PSG played Pays de Cassel on the road on Monday and defeated the sixth-tier club 7-0 in the Stade Bollaer to advance to the French Cup Round of 16 where they'll face OM.
The game, which was as unbalanced as you think and as the final score shows, if not more, saw Kylian Mbappe bag five goals to become the only player in PSG history to score as many in a single match. Since 1970, that makes it one time in 53 years for those counting at home.
On the other hand, Neymar slapped an opponent for the third time in the 2023 calendar year alone. That's three slaps in three games through 23 days for those counting at home.
The coach of PSG, Christophe Galtier, addressed the media after the match between PSG and Pays de Cassel in his post-game press conference. Here are the most interesting thoughts he shared.
Asked about the performance of PSG against Pays de Cassel...
"We have to pay tribute to this team from Cassel, to their supporters, that's what the French Cup is all about."
"We had to score quickly. We knew that the opponent was going to be very compact and have a lot of energy. They had a lot of ambitions too when they entered the game."
"From the moment we scored the first goal, it was going to be complicated for the opponent."
About the monster schedule PSG will have to navigate in February (Bayern Munich, OM twice, Monaco)...
"There will also be Toulouse, Montpellier, Reims... The calendar is like that."
"OM-PSG is a magnificent match (part of the French Cup Round of 16). We will have to have a great performance at the Velodrome to advance."
"We will play every 3-4 days, so we'll have to be vigilant on the physical aspect and on the management of the squad."
"To win the French Cup, you have to beat all of your opponents. It's OM next, it won't be easy."
"We have the ambition to go all the way, and there is a real desire to win this trophy after failing last season."
"But we will have to beat OM in a series of difficult matches."
About leaving Neymar and Mbappe on the pitch for the full 90 minutes and Neymar's poor behavior...
"Neymar likes contact, he's that type of player. When he takes off, he has the will to eliminate the opponent (from his path)."
"I spoke with Neymar at halftime and we agreed that he would be calmer and not take the risk of getting a yellow card (after slapping an opponent in the face in the first half, again after doing it in prior games)."
"Neymar and Mbappe had to play, and to play together. It seemed important to me that they play together. They combined a lot, which is good for the rhythm of our two forwards."
About the arrival of players through the January transfer window considering the hard schedule ahead...
"The calendar does not affect anything, the transfer market is not closed yet, and we are in a right place."
"Pablo Sarabia is gone and we want to have at least one more offensive player with a different profile (arriving this month)."
"The transfer market is hard to navigate, and we have constraints (referring to the Financial Fair Play) which we must respect. The club is working on it."
About his satisfaction with the performance of PSG on Monday and entering February...
"The players behaved well, the team played a very serious game, and we had to respect the opponent and the people who came to see this game. I wanted to field a very competitive team."
"We are not going to make an analysis or an assessment of the game because the future opponents are of a different quality. But the team was very serious."
About Mbappe scoring five goals and earning the captain role for the first time since joining PSG...
"I decided that Mbappe would be the second captain at the beginning of the season"
"Mbappe deserves to have the captain's armband when Marquinhos is not on the pitch because he decided to stay at the club (last summer, ditching Real Madrid)."
"Mbappe scored 56 goals in 2022 alone. He is one of the world-class strikers, one of the best in the world. That's the way he is. He is wired to score goals and he didn't need to abuse (Pays de Casse), the goals came naturally after combinations."
"This is Kylian, the type of player he is as a striker. He is a man of numbers and stats."
About Galtier and Mbappe briefly exchange of words on the sidelines midway through the game...
"There was no plan to take Mbappe out early. Both he and Neymar had to play as much time as possible. (That was not the topic of the talk.)"
"The discussion was about him getting closer to the records he had in mind."
"(But) Mbappe doesn't need my encouragement to break records."