Paris Saint-Germain are struggling to come to terms with again failing to win the Champions League, according to former coach Laurent Blanc.

Blanc led Lyon to a 1-0 win at PSG on Sunday, potentially breathing life into the Ligue 1 title race.

PSG looked to have the championship all but wrapped up before back-to-back defeats, with this latest reverse following another home loss against Rennes before the international break.

The gap to second-placed Lens and third-placed Marseille is now just six points; Lens are the next visitors to the Parc des Princes.

But Blanc does not believe this slump is anything new, identifying a long-standing problem at a club where he was coach between 2013 and 2016.

PSG exited the Champions League to Bayern Munich last month, meaning their wait to win that trophy will go on, and the Lyon boss suggests their subsequent form is linked.

"I know a bit about the place, the club, et cetera," Blanc said. "The problem with Paris is that when the number one goal and the goal that interests you and all the fans is no longer achievable, it seems that the season no longer exists.

"At all levels, at all levels, that's the way it is. That's how it is, you feel it, you perceive it.

"The Champions League goes on and everything is fine. The Champions League unfortunately stops, and then it's all over. The season is over and we talk about the next season. We talk, we anticipate everything.

"It's very difficult to motivate ourselves and all the players for the objective of the league.

"I think that Christophe Galtier will succeed, but it's hard, it's hard, it's hard, because the environment is not easy either.

"That environment goes in all directions, it goes in all directions: the next season, the recruitment... You hear things, it's difficult to bear, because the season is not over and there are still nine games left.

"So, we have to be aware that the season is not over, that we have to motivate everyone. It's not easy, I tell you; it's not easy.

"But Christophe will succeed because the pride of the players also, at some point, takes over, because the players are also very, very down when they haven't achieved all their objectives.

"So, there is this period; they are in the middle of it. Paris is in the middle of this moment, which is a bit tricky. It will come back."

Blanc won the league three times as PSG coach, including two domestic trebles, before he was replaced by Unai Emery.

But Blanc dismissed a question about "personal revenge" following Lyon's win, saying: "I'll stop you, I'll stop you. That's the stuff of journalists, of the media.

"The image, I don't care about that, I don't care, I don't care. If you know how much I don't care about that, then it's incredible.

"There's nothing personal about a football team. If you want to have personal feelings, you have to play an individual sport. It's a collective feeling.

"I'm happy to have won at the Parc for my team, for myself, of course, but that's where it ends.

"I don't have any revenge. Revenge on who, on what, on how? I had a great time here in Paris. It ended sooner than I expected. And that's life, that's life.

"All coaches are subject to this. And that's it, you have to accept it. There's no revenge."

Hugo Lloris believes Tottenham team-mate Harry Kane "must have been feeling the pressure" after the striker's missed penalty helped France into the World Cup semi-finals.

Kane had already scored a penalty to equalise for England after Aurelien Tchouameni's long-range opener, but Olivier Giroud put France back ahead with just 12 minutes to play.

Kane then received a golden chance to level again from the spot after Theo Hernandez inexplicably bundled over Mason Mount in the France area.

However, the England captain blazed his penalty well over before France saw out the remaining minutes to keep alive their hopes of becoming the first team since Brazil in 1962 to retain their World Cup crown.

Lloris feels his club team-mate felt the weight of the moment, causing him to balloon his spot-kick over the crossbar.

"The first one, we know each other so well that I said to myself he'll change, but he stayed with his usual," Lloris told France's Twitter account. "The second one, I went the right way.

"Certainly, he must have been feeling the pressure so he lifted it a bit, he forced it a bit. It was an important moment in the game."

France won Saturday's game despite England having double the amount of shots as the reigning world champions, while registering 2.41 xG (expected goals) to France's 1.01.

Laurent Blanc, who coached Les Bleus between 2010 and 2012 having won 97 caps as a player, cited France's superior experience deep into tournaments as the reason for the quarter-final victory.

"You always have to respect your opponent," Blanc told reporters. "I found a very good French team, but I honestly found a very good English team. It's been a while since I've seen an England team so good.

"We won, I think, because we have perhaps a little more experience and then the fate was more favorable to the French than to the English."

