PSG 2-1 Toulouse: Galtier thinks PSG got "a deserved victory" despite lackluster game


After defeating Montpellier last Wednesday, PSG returned to their home at the Parc on Saturday and pulled off a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over visiting Toulouse. It was Paris Saint-Germain's second win in a row in the Ligue 1 after failing to win back-to-back matchups since November and before the World Cup break.

While Paris got away with the victory, the truth is that they were (for the nth time this season) rather unconvincing against a low-block side with limited talent in Toulouse.

The goal PSG allowed, from a free-kick, was avoidable. Even then, the offensive issues kept popping up with two masterstrokes by Lionel Messi and Achraf Hakimi the only thing saving PSG. This might win PSG games, but it is an unsustainable way of playing on a game-to-game basis and one Paris Saint-Germain shouldn't rely upon when knock-out games start to come from Wednesday on (vs. OM in the French Cup).

The coach of PSG, Christophe Galtier, addressed the media after the match between the leaders and Toulouse in his post-game press conference. Here are the most interesting thoughts he shared.

Asked about whether or not he was convinced by the performance of his team over the full 90 minutes...

"We put on a full-match performance despite a difficult start and a defensive change linked to the exit of Renato Sanches through injury, combined with the entry of a very young central defender (Bitshiabu). We thought we were reliving the Montpellier scenario, allowing a free-kick goal. But we didn't surrender or fall into disorganization. The Bitshiabu-Marquinhos pairing on the backline performed well."

"Also, Warren Zaire-Emery and Ismael Gharbi, our young players, could express themselves and show all their quality and mastery; I take my hat off to them. That said, we had to get back into the game (after starting it trailing 0-1). As in Montpellier, Achraf was decisive. Facing a low block, we had to take more shots. In the second half, we were more balanced, Leo took the lead, and he ended up scoring a goal and creating many situations. It's a deserved victory even if we were in danger at the start. We won before a series of matches that promises to be intense."

About Achraf Hakimi playing his best football after the World Cup break...

"The fact that we are in a four-man defense allows him to advance further down the pitch, to start his plays from more advanced positions. He is a very offensive player even if he defends better and better (each passing game) and very well. He has had a special relationship with Messi for a few games. Both came out of a very big World Cup, and Hakimi was voted the best African player of the year. He is full of confidence, we are very happy to have him at this level."

About Lionel Messi having to carry the team forward and the rest of the players getting complacent...

"Leo's performances are like those he had in the World Cup. I ask the team to play and work for Leo. We have to release him from certain (defensive) duties to make him as comfortable as possible (on offense). When he's in a leading role, I'm not going to discover anything new to you, he has a feeling for dribbling, for making the right play, and he is obviously decisive. His teammates should not rely on him, but rather work more to help him find passes through the lines in small angles and tight spaces."

About his decision to keep playing on a 4-4-2 diamond formation...

"I read that I was looking for the formula. No, I tried one against Reims (4-4-2 flat) but it was a failure. I think my players are more comfortable in a four-man defense, it allows them to recover the ball better, to have more technical soundness, and to have longer possession times. There are more movements and that can free up the side. It creates a balanced team and also puts Leo in a good position to be decisive with a last pass or finalizing plays himself."

About his approach to the matchup against OM on Wednesday in the Coupe de France...

"We are going to get players back. First Marco, who is coming back from suspension, and I think Sergio Ramos and Neymar will be back too."

Next. PSG 2-1 Toulouse: Messi and Hakimi's two strikes, enough for Paris. dark

"This is the famous Classique, we'll go to the Velodrome and face an extraordinary atmosphere. My players are used to this type of match. I hope to have my full squad. We will have to put out a very big match, but we approach it calmly. It was important to rectify the situation after Lens and Rennes (in the past two games against Montpellier and Toulouse). We did it. We are going to the Velodrome with the objective and the desire to qualify."