Monday, May 23, 2022

PSG and Lionel Messi booed by home fans in Ligue 1 win after Champions League disappointment

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Paris Saint-Germain beat Girondins de Bordeaux 3-0 at Parc des Princes on Sunday as the French giants were given a bitter reception by their irate supporters after their UEFA Champions League exit at the hands of Real Madrid on Wednesday.

Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Leandro Paredes scored the goals as Mauricio Pochettino’s men eased past the basement dwellers in the capital but that did not stop the home fans from booing and giving their players a hard time.

Lionel Messi was one of those singled out by unhappy fans just days after the ultras demanded wholesale changes at the top of the capital club including the departure of chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi.

“It was difficult during the game,” admitted head coach Pochettino after the game. “We can understand the frustration and disappointment of the fans. We feel the same and we are all together in this immense frustration of not progressing. The whistles were for everyone — we are together as a team. It is a really sad situation, but we cannot change what has happened.”

Mbappe opened the scoring after 24 minutes from a Georginio Wijnaldum assist before Neymar added a second after being teed up by Achraf Hakimi early in the second half only to be jeered for putting the ball in the back of the net.

Paredes completed the scoring at 3-0 but the result and performance was secondary to the fans’ collective anguish after another PSG Champions League capitulation, which followed Barcelona’s Remontada and Manchester United’s improbable comeback in Paris.

“We understand their disappointment, the hatred and their jeering,” insisted Presnel Kimpembe post-match. “We are professionals, and you must know how to stay focused. We were all at fault and nobody more than anyone else. We are together as a team when things are going well and not so well. Now we must show character and that we are a team.”

PSG have opened a provisional 15-point lead at the Ligue 1 summit but have nothing left to play for aside from the French title after exiting the Coupe de France against OGC Nice as well as Europe and that is expected to factor into Mbappe’s thinking as he considers his future with his contract expiring.

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