Roma 1 – 1 PSG (Pen: 3 – 5)


Paris Saint-Germain overcame AS Roma on penalties at the International Champions Cup.

Dani Alves made his debut for PSG as the Ligue 1 giants edged Roma on penalties at the International Champions Cup on Wednesday.

Alves, who signed for PSG earlier this month despite being heavily linked with a move to Manchester City, started at right-back in the 1-1 draw at Comerica Park.

Marquinhos gave PSG a 36th-minute lead after a somewhat scrappy first half, but Roma were the better side in the second.

Umar Sadiq levelled proceedings on the hour-mark and Roma had two penalty shouts turned down in a lively second half before penalties were needed to separate the teams.

Only Gerson failed to convert in the shoot-out, with Marquinhos scoring the decisive penalty in the 5-3 success.

While Alves made his debut for PSG, who are linked with Barcelona star Neymar, recruits Hector Moreno and Lorenzo Pellegrini started for Eusebio Di Francesco’s Roma.

Both teams consistently broke down in the attacking third in the opening exchanges, although Jese Rodriguez had a great chance in the 21st minute.

The forward was put through but was unable to get the ball under control and the opportunity was wasted.

PSG took a deserved lead nine minutes prior to half-time.

Thiago Motta tried to play a one-two with Jese but went down under a challenge, the ball falling to Marquinhos to put away from inside the area.

The Ligue 1 giants continued to threaten to finish the half, Lucas Moura shooting straight at Roma goalkeeper Alisson after a smart Javier Pastore run.

Both teams made changes at the break and it took time for the substitutes to settle in Detroit.

Alves was perhaps fortunate not to give away a penalty in the 57th minute, the Brazilian bringing down Diego Perotti with a slide tackle in the area, only to collect the ball afterwards.

Roma levelled on the hour-mark through 20-year-old forward Sadiq.

A pass over the top from Gerson saw Sadiq put in behind and the Nigerian finished through Alphonse Areola’s legs from an angle.

Daniele De Rossi, who came off the bench, was the next to go close, the midfielder’s 25-yard free-kick tipped over by Areola in the 65th minute.

The lively Umar was then brought down by Presnel Kimpembe in the area, but penalty pleas were again dismissed.

Blaise Matuidi had three late chances for PSG, including blazing over from close range and missing two one-on-ones as a shoot-out followed.

After the first five penalties were converted, Gerson failed to hit the target with his spot-kick as Roma were beaten.

 

Di Maria wants to stay at PSG


 

Angel Di Maria insists that he wants to stay at Paris Saint-Germain despite admitting to difficulties working with Unai Emery last season.

The Argentinian international played 43 times in all competitions in 2016-17 but struggled for form in the early half of the campaign in particular, scoring just once in his first 19 Ligue 1 appearances.

Di Maria has been linked with Inter during recent weeks, despite the Serie A club’s sporting director, Piero Ausilio, suggesting that his wage demands would be too high.

But the 29-year-old has no desire to leave Parc des Princes and believes he has become accustomed to the demands of his head coach in the last few months.

“For me, there’s no doubt about it. I want to stay,” he said. “But, for the club, I don’t know. The reality is that my family are well and I’m happy in Paris.

“I know that not everything went well last season. At first, I didn’t quite understand what the coach was asking me. Then we gradually got to know each other and I think people have seen the change in the last few months. I hope I can reproduce that this year.”

PSG claimed a double of Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue trophies in Emery’s first season, but they lost their league title to Monaco and suffered a Champions League exit against Barcelona after a 6-1 hammering in the last-16 second leg.

Di Maria says regaining their domestic crown and battling to reach the final in Europe’s top competition are their primary goals for next term.

“Like every other year: win everything,” he said when asked about PSG’s objectives. “Last season, we won both cups but we lost the championship and we were knocked out of the Champions League.

“This year, we’ll try to go as far as possible in the Champions League and maybe reach the final. Then we have to win back the title and to defend the Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue.”

Di Maria hopes that Dani Alves, who joined on a free transfer after leaving Juventus, can take PSG a step closer to their first Champions League triumph.

