Lille, reigning French football champion, won Sunday 1is August the first Champions Trophy in its history, beating Paris Saint-Germain 1-0, in Tel Aviv in front of around 29,000 spectators.
The only goal of this match, which pits the winner of the French championship (Ligue 1) against the winner of the French Cup each year, was scored just before half-time by the Portuguese Xeka, at the 45e minute.
One week before the resumption of Ligue 1, PSG, holding the Coupe de France and who remained on eight consecutive victories in this Champions Trophy, played without its stars Sergio Ramos, Marquinhos, Verratti, Mbappé, Di Maria and Neymar, as well as without her midfielder Idrissa Gueye, positive for Covid-19. But these absences should not be ” an excuse “ for PSG, insisted before the match coach Mauricio Pochettino.
The Argentinian technician, obsessed with winning, wanted to start with a trophy a 2021-2022 exercise placed under the sign of revenge, after the disappointing 2e up from last season. Despite the XXL transfer window, which was seen in Tel Aviv with Achraf Hakimi (holder) and Georginio Wijnaldum (entered in the 70e), the return to the top of the country promises to be less easy than expected for Parisians.
Lille continues its momentum
He will have to wait for the trip to the promoted Troyes, Saturday for the first day of Ligue 1, to perhaps reach the desired orbit. Paris still needs to integrate its stars, including Neymar who returns to training next week, and to create an identity.
Quite the opposite of Lille, which knew how to seize its chance, with a method similar to that which made its strength in 2020/2021, with Christophe Galtier. “Why change a team that won the title? “, wondered Friday the captain José Fonte.
Strong in defense, surgical in cons, the “Mastiffs” played on their strength, with the Turkish striker Burak Yilmaz in charge, not far from opening the scoring on three occasions (6e, 7e, 40e). It was finally Xeka who rewarded the efforts of Lille, with a sudden shot that awakened a game that had been rather balanced until then.
Opposite, Paris relied on the breakthroughs of Hakimi to destabilize the northern bloc in the right lane, where the rookie made his qualities of speed speak. But like his team in difficulty, the Moroccan had a complicated evening, disturbed by the whistles of the public in Tel Aviv with each of his ball catches. The player notably took a stand for Palestine last spring, at the heart of a new Israeli-Palestinian crisis.
Paris remains aimless. His last “Zero” on the national level dated back to the defeat against Lille in the Championship (1-0), at the beginning of April, a setback which was very expensive in the race for the title. It remains today to write another ending.