If not for Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain would have the world’s most expensively assembled squad of clowns. Following their Champions League loss to Bayern Munich earlier this week, the team has descended into a morass of negative stories, media exaggeration, sloppy play, and incompetence.
First, let’s back up and look at the big picture. Kylian Mbappe, following their game against Bayern, told his players to “eat well” and “sleep well” before heading to the Allianz Arena for the return leg of the tie. Neymar was photographed dining at a McDonald’s and playing poker less than 24 hours afterwards.
Paris Saint-Germain descended into chaos since losing to Bayern Munich
The incident brought attention to the Brazilian’s lack of professionalism and poor judgement when the team desperately needed something better. However, coach Christophe Galtier later defended his star player in the media by saying he had a right to do whatever he wanted on his day off.
The troubles at PSG were only just getting started. The tension in the locker room, meantime, has not subsided. Marquinhos and Kimpembe, the club’s two starting central defenders, have been having some issues with each other (Goal). The problem began in the match against Monaco, before the Bayern game, when Kimpembe ignored the advice of Marquinhos (the captain!) and addressed the opposing fans with a megaphone.
Kimpembe has also organized a group of younger players, notably Warren Zaire-Emery, who are dissatisfied with the club’s habit of selling off its best players after each season in order to buy superstars from the transfer market. The result of this is that the team as a whole no longer communicates with the group. It was inevitable that tensions would rise with so much poison in the air.
That’s exactly what transpired when Lille played. Mbappe and Neymar scored early goals for PSG, putting them up 2-0. However, Lille quickly regained the upper hand and scored three more goals to put the score at 3-2. Then, Neymar limped out of the game with an ankle injury, leaving his status against Bayern Munich in doubt.
Mbappé’s heroics and Messi’s late free kick strike allowed PSG to come from behind and win in the end. Unfortunately for Christophe Galtier and his seemingly disintegrating locker room, their performance against sixth-placed Lille merely added fuel to the fire.