The return from the winter break has brought with it many key talking points. Controversy in the actions of Edinson Cavani and Javier Pastore coming back late; a turn in fortunes for Angel Di Maria and the same old potent Paris front line that has continued to strike fear into French opposition, and Rennes in particular, who can’t seem to escape the stranglehold of the MCN.
Emery still has his eyes on the prize
To the Spaniards admission, the Champions League is of course PSG’s number one focus this season, but this has obviously not distracted him from the success avaibliable in the domestic competitions.
The Parisiens moved swiftly into the next round of the Coupe de France at the expense of Rennes in a top class 6-1 win, and then goals from Neymar and Rabiot moved them into semi finals of the Coupe de la Ligue – where they will meet Rennes again.
Emery’s team choice was strong for both cup ties – starting Neymar, Mbappe and Co. in each – but not surprising considering the success he had domestically in his debut season in France.
Goals, goals, and a few more goals
It may be a new year but the Paris front line has continued to fire on all cylinders in France. Scoring six in the first game of the year away from home – with the front three all bagging themselves braces in a near-prefect attacking performance.
The goal scoring touch has seemed to fall off the ball a little in the couple of games that followed: 2-0 and 1-0 wins over Amiens and Nantes in Ligue 1 respectably
But incredibly the Paris attack sent shock waves around Europe on Wednesday night with an 8-0 demolition of Dijon in front of the Parc for the first time in 2018. Edinson Cavani drew level with the great Zlatan Ibrahimović to become PSG’s top goal scorer whilst Neymar became L’Equipe’s eighth ever player to score a perfect 10/10 rating with 4 goals and 2 assists on the night.
Di Maria may still have a part to play in the capital
Di Maria looked poised for an exit this January after failing to scratch the surface of Emery’s starting XI for much of the first half of the season. But here he is now with 5 goals to his name since the turn of the year and re-finding the form he has proven he still carries since moving to Paris.
It will be very interesting going forward to see whether Emery continues to keep faith in the Argentinean – who is desperate for gametime with the World Cup just around the corner – or sticks with the tried and tested MCN.
What does Guedes have to do to get a recall?
Goncalo Guedes looked very promising when he was signed this time last year, and that promise has turned into further excitement as the Portuguese Under-21 star has shone through at his time in Spain.
Valencia have been the surprise success thus far in the Spanish first division and Guedes has been an essential part of that success. Even at his young age the man brought for €30 million looks the real steal and its no wonder why twitter has been crying out for a re-call back to Paris.
Conflict still boiling underneath the surface?
The penalty conflict seemed to have been put to rest months ago but here we are after an extraordinary 8-0 win over Dijon and this is the biggest talking point. Cavani – after winning the penalty for the eighth goal – looked poised to overtake Ibrahimović as PSG’s all time top scorer when Neymar selfishly took the ball for himself to score his fourth.
The whole situation obviously had a mixed response as some fans inside the Parc even jeered the Brazilian despite the score line, but wouldn’t it be more fitting for Edinson Cavani to mark the landmark occasion with a goal of greater magnitude?
Paris are ready for Real!
We’re less than a month away from the first leg of the Round of 16 tie with the mighty Real Madrid and Emery’s men look rearing to go. Four wins out of four will looked to be backed up by another positive result against Lyon this weekend and no matter what is to follow in the coming month, the Parisians have defiantly made an electric start out of the blocks in 2018, and the same can’t be said for the reigning Champions League winners.