Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) midfielder Marco Verratti has admitted that his team suffered against a physical Monaco side in their Ligue 1 matchday four clash.
The defending French champions welcomed Monaco to the Parc des Princes for their highly-anticipated league clash on Sunday night (August 28). The Parisians struggled to play their best football and had to settle for a 1-1 draw, with Neymar scoring the equalizer after Kevin Volland fired the visitors in front.
PSG’s star-studded midfield, which consisted of Verratti and Renato Sanches, with Achraf Hakimi and Nuno Mendes providing support out wide, struggled to find their footing against Monaco. After the match, Verratti opened up about their opposition, admitting it was difficult for them to get going in the first half. He told Amazon Prime Video (via CulturePSG):
“I think they played man to man. Disasi was on Neymar, Badiashile on Messi, so the spaces were very tight. It was a very physical team, very strong in duels.
“When that happens, we have to have a lot more movement, also dezone and apply our passes even more. If we lose the ball, they are just waiting for that. They also got their two big chances in this way. In the second half it was better, but the duels made us suffer in the first.”
The draw on Sunday ended PSG’s 100% win record this season. Before the stalemate, the Parisians had won all four of their matches (three Ligue 1 games, one French Super Cup) in the 2022-23 season.
Marco Verratti honored to play alongside “great” PSG teammates
Marco Veratti played with Renato Sanches instead of Vitinha, whom he had partnered with in the previous games, in a two-man midfield on Sunday. The Italian acknowledged that it was difficult to fulfill the demands of his role, but revealed that he was happy to do so to make life easier for his forwards.
When asked how he felt in Christophe Galtier’s midfield setup, the Italy international said:
“I feel good everywhere. I know what the coach wants, I try to help the team, to play without the ball and to cover the opponents. I help the defense, as I already did in the past. It’s hard, yes, but I like fulfilling this role. I feel good and I will continue to help the team.
“I know that if we play two in the middle, it allows us to evolve with the three phenomena in front (Neymar, Messi and Mbappé). I make the effort with pleasure because it is an honor to play with these great players.”
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