PSG 2-1 Strasbourg: Galtier thinks some Strasbourg actions were left unpunished
PSG returned to Ligue 1 competition hosting and defeating Strasbourg 2-1 at the Parc des Princes. The matchup felt like an easy one on paper with RCSA sitting second-last in the table but it took Paris Saint-Germain a full 90-minute effort to defeat their last opponent of the 2022 calendar year.
After a month and a half out of commission, France football finally came back with the first slate of games pertaining to the first-ever French Boxing Day. PSG closed the day hosting Strasbourg at the Parc and defeating them two goals to one.
Coach Christophe Galtier addressed the media after the game against Strasbourg (Ligue 1, MD16) in a press conference. Here is what he had to say.
Asked about the performance of Kylian Mbappe, who scored a last-minute winner from the penalty spot to save PSG just 10 days after the World Cup final
"What to say about him..."
"Mbappe continued what he did in Qatar, in the World Cup. He has had very few days of rest. To play at the end of the competition with an exceptional run -- despite the sadness and disappointment of not having won the trophy -- and having just a few days of recovery he has still found a way to get into the rhythm."
PSG coach Christophe Galtier:
"Success, unlike luck, is built into existance."
"Since he came back and lost the final, he wanted to play the two matches that were coming up (Strasbourg and Lens). He wanted to play them to win them and he showed it tonight. He was the trigger for this victory when the game was not going well."
"Through his self-sacrifice and determination, he was able to lead the whole team and we were able to win in the final minutes of the game."
About Marquinhos up-and-down game with a goal scored and an own-goal allowed
"Unlike Achraf Hakimi and Kylian, who came back at the last moment after reaching the last weekend of World Cup play and returned late to Paris, I suspected that it would be a little difficult for the World Cup players who were eliminated early."
"They had ten or twelve days to recover and only four training sessions to prepare for the match. So we lacked some reference points and the players were a bit out of rhythm, at least some of them."
"Marquinhos is one of those players who immediately found the right tempo."
"He was almost decisive on two occasions and showed a certain spirit. Like Sergio Ramos and the whole group, he had this will not to suffer a draw.
Asked about Strasbourg's physical game and their never-ending series of hard tackles, as well as Neymar's performance from start to getting a disgusting couple of yellow cards
"I regret that the excess of commitment was not punished more severely for some players (from Strasbourg)."
"It may have generated a little frustration in Ney."
"Neymar roamed the pitch and moved a lot to touch the ball and alternated between high and low play. I can understand that there is frustration and anger in him. He also tried to get his rhythm back in just a few sessions."
"Neymar had a real desire to play the two matches immediately after his return. Unfortunately, it won't be the case."
"I was obviously expecting a difficult match. Strasbourg had more than three weeks to prepare, not only for this game but for an important second part of the season for them. They are a team that plays well but also has a lot of strength and power."
"There was a lot of contact in this game. I wish the over-commitment had been punished more harshly for some players. It could have generated a bit of frustration in Ney'. As much as I can understand the yellow card linked to his simulation, he took a nasty blow a few minutes before."
"Neymar's first yellow card seems to me a bit harsh compared to the many fouls he suffered, and the not-so-small ones."
About the celebration between the players and the fans present at the Parc des Princes
"This game was very important after six weeks of break. We have two matches close together, with issues for everyone. It was also the last match of the year 2022 at the Parc des Princes. Our fans have been present since the beginning of the season. They push hard whenever we need them."
"Tonight, they pushed a lot. Is the team in line with the spirit of the stands or is it the opposite? I think it was both. There was a real communion when we were down in the scoreboard."
"I think we deserved the win because of the effort we put in and our ability to turn the game around when we were down. It is a great success for our supporters, who, I repeat, have been omnipresent since the beginning of the season. It's also a great win for my players."
"You have to know how to suffer to win. This was the case tonight and we must appreciate it at its true value."
About PSG's successful run of positive results through the first half of the season, making the team feel unbeatable
"Success, unlike luck, is built into existance."
"The players went for it with a lot of determination."
"I think of the players who came into the game, including Hakimi on his right side. In spite of our numerical inferiority, we managed to place Strasbourg in a low block."
About Mbappe's penalty kick
"Mbappe has the ability to concentrate and he has a very strong personality. Even if there was fatigue, he was determined to take the penalty straight since he has been designated penalty taker from the start of the season."
"Mbappe did not shiver and was decisive. He had scored three in the final (of the World Cup, against Argentina), so there was no way he was going to miss a penalty tonight."