his decision to leave the champions – for whom he scored twice in August in the Community Shield and UEFA Super Cup – was based on the belief he would get more first-team game time at Chelsea.

    That decision has been thoroughly vindicated, with his performances for Mauricio Pochettino’s frustratingly inconsistent side placing him in the reckoning for the PFA Player of the Year award.

    His odds on winning the award have been slashed by as much as half with some bookmakers since his Everton haul.

    But his manager said there was no possibility the England international would face City with an axe to grind.

    “It’s his first consistent season playing, we need to be careful because he’s still young, he’s growing,” said Pochettino.

    “He’s already played twice (against City) in the Premier League. He’s very grateful for Manchester City, with Pep Guardiola. He always talks very highly of them.

    “He’s not the type of player that has something inside (to prove). He understood perfectly that for different reasons he wanted to prove himself in another club.

    “He’s not the type of person to wants to prove something against his former club.”

    Prior to joining Chelsea, Palmer had played only 19 senior league games spread over three seasons, and had not scored in the Premier League.

    Yet he is now a genuine contender to deprive his former team-mate Haaland of the Golden Boot won by the Norwegian last season.

    There is also the growing prospect of his being selected in Gareth Southgate’s squad for Euro 2024 in Germany this summer.

    “He has to absorb the pressure to play in the Premier League consistently,” said Pochettino, who previously enjoyed success at Tottenham stewarding young talents though their early years, including England captain Harry Kane.

    “It’s about the demands in his private life. He is top scorer. He maybe needs to pay attention to different things than before. That’s going to have an influence on how he is going to prepare himself, how he’s going to rest and going to sleep, how he spends his energy.

    “We need to be careful. We have the experience to manage this type of thing, when a young kid becomes a big star. Why is he not performing in a few months? Because his life has changed. He needs to learn from this experience that is completely different to the past.”

  • What has caused the row over FA Cup replays and what happens next? What has caused the row over FA Cup replays and what happens next?

    The row over the abolition of FA Cup replays intensified on Friday, with the EFL accusing the Football Association and the Premier League of sidelining its clubs from the decision-making process.

    Here the PA news agency looks at the situation more closely.

    What has happened?

    The EFL released an explosive statement on Friday afternoon saying the agreement announced between the FA and the Premier League on the new format and funding for the FA Cup was “a further example of how the EFL and its clubs are being marginalised in favour of others further up the pyramid” which “only serves to threaten the future of the English game”.

    A number of EFL clubs and some from lower down the pyramid have also criticised the lack of consultation on the issue. One of them, League Two side Bradford, said that although retrospective consultation was still necessary, it would be “nothing more than an insult”.

    What has the FA said?

    Football’s national governing body said it “understands the concerns” expressed in the last 24 hours and said it would be “sharing more details with clubs very shortly to explain the additional revenue opportunities in the early rounds”.

    It added that the EFL had been involved in discussions about replays for over a year and that “all parties accepted they could not continue”. The FA also pointed out that the calendar changes were approved by its Professional Game Board (PGB) which includes four EFL representatives.

    So the EFL backed the changes?

    The EFL insists the abolition of replays from the FA Cup was “agreed solely between the FA and the Premier League”. It said its PGB representatives did challenge the position on replays and were told that clubs would be “comfortable” without them. The EFL added: “Any decisions taken on the calendar involving EFL representatives are in no way an endorsement of the joint deal agreed between the FA and Premier League that imposes changes to the FA Cup competition format in isolation.”

    The FA, EFL and Premier League were in discussions over the so-called “New Deal For Football” to agree new financial settlements and changes to the domestic calendar in response to fixture pressures caused by UEFA expanding its club competitions from 2024-25. However, the EFL statement says the discussions over the FA Cup were “bilateral” between the FA and the Premier League.

    The EFL insists it must be involved in all discussions on changes to the calendar affecting its clubs and crucially, how any such changes are compensated for. But sources close to the EFL feel that now Premier League clubs have opted to halt talks on a new settlement with the 72 clubs, the EFL is being sidelined.

    What happens now?

    The FA says it will try to convince lower-league clubs they will not “lose out” as a result of the changes. The EFL says the FA and the Premier League must “re-evaluate their approach” to dealing with it and its 72 clubs.

    York owner Matt Uggla has said he will contact all those clubs who have spoken out in opposition to the changes to “discuss our options” regarding the FA Cup.

    “We might be called small clubs but together we are giants,” he wrote on X.

    He described boycotting the FA Cup as “the nuclear option”.

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