“I’ve only played against him. But I’m happy with his signing as he is a player with huge qualities, who will bring something extra to the team and allow us to improve further,” he added.

Should PSG Move For Sanchez Now?

Arsenal Vs Watford” (CC BY 2.0) by joshjdss

With 13 goals and 7 assists in 20 games this season, Alexis Sanchez has the best attacking output of anyone in Europe’s top five leagues. As the prolific Arsenal attacker enters his prime he is attracting the interest of top Premier League sides along with the European elite. Paris Saint-Germain have expressed their interest in penning a deal with the player in the summer, but would Unai Emery be wise to make a move for the Gunners’ main cannon in January?

In what has become a drawn out set of negotiations, Sanchez’s Arsenal future is still up in the air. The player has a year left on his current contract and is trying to reach an agreement with the London club for an improved deal to extend his stay. According to the Mirror the Chilean is holding out for a salary increase in excess of £200,000-a-week, but former Arsenal player Martin Keown also believes that Arsene Wenger’s unclear future with the club could also be a factor. The Match of the Day Pundit believes that if Wenger leaves in the summer his star player will seek pastures new as well.

There is also the fact that a player of Sanchez’s undeniable world class quality will desperately desire to challenge for titles year in, year out. The 28-year-old will be considering whether the Emirates is the place he can achieve this. PSG could not only offer the former Barcelona man much improved wages, they could also give him the opportunity to challenge for titles every season domestically and in Europe.

Ever since Zlatan Ibrahimović departed to Manchester United in the summer, PSG have been in desperate need of a strong replacement. Edinson Cavani has taken up the goal scoring mantle well (see video above) with 18 goals in Ligue 1 so far, but the Uruguayan needs someone to share the load and link up with. Jese Rodriguez, the summer signing from Real Madrid was acquired to fill this role, but Emery has admitted that the transfer has not gone according to plan and the Spaniard may be on the move again in this transfer window.

Although reports suggest that Emery will make a £60million swoop for Sanchez in the summer, many fans will be thinking that a shock move for the forward now would make more sense. Ahead of the Red and Blues’ crunch Champions League clash against Barcelona, Emery’s side are 40/1 with Betway to win the tournament. Although Sanchez would be cup-tied and ineligible to play for the Paris club in Europe this season, he would provide exceptionally strong cover to challenge in the league while Emery fields a full strength side against Barca.

PSG’s continued dominance of the French top flight may be about to suffer its first major upset this season as Nice and Monaco are currently ahead of the Paris club in the race for the title. Emery has brought in the attacking midfield pairing of Julian Draxler and Giovani Lo Celso already in 2017 as he seeks to gain ground on PSG’s main rivals. But many will be thinking that an out-and-out striker should be top of the agenda. Currently Cavani is the only specialist goal scorer in the squad, and should he suffer injury Emery won’t have many options. There is also the possibility of fatigue if PSG progress in Europe and also have to keep up the hunt in the domestic title race.

PSG should move for Sanchez now and beat their European rivals in singing the ferocious forward. The time seems ripe while his contract disputes are still unresolved, and the player is increasingly dissatisfied with Arsenal’s apparent lack of ambition. PSG need to sign a striker in the window anyway, so why not go for the Gunners man?

5 Transfer Targets to Take PSG to the Next Level

Money talks or money can’t buy me love; it depends on who you listen to as to the effect that cold hard cash has on people.

One thing is for sure: moolah turns heads in football. PSG are the French champions and, according to Forbes Magazine, the fourth highest grossing club on the planet. And yet they haven’t been able to translate such financial muscle to success in the continent’s premier competition, the Champions League.

So who are the new faces that could help push them forwards on Europe’s biggest stage?

Gonzalo Higuain

The beauty of being amongst the richest clubs in the world is that you can pick up the players of those who aren’t by dangling a blank cheque in the right place at the right time.

Napoli aren’t cash poor by any means, but even they would be vulnerable to a huge offer for their prized asset Gonzalo Higuain.

