PSG 4:2 Sevilla Postmatch

I’d like to say there were some positives to take away from the game today, but to be honest, I’m not sure what they would be.  Perotti played well for the most part, I guess.  Kanoute netted twice in a four minute span to pull us level, sure.  Unlucky balls by Romaric and Negredo off the post and crossbar respectively.  No one was sent off.  The positive list is definitely the shorter one.

Manzano went for the draw today, and for the initial forty four minutes, his strategy had the desired result albeit not in the desired fashion.  We started Kanoute up top with Perotti and Capel on the wings and an alleged midfield of Renato, Romaric and Zokora.  This conservative lineup conceded twice on successive corners inside twenty minutes.  Suffice to say that our efforts to defend these set pieces were an embarrassment–PSG simply wanted the ball more, beat us to it, and were duly rewarded for their efforts as we showed no willingness to really challenge for the ball.  We started to play a bit more effectively and eventually equalized when Kanoute headed home in the 32nd minute through Capel and deftly toepoked a Perotti cross in the 36th.  And thus we were equal until Nene buried a beautiful curling shot from the 18 just before the half.  To be honest, we were lucky to not be down a third or even fourth, but the fact is we were equal and failed to finish off the half.

Manzano’s halftime inspiration/berating of his underperforming defense resulted in the fourth PSG goal in the 47th.  Caceres mishit a ball to Renato, who watched it roll past him straight to a PSG midfielder.  A one touch through ball, a toe poke finish and Sevilla were for all intents and purposes finished.  We were lucky not to concede six–the defense watched yet another corner fall straight to an onrushing and unmarked PSG defender who whiffed the header and then put a rebound squarely off the post, and then Palop fumbled a ball straight to a PSG attacker who simply couldn’t get it out from his feet before Caceres intervened.  We never mounted a serious challenge in the second half.  And so…

What do we take away from today’s efforts?  My opinions (certainly colored by the immediacy of the recap, mind you) are this:

  • We are in serious Europa League straights.  Granted we are in the toughest group, I believe, but we are the third best team in the group right now.  I really do not like our chances against Borussia Dortmund in two weeks time.  A draw puts us through, but that’s a tall order against the Bundesliga leaders given the state of…
  • Our defense, which is absolutely terrible right now.  Navarro was killed for pace today.  Caceres and Escude were both poor, and even Dabo, who has played quite well of late, was ineffective and was not on the same page as his teammates today.  Three times by my count, and I’m sure there were more, he was moving backwards as the rest of the line was moving forward and as a result kept the opposing forward onside.  The lack of communication was evident throughout the game today.  Which leads to…
  • We are not coherent in our efforts.  I really don’t know how we are trying to play from match to match but judging from the amount of barking our players were doing toward each other its evident they are not all on the same page.  The movement off the ball isn’t there, the passes are not crisp, and no one seems to know what anyone else is trying to do.  I’m sure Manzano’s constant lineup shuffling has something to do with it as well, but the conclusion I am beginning to reach is that…
  • Perhaps we aren’t as good as I think/thought we are.  PSG is a strong side in good form in a major league, but a side that we should be competing with.  Instead, we are more consistently playing at the Getafe/Mallorca level.  I’d expect more, and you and I both know Del Nido does as well.  Should we not achieve a positive result against Borussia Dortmund in a fortnight I expect we might see a very active and interesting January transfer window.