PSG captain Marquinhos laments 'worst game of the year' after Monaco defeat

By Sports Desk March 20, 2022

Paris Saint-Germain captain Marquinhos and coach Mauricio Pochettino both slammed the performance of the Ligue 1 leaders in Sunday's defeat to Monaco.

The 3-0 loss, in which Wissam Ben Yedder scored a double either side of Kevin Volland's goal, is the heaviest defeat PSG have suffered in Ligue 1 since a 5-1 loss at Lille in April 2019.

PSG have now lost three of their last five games in Ligue 1, as many as they did from their previous 36 matches (27 wins and six draws).

It also represented PSG's heaviest loss to Monaco since September 1999, when the principality club defeated them by the same scoreline in Paris, and Marquinhos did not hold back in his criticism of the display.

"It's hard to digest. It's our worst game of the year," he told reporters.

"We came here to have fun and win a game. We are in a difficult moment. 

"You can't just throw it all away. We all have to work together to get out of this moment."

Marquinhos stopped short of suggesting that PSG's recent Champions League elimination at Real Madrid has led the team to drop off, but claimed they could still lose their 13-point Ligue 1 lead without major improvements.

"It is not a relaxation," he added. "There were a lot of expectations [against Real Madrid]. It's a defeat that hurts us. 

"Now we have goals to look for. We have to do our best, with the right mentality. 

"If we continue to perform like that, it is sure that the title is in danger. The alert is there. We will have to come back [from the international break] with a good state of mind."

PSG boss Pochettino has now lost eight of his first 50 league games in the Parisian dugout, the same amount that his predecessor Thomas Tuchel suffered in his first half-century of matches.

Pochettino repeated Marquinhos's criticism of the performance after the match, calling his team's display "unacceptable".

"It is inadmissible to start this way," Pochettino said of PSG's dire first-half showing. "Afterwards, there is sporting shame. 

"Now we have to move on, get over the frustration of the Champions League and think about giving our best, and have a competitive spirit.

"This is unacceptable. This first half is unacceptable. We didn't have a fighting spirit, the way we played is not acceptable.

"This cannot happen, we can have [bad] performances, but this type of attitude is not possible. It's unacceptable to start the match this way. Respect for the club, [and for] our supporters, is essential."

Related items

  • Di Maria dreamed of Copa America success in final Argentina outing Di Maria dreamed of Copa America success in final Argentina outing

    Angel Di Maria said he had dreamed of calling time on his international career with a trophy as Argentina beat Colombia in the Copa America final on Sunday. 

    Lautaro Martinez's fifth goal of the tournament secured Lionel Scaloni's side a record 16th title to move ahead of Uruguay as the most successful team in the competition. 

    Di Maria, who made 145 appearances for Argentina, received the player of the match award in his final outing for La Albiceleste at the Hard Rock Stadium. 

    The 36-year-old featured in all but one of Argentina's fixtures at the tournament, registering one assist in their 2-0 win over Peru in their final group game. 

    Di Maria announced in October that he would retire from international football after this year's Copa America, calling time on a glittering 16-year career. 

    The win also sees defender Nicholas Otamendi end his international career, while Lionel Messi is yet to decide whether he will participate in the 2026 World Cup. 

    Di Maria has played a key role in La Albiceleste's three major tournament triumphs in as many years. 

    The Argentine scored in both the 2021 Copa America and 2022 World Cup final and said that his nation's latest success was the perfect way to bow out. 

    "The truth is, this was written, it was this way," Di Maria said. "I dreamed it, I dreamed that I would arrive to the final and win it and retire in this way.

    "I have so many beautiful feelings and I am eternally grateful to this generation and today I am leaving in this way with a title."

  • Argentina 1-0 Colombia (aet): Lautaro Martinez's extra-time strike seals Copa America crown Argentina 1-0 Colombia (aet): Lautaro Martinez's extra-time strike seals Copa America crown

    Lautaro Martinez struck an extra-time winner as Argentina edged out Colombia 1-0 to win their second successive Copa America title, despite losing Lionel Messi to injury.

    The Inter forward climbed off the bench to break Los Cafeteros' hearts in the 112th minute in Miami, where kick-off had been delayed for 82 minutes due to crowd disruption outside the stadium. 

    La Albiceleste headed into extra time without Messi, who left the field in tears in the 66th minute after sustaining an ankle injury.

    Nevertheless, Lautaro Martinez stepped up in his skipper's absence, slotting past Colombia goalkeeper Camilo Vargas to deliver his nation's record-breaking 16th Copa triumph.

    Both sides demonstrated their attacking intent early on. Julian Alvarez fired wide inside the opening 60 seconds, while Jhon Cordoba's volley clipped the outside of the post six minutes later.