France's path to their second straight World Cup final is now only blocked by Morocco, whose fairytale run to the final four has seen them become the first African nation to get this far in the tournament's history.

Blanc says Morocco must be treated as a very capable opponent and suggested complacency cannot creep in.

"I think it will be a great game, you know the history of the two countries, they are very close," Blanc explained.

"We must respect the opponents who are surprises and Morocco, I think, in the semi-finals of the World Cup, is a surprise.

"But when you get to the semi-final of the World Cup, yes you were considered a surprise at the beginning but when you get there, you can no longer be a surprise. So it means that they have very good players, a very good coach.

"So here we are, may the best team win and we will watch it with great interest."

Lyon sacked head coach Peter Bosz on Sunday and confirmed his successor will be Laurent Blanc.

The seven-time French champions lost patience with Dutchman Bosz, whose second season at the club began brightly but has quickly deteriorated.

After taking 13 points from their opening five Ligue 1 games, suggesting they might challenge at least for a Champions League place, Lyon went into free-fall.

They halted a four-match losing run in the league when drawing 1-1 against Toulouse on Friday evening, but that point at home was not enough to save Bosz, a former Ajax, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen boss.

The dismal sequence of defeats had been Lyon's longest in the French top flight since March 1991, when they also had a four-game run of losses.

Lyon finished only eighth last season, missing out on qualification for all European competitions. It was their lowest league finish since the 1995-96 campaign, when they were 11th.

His replacement will be Blanc, the former Bordeaux, France and Paris Saint-Germain boss, who will officially take charge on Monday.

Blanc left PSG In June 2016, after a three-year reign that included Ligue 1 titles in each season.

His most recent coaching assignment came at Qatari club Al-Rayyan, with Blanc leaving that post in February after 14 months in charge.

A club statement confirmed Blanc has agreed a contract to run until the end of the 2023-24 season.

James Rodriguez has left Everton to join Qatari side Al-Rayyan for an undisclosed fee.

The Colombia playmaker, who did not make his nation's squad for the Copa America due to concerns over his fitness after missing the end of Everton's 2020-21 campaign, had not featured in a competitive game for the Toffees so far this season.

Rafael Benitez reportedly did not see the 30-year-old as a key player in his squad and confirmed earlier this month that Everton had been open to offers for the former Real Madrid man, who won the Golden Boot at the 2014 World Cup.

Signed on a free transfer from Madrid by previous manager Carlo Ancelotti, James made 26 appearances in all competitions for Everton last season, scoring six goals and creating a further eight.

However, with the Qatari transfer window still open, Al-Rayyan – coached by former Paris Saint-Germain and France boss Laurent Blanc – have now signed the Colombian star. 

Blanc took over Al-Rayyan in December 2020 and guided them to a third-placed finish in the Qatar Stars League, behind Al-Duhail and Al-Sadd, coached by Barcelona legend Xavi.

James' signing represents a coup for the league ahead of the Qatar 2022 World Cup, though he will still have to fight his way back into Reinaldo Rueda's Colombia squad.

Though injuries did limit his game time, James was a creative fulcrum for Everton under Ancelotti, forging 54 chances, placing him second in the squad behind Gylfi Sigurdsson (60), who made 18 appearances more.

James led the way for Everton with chances created from open play (38) and when it came to crafting big chances (14) – defined by Opta as situations where players should reasonably be expected to score. 

Per 90 minutes played, James created 0.56 big chances in the Premier League, putting him just below Jack Grealish and Bruno Fernandes (0.58), ranking sixth in the competition among those who played 20 or more matches.

Everton went unbeaten in their first five games under Benitez but lost 3-0 to Aston Villa last Saturday before heading out of the EFL Cup with an 8-7 penalty shoot-out defeat to Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday, following a 2-2 draw at Loftus Road.

"To be fair, I don't have too much information," Benitez said when asked about James after the EFL Cup exit. "I know he is already there [in Qatar].

"Don't forget, we are talking about a special situation from this club, the financial fair play rules have to manage everything in the best way we can."

Everton have been operating under tight financial constraints this season, with four of the five arrivals under Benitez coming on free transfers, while Demarai Gray cost a reported £1.7million from Bayer Leverkusen.

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