Rumour has it that the Argentine has a £75 million release clause written into his contract to cover for such an eventuality, and so then the choice would be the striker’s: does he want to leave the club that has been home since 2013?

The prospect of linking up with countryman Angel di Maria, and filling Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s big shoes, may prove tempting to a player who at 28 is yet to make his mark on the latter stages of the Champions League; an opportunity a move to Paris may just afford.

N’Golo Kante

Should France go deep into Euro 2016 and even win it, then mega bucks PSG will be looking to sign a key man or two from that side in an attempt to cash in on such national fervour.

One obvious candidate would be the metronomic midfielder N’Golo Kante, who again impressed in his usual low-key fashion in their 2-1 win over Romania in their tournament opener.

The Leicester man has been linked incessantly with a move away from the Premier League title champions in the past few months, and while the club would be loathe to lose such a key player ultimately they are ran rather shrewdly by their Thai owners; and selling a £6 million asset for in excess of £20 million clearly represents smart business.

It has been reported that the Foxes have offered Kante an improved contract of £100,000 – but even that may not be enough to ward off the interest of the Ligue 1 champions.

Dimitri Payet

Another French star who is sure to be on PSG’s radar is Dimitri Payet. An outstanding strike from the West Ham man sealed the deal for Les Bleus in that win over Romania, and it is not the first time that the 29-year-old has caught the eye with his ball striking abilities.

A vintage campaign for the Hammers has elevated Payet to national prominence in his homeland – he hadn’t really featured at international level prior to that – and so again PSG’s scouts are bound to have sat up and taken an interest.

As with Kante, you wouldn’t imagine there would be an inclination to leave his present employer, but money talks and the lure of Champions League football for Payet may well prove definitive in his decision.

Eden Hazard

Sometimes a rumoured transfer just looks a good fit, and Eden Hazard to PSG makes sense given the Belgian’s issues at Chelsea last season.

The winger was far from his best at the Blues, and was even partly blamed for the sacking of Jose Mourinho amid rumours of a dressing room rift. The Special One has gone of course to be replaced by the Italian One, Antonio Conte, but lest we forget that Stamford Bridge will not be seeing European football of any level next term; surely something of a turn off for their personnel.

Hazard continues to refute that a transfer elsewhere is imminent, but we’re savvy enough to not take a professional footballer’s public-facing virtuousness at face value these days.

Grzegorz Krychowiak

This is one of those potential deals in which we’re joining the dots a little, but given the news that the announcement of Sevilla boss Unai Emery as Laurent Blanc’s replacement in the Stade de France hot seat is imminent, we start to look at his present staff and who he might like to bring with him.

One option would be Poland’s Grzegorz Krychowiak, who starred in his country’s 1-0 win over Northern Ireland in Euro 2016 just the other day. The marauding midfielder would be a fine addition in his own right or as a replacement for Marco Verratti, who has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United, Juventus and a host of other clubs in recent times.

The Pole’s all-action style would prove a nice foil to Blaise Matuidi, and obviously the chance to link up with Emery at a club battling it out for Champions League honours will be a mighty temptation for the 26-year-old.

Paris SG 4 – 0 Rennes


Ibra scored 2 goals as PSG destroyed Rennes with a whopping 4 – 0 victory in Ligue 1 on Friday night.

The French champions managed to match their own Ligue 1 points record from 2013-2014. PSG still has three more league games remaining, giving them a chance to beat the 89 points mark. If you want to keep track of Les Parisiens matches, visit PSG Live scores.

Laurent Blanc’s side has made five changes after their win against Lille in the Coupe de la Lige final.

In the second half, they scored two goals in 4 minutes, with Maxwell starting the rally with a wonderful goal before Zlatan Ibrahimovic struck from close range.

After Edinson Cavani hit the crossbar, Ibra got his second goal of the night, making the result 3-0. It was a one-sided match, as Cavani sealed the deal in stoppage time to make it 4-0.

PSG’s goalkeeper wasn’t quite busy in this match, as he was playing against a team who have picked up only one point from their last four matches.