    Emiliano Martinez held onto a Carlos Cuesta header and, at the other end, Alvaraz inadvertently took the sting out of Lionel Messi's goalbound effort on 20 minutes.

    As the final remained in the balance, Jefferson Lerma fired narrowly wide from distance, while Nicolas Tagliafico headed over from a Messi free-kick just before the break.

    Colombia created the better opportunities in the early stages of the second half. Santiago Arias drilled wide and Davinson Sanchez headed over from a James Rodriguez corner.

    At the other end, Camilo Vargas pushed away Angel Di Maria's effort from a tight angle, before a distraught Messi was forced off injured as the game headed into the final quarter.

    Messi's replacement Nicolas Gonzalez thought he had broken the deadlock in the 75th minute, but Argentina were denied by the offside flag as the game headed for extra time.

    Gonzalez went close again five minutes into the first period, with Vargas scrambling across to thwart him on the line.

    A penalty shootout loomed but, with eight minutes remaining, two Argentina substitutes combined with Giovani Lo Celso feeding Lautaro Martinez, whose composed finish snatched the Copa from under Colombia's noses.

    Super sub Lautaro seals Argentina's successful title defence

    Having scored from the bench in Argentina's opening two Group A games against Canada and Chile, Lautaro Martinez chose an ideal moment to complete a hat-trick of such strikes in this tournament.

    Combining with fellow substitute Lo Celso, the Inter forward netted his fifth goal in the United States to secure the Golden Boot award.

    La Albiceleste needed a hero after Messi limped off on a bittersweet night for the skipper.

    The first player to feature in five Copa America finals, at 37 years and 20 days, he was also the oldest player to start one in the 21st century.

    However, there was to be no match-winning contribution this time in a tournament at which he has been plagued by niggling injuries.

    Messi's international future is uncertain but team-mates Di Maria and Nicolas Otamendi - both of whom donned the captain's armband following his withdrawal - sign off with another major international honour under their belts.

    Courageous Colombia come up short

    While Argentina captured their 16th Copa, Colombia were seeking just the second in their history.

    Los Cafeteros claimed their sole triumph on home soil in 2001, notably recording three successive clean sheets in the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final.

    It looked like Nestor Lorenzo's current crop of players could follow suit 23 years later, as they more than held their own with the reigning Copa and world champions.

    But La Albiceleste - the last team to beat them before they embarked on their record-breaking 28-match unbeaten run - proved their nemesis once more, with Lautaro Martinez's strike breaking that streak, and breaking their hearts.

  • Carragher says England stars froze in Euro 2024 final, refuses to blame Southgate Carragher says England stars froze in Euro 2024 final, refuses to blame Southgate

    Jamie Carragher has refused to blame Gareth Southgate for England's Euro 2024 final defeat, saying the Three Lions' star players froze when it mattered most.

    England were deservedly beaten 2-1 by Spain in Sunday's Berlin showpiece, with Mikel Oyarzabal scoring the winner after Cole Palmer cancelled out Nico Williams' opener.

    The Three Lions struggled for control throughout the game, enjoying just 34.9% of the possession as Spain accumulated 1.77 expected goals (xG) to their 0.55.

    It was a familiar sinking feeling for Southgate, who was also criticised for England's failure to maintain control when leading against Croatia in the 2018 World Cup semi-finals and Italy in the Euro 2020 final.

    England lost possession 98 times in total and completed only 66.5% of passes in Spain's half, with only Luke Shaw and Bukayo Saka completing over 90% of their passes among the Three Lions' starters.

    Despite Southgate facing criticism once more, former defender Carragher refused to lay blame at the manager's door, saying England's best players failed to show up.

    Carragher wrote on X: "Sven [Goran Eriksson] played 4-4-2, Fabio [Capello] was too strict, Gareth is too defensive! Funny how it's always on the manager isn't it?

    "The fact is our big players didn't turn up in this tournament. And at other tournaments going back years.

    "I have no relationship at all with Southgate. I feel he has been cautious from the bench throughout his time, but in this tournament the substitutes have been great. 

    "There is this idea though that he is holding back an amazing team. Is it any better than 1996, 1998 or 2004?

    "International football is not littered with top managers, it's about the players. Ours froze in that first half, allowing the keeper to go long [and] not demanding the ball [and] showing for it."

    While Jude Bellingham teed up Palmer's equaliser, he only completed 67.7% of his passes, with only Jordan Pickford (55.6%) faring worse among all 22 starters.

    Captain Harry Kane was another to struggle, failing to record a single touch in the Spain area before he was withdrawn for Ollie Watkins midway through the second half.

    Across the Euro 2020 and Euro 2024 finals, Kane had just one touch in the opposition's area, one fewer than Jack Grealish had. Grealish played 21 minutes in the 2020 final and did not make the 2024 squad.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.