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PSG takes a walk in Clermont for its entry into the running

After the victory of Olympique Lyonnais at home against promoted Ajaccio and the success acquired by AS Monaco in Strasbourg, the third meeting of this first day of Ligue 1 edition 2022/2023 saw Paris Saint-Germain, reigning French champion and recent winner of the Trophée des Champions, against Clermont Foot 63 in its Gabriel-Montpied stadium. For his entry into the running with his new team, the Parisian Christophe Galtier had to make his eleven without Kylian Mbappé, touched in the adductors and left in the infirmary: it was the Spaniard Pablo Sarabia who accompanied Neymar Jr and Lionel Messi in the sector attack of 3-4-1-2, the same proposed against FC Nantes in Tel Aviv. On the Clermont side, Pascal Gastien lined up six summer recruits, including former Gone Maxime Gonalons in the midfield and his new striker Komnen Andrić at the forefront of his 4-2-3-1. Very quickly in the match, PSG proved dangerous in the last third in Auvergne with the opportunity of Neymar (7th), who found the net a few minutes later, well served by Messi (0-1, 9th). Despite the hasty opener, the Clermontois tried to put their foot on the ball to calm the offensive ardor of the capital club, illustrated by the shot – admittedly off target – by Vitinha (17th) before the goal of the break signed Achraf Hakimi on a backlash, with an assist from Neymar (0-2, 26th). Like last season in Troyes, the Moroccan international found the net from the first day. Mory Diaw was nevertheless present to defeat Sergio Ramos, who perfectly took a corner at the near post (29th) then Nuno Mendes, served back by the Brazilian in the area (37th).

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Another defender ended up widening the gap: on a free kick well kicked by the Parisian number 10 (him again), Marquinhos shot his former teammate in Paris with a helmet shot to offer a more than comfortable lead in this first period (3-0, 39th). Messi was not far from salting the bill a little more before the break if Diaw had not released a good save at close range (45 + 1st). Upon returning from the locker room, Galtier’s men regained the domination imposed during the first act, before decreasing in intensity in view of the score. This slight drop in speed allowed the locals to create a few opportunities, with in particular the sequence of Andric ending with a strike just above the goals of Donnarumma (53rd). But Paris continued to push to gain confidence, as evidenced by the good sequence of play concluded by the too powerful recovery of Messi (69th). This scenario allowed the Parisian coach to bring Nordi Mukiele, back in Ligue 1 after a season and a half under the colors of Montpellier, and Hugo Ekitike, author of 10 league goals with Reims. If Diaw threw himself well to remove the head of Nuno Mendes at the far post, the former PSG goalkeeper could do nothing against Lionel Messi participated in the visitors’ offensive festival (0-4, 80th) with a low recovery a ball back from a flamboyant Neymar in Auvergne lands (1 goal, 3 assists). Launched by Paredes, La Pulga even offered a double with a nice return to lob the last rampart (0-5, 86th). Without offering sparkling football, PSG were able to take advantage of opposing errors to offer themselves the first success of their exercise (5-0) and incidentally the place of leader in the standings before receiving Montpellier HSC next weekend. For its part, Clermont will have to revive quickly with a trip to Reims on the program.

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