PSG returned to the Parc des Princes for the 29th matchday of the Ligue 1 and lost 0-1 to the visiting Lyon. This defeat marked the second consecutive league loss of PSG, and the fifth this season. This was, also, the second loss at home by PSG since they did for the last time in April 2021 (before they dropped one to Rennes before the break).
In a game in which PSG shot fewer than five times on goal and lost ground with their most immediate chasers in the table, the crowd of the Parc booed Lionel Messi and all of his pals in another day to forget ending in defeat to one of the most mediocre squads in the French top-flight division.
Christophe Galtier was stubborn as ever, used a five-man, three-center-back defensive line even though that meant baking subpar players into it, and obviously ended up losing another game but incredible retaining his position as manager of PSG (or at least that's the case at the time of this writing).
The coach of PSG, Christophe Galtier, addressed the media after losing to Lyon at the Parc des Princes in his post-game press conference. Here are the most interesting thoughts he shared.
Do you have the feeling your team didn't give it all?
"During certain periods of the match, yes. We got off to a good start, we created two good situations. We struggled with the transitions. We gave more and more hope to the Lyonnais and that created doubts in my team. In the first half of the season, we could reverse matches after trailing, but now we lack character and personality. Pride too. The fans supports us, but there is disappointment and anger too."
How can this crumbling be explained? Are you the man for this position?
"It's the eigth defeat in 2023. It's far too much. We are ahead but we are burning our advante match after match. Am I resigned? No. Do I want to fight? Yes, until the end, to lift this title. It will take a change of behavior. We have to react quite strongly in Nice when everyone is talking to me about the Lens match in two weeks instead. I have players who have already won a lot of titles. I dare to hope that they are not jaded, that there will be a group and a collective unity. We must have a reaction based on pride, and not believe that things will happen naturally. We must let everyone realize that it takes character."
Does the mentality of the squad need to be fixed first?
"There can be mental wear and tear over a long season. There can be mental fatigue, but when you want to go looking for titles, you have to be more determined and invested. This is not enough to knock down an opponent."
Do you blame the players?
"No, I don't blame my players. The group managed to perform well. For those who are available, it will take more personality to get back to winning because the championship will be hard to win."
How do you judge the whistles for Leo Messi?
"I find them harsh. We are waiting for Leo and Kylian (Mbappe) to unlock everything. Messi tries a lot of stuff so there is always something bad coming out of it (on pure volume). It takes around him an excess of functions, same with Kylian. He tried, he succeeded in certain things, mismatches, he missed technical actions when there was a crowd around him. He gives a lot, he is scoring goals and assisting them in 2023. It is also up to others, to his teammates to accompany him."
Were you thinking of taking Messi out during the match?
"When it comes to making a difference, Leo is capable of being decisive, of having a stroke of genius, a gesture that can turn out to be decisive. I didn't think of taking him out or depriving myself of him. It is very important in our system. We must probably review the offensive formation to bring more bodies to the opposing area."