Pochettino not worried by PSG profligacy ahead of Saint-Etienne clash

By Sports Desk February 25, 2022

Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino is unconcerned by recent wastefulness in front of goal and believes his star-studded attack will soon click.

PSG suffered just their second league loss of the season at Nantes last week, going down 3-1 despite creating plenty of chances and finishing the match with an expected goals (xG) of 3.8, with Neymar missing a second-half penalty after the Parisians had found themselves three goals down.

The Ligue 1 leaders also missed a penalty in their recent 1-0 Champions League win over Real Madrid, with Lionel Messi failing to beat Thibaut Courtois on a night where they had 1.88 xG to their opponents' 0.14.

However, Pochettino has faith that his attacking endeavours will be rewarded.

"I'm not worried when we don't score. I would worry if we didn't get chances," Pochettino told a news conference ahead of this weekend's game with Saint-Etienne.

"We have talented players, who can score at any time. 

"This week, we emphasised work. We must improve the balance in our play, the defensive transitions, controlling space. 

"With the team we have, there is no doubt in my mind that we'll find that clinical streak."

 

Although PSG boast a 13-point lead at the top of Ligue 1, they have won just five of their last 10 league games, drawing four and losing one. 

Meanwhile, with defender Sergio Ramos close to resuming training after a calf injury, Pochettino expressed his frustration at the injury woes which have blighted the Real Madrid legend this season, with Ramos making just two Ligue 1 starts since joining the club last summer.

"The person who suffers most from him not being available to play is him," the PSG boss added.

"We are trying to help him. We have great medical staff who are trying to give him the best possible treatment to deal with this type of situation. We're here to give him moral and psychological support. 

"It's always difficult for an injured player. A footballer needs to be part of the competition, of the squad too, on big days. All of that creates cohesion with the squad."

PSG are looking to defend a proud record against Saint-Etienne in their next outing, having won 42 of their 80 Ligue 1 games against them (25 draws and 13 losses). Only against Metz have they won more top-flight matches (43).

Related items

  • Rumour Has It: Man City to use Grealish in deal with Dortmund for Bellingham Rumour Has It: Man City to use Grealish in deal with Dortmund for Bellingham

    Jude Bellingham is expected to leave Borussia Dortmund at the end of this season, with numerous clubs lining up to sign him.

    The England international, who has impressed during the World Cup, is contracted with Dortmund until 2025.

    It has been speculated that Bellingham will cost English clubs more than £100million to fund the deal.

    TOP STORY – CITY TO USE GREALISH IN DEAL FOR BELLINGHAM

    Manchester City will dangle Jack Grealish to Borussia Dortmund as part of a deal to land Bellingham, claims Football Insider.

    Grealish, who City signed for £100m from Aston Villa 18 months ago, has not fully convinced since his switch to the English champions.

    According to the report, City are intensifying their interest in Bellingham and are willing to use Grealish.

    Le10Sport have also reported French powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain are also interested in 19-year-old Bellingham.

     

    ROUND-UP

    Liverpool are plotting a surprise move for Juventus forward Dusan Vlahovic, reports Calciomercato. The Serbian striker has scored six Serie A goals this term.

    – Mundo Deportivo reports Borussia Dortmund's Thomas Meunier is willing to listen to offers from Milan, Juventus, Manchester United and two other Premier League clubs if Barcelona do not bid for him.

    – Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix is open to a Premier League switch amid interest from Chelsea, claims GiveMeSport transfer expert Dean Jones.

    – Calciomercato reports that Arsenal are interested in a January move for Real Madrid's Marco Asensio.

    Leeds United are interested in a January move for Newcastle forward Chris Wood, claims Football Insider. Wood left Leeds for Burnley in 2017.

  • Kerr says improving Warriors played 'best stretch all year' in win over Rockets Kerr says improving Warriors played 'best stretch all year' in win over Rockets

    The Golden State Warriors played their "best stretch" of basketball this season in Saturday's 120-101 win over the Houston Rockets says head coach Steve Kerr, as the reigning champions ominously made it five wins from six games.

    The Warriors raced to a 39-23 quarter-time lead, inspired by Andrew Wiggins with a season-high 36 points and reigning NBA Finals MVP Stephen Curry with 30.

    Golden State led 22-4 at one stage in the first quarter and did not commit a turnover until the second quarter, in an ominous sign from the reigning champions who improved to 12-11.

    "It was a phenomenal first 18 minutes," Kerr told reporters. "I thought that was maybe the best stretch we've had all year to start the game.

    "Then halfway through the second quarter, maybe eight minutes left in the second quarter we didn’t have any turnovers, we had like 16 assists, we were defending, rebounding, doing everything right and then we just lost our focus.

    "That's our biggest challenge right now is trying to maintain our focus long enough to not give up leads and allow teams back in and I thought that’s what happened tonight."

    Warriors shooting guard Thompson was rested for the game, the second of their back-to-back games, having won 119-111 over the Chicago Bulls on Friday.

    "The hope is that he will play back-to-backs later this year," Kerr said.

    "Today, he will go through really good court work to try and simulate as best we can what a back-to-back would feel like for him."

    Wiggins and Curry both scored eight three-pointers each as the Warriors tallied 25 for the game on 52.9 per cent shooting from beyond the arc.

    The Warriors became the second team behind the Utah Jazz in November-December 2021 to make 20 three-pointers in four of five games.

  • Lyon's six-wicket haul guides Australia to 1-0 series lead with final-day victory over West Indies Lyon's six-wicket haul guides Australia to 1-0 series lead with final-day victory over West Indies

    Nathan Lyon has bowled Australia to a 164-run victory over the West Indies with a fourth-innings six-wicket haul in the first Test in Perth on Sunday.

    The West Indies resumed at 192-3 chasing the improbable target of 498 and pushed Australia beyond drinks in the second session before Lyon claimed the final two wickets in successive balls.

    Australia skipper Pat Cummins was on the field throughout the final day but did not bowl, due to a quad injury which has him in doubt for the second Test starting in Adelaide on Thursday. Cummins' absence from the attack heaped more pressure on Lyon who shouldered that burden.

    Lyon finished with 6-128 from 42.5 overs in the fourth innings, getting the key breakthrough of captain Kraigg Braithwaite, after having Kyle Mayers caught at first slip by Steve Smith in the first session. Braithwaite, who reached his century late on day four, was bowled by Lyon for 110.

    Jason Holder was brilliantly caught by Smith at first slip off Travis Head before Joshua De Silva edged to Usman Khawaja off Josh Hazlewood, with the tourists' resistance appearing set to wither at 233-7.

    But Alzarri Joseph and Roston Chase put together a stubborn 82-run eighth-wicket partnership which ensured Australia were made to work for their victory. 

    Head clean bowled Joseph, who belted three sixes in his 43, on the delivery after wicketkeeper Alex Carey dropped a tough chance, before Lyon dismissed Chase for 55 and Kemar Roach in successive balls.

    Marnus Labuschagne was named Player of the Match after his scores of 204 and 104* earlier in the contest.

    Lyon brings it home for Australia

    Australia's all-time most productive off-spinner Lyon finished the job for the hosts with four final-day wickets and six for the fourth innings, having taken two late on the fourth day.

    Lyon's five-wicket haul was the 21st of his Test career, but also his fifth in the fourth innings of a Test match, with only one of those coming before 2019.

    Positives for West Indies

    Not much was expected from the West Indies in this series but they can take some heart from their gallant defeat in Perth, although it leaves them 1-0 down in the two-game Test series.

    The West Indies bowling left a bit to be desired but their opening batsmen did well, with Braithwaite scoring 64 and 110, while debutant Tagenarine Chanderpaul impressed with 51 and 45.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.