Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) 3 – 1 Rennes | Ligue 1 2018/19

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) 3 - 1 Rennes | Ligue 1 2018/19

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) extended their perfect Ligue 1 start to 6 wins following a comeback against Rennes as the match ended 3-1 on Sunday.

Rennes (Stade Rennais) were the last club to defeat PSG in Ligue 1, in May earlier this year, and a similar upset seemed to take form when Adrien Rabiot deflected the ball into his own net. However, the defending champions had no intention of losing as Di Maria, Thomas Meunier, and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting made it 3-1 on full-time.

Rennes went close twice before they bewildered PSG when an inswinging Grenier corner cannoned off Adrien Rabiot and into the net in the 11th minute.

The visitors quickly recovered their poise as they equalized right before the break, through a superb Di Maria strike, the Argentinean drilling a low finish into the bottom-right corner after Edinson Cavani‘s intelligent dummy from a Julian Draxler cross.

PSG proceeded to pile on the pressure in the second half, with Cavani thumping the post and Rennes clearing off the line twice before Thomas Meunier gave the Parisians the lead in the 61st minute from Neymar‘s inviting pass. Gianluigi Buffon made a magnificent 74th minute save to deny Ramy Bensebaini an equalizer.

Rennes launched players forward in a desperate search for an equalizer but were punished after Choupo-Moting, who also featured in their game against Liverpool, volleyed the ball from close range to get his first goal in his league debut for PSG, just five minutes after replacing Marco Verratti to earn an excellent comeback against Rennes.

Just before the game ended, a young fan got past security and ran onto the field to hug Neymar, who gifted him his jersey before he was guided off the pitch. This heartwarming gesture drew a warm round of applause from the crowd.

The result leaves Paris Saint-Germain on the top of Ligue 1 on a maximum 18 points, five clear from 2nd-placed Lille.

PSG face Stade de Reims in their next Ligue 1 fixture on Thursday, 27th September.

(PSG) Paris Saint Germain 3 – 0 Caen | Ligue 1

(PSG) Paris Saint Germain 3 - 0 Caen | Ligue 1

Paris Saint-Germain commenced the new season in the Ligue 1 with a comfortable victory over Caen on Sunday.

Neymar scored the opener and Timothy Weah netted his first league goal as PSG began their Ligue 1 campaign with a 3-0 win over Caen.

Brazil forward Neymar, who had a frustrating World Cup, took just 10 minutes to get off the mark, after a blunder by Caen keeper Brice Samba, finishing off Nkunku‘s through ball after an unfortunate pass from Samba.

Adrien Rabiot added a second from Angel Di Maria‘s superb cross before the halftime as the Argentinean played clear of the defence through the right side to square a low cross that was difficult to miss with the Frenchman tapping in from close range making it 2-0 in the 35th minute.

Gialungi Buffon became PSG’s oldest ever Ligue 1 player and the 40-year-old was surprisingly occupied in the first half, pounding a strong effort from Malik Tchokounte before reacting in mid-air to tip away the effort that diverted off team-mate Thiago Silva.

Although Neymar seemed determined to add more goals, it was his replacement who added a late third. Timothy Weah, the son of ex-PSG and AC Milan forward and Liberia president George Weah, scored in the final minutes. He benefited on another Samba error to close the scoring in the 89th minute with his first ever Ligue 1 goal. The 18-year-old USA international, who appeared on as a late substitute, had secured his first senior goal for the club in the French Super Cup last week.

Paris Saint-Germain face Guingamp in their next fixture on Saturday, 18th August.

Barcelona on the verge of signing Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal

Barcelona on the verge of signing Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal

Despite missing the World Cup, the Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal has received one of the best news in the summer. Spanish champions FC Barcelona reportedly have contacted the German club Bayern Munich for the transfer of the 31-year-old midfielder.

The deal is expected to be officially announced in the next couple of days, with the transfer price at 27 million euros for the Bayern Munich midfielder. Vidal, joined the Bavarian side in the year 2015, from the Italian club Juventus for a sum of 32 million.

As per the reports, Barcelona officials last week agreed to the personal terms with the midfielder, and he passed his medical. Further, the midfielder was granted permission to leave by the new Bayern manager, Niko Kovac.

Barcelona’s expense in the summer has already surpassed 100 million euros with the signing of the trio Clement Lenglet, Arthur and Malcom. With Vidal, it will be Barcelona’s second signing in the midfield department. In the past season, the midfielder has scored four goals and created three opportunities for his teammates during his time at the Allianz Arena.

Rabiot was Barcelona’s No.1 choice:

The Catalan club further have been in contact with Paris St Germain for the transfer of the French midfielder Adrien Rabiot. However, the negotiations have taken the back foot with Vidal becoming one of the top players that the club wants to close in this transfer window.

Inter Milan were the club that showed first interest for the Chilean midfielder. There was, however, no negotiations between the two clubs for the transfer of Vidal. As per the latest reports, Inter are looking elsewhere to strengthen their midfield.

The reports said that Inter are eyeing the Croatian skipper and midfielder Luka Modric to make a move to Milan this summer. Further, the club is ready to pay the three digit value that Real are asking for the midfielder. However, there has been no concrete reports that Real are ready to sell their star midfielder after his World Cup exploits.

Arsenal FC appoint Unai Emery as their new manager

Unai Emery Arsenal FC

Unai Emery has taken over the helm to succeed Arsène Wenger at the Emirates after he was replaced by Thomas Tuchel. His 2-year contract with French Champions Paris Saint-Germain was not renewed despite him leading the French Ligue 1 side to a domestic treble this season.

Mikel Arteta, former Arsenal captain & midfielder was given encouragement that he would be succeeding Arsene Wenger, so much so that the make-up of his backroom staff and his final contract terms were being discussed. But instead of a new face in the managerial world and a mixture of Wenger’s values and a Pep Guardiola-style of football at the club, Arsenal rapidly spun around in a completely different direction with the appointment of former PSG boss Unai Emery. It is believed that the board was so impressed with Emery’s knowledge (which was apparently more than some people who had spent years with the club) and vision for the club that he left all other candidates in the dust.

Who is Unai Emery?

When Unai Emery was the manager of La Liga side Valencia, they had a great run of success from 2008-12 with three consecutive top-3 finishes but a brief spell at Spartak Moscow ended his run of success. He returned to Spain with Sevilla delivering three consecutive of Europa League titles, his two-year run at PSG will be remembered as one of his worse jobs and that is keeping the domestic treble in mind.

Off the pitch, Emery was a calm and composed figure but on the touchline, he was a completely different person. In Spain, his off the charts mobility and constant gesturing on the sidelines earned him the nickname of ‘Guardia Urbano’ or ‘traffic warden’. He is also said to be a typical workaholic who spends the majority of his time studying videos of opponents, something Arsène and him have in common.

The 46-year old has been criticised for being a below-par man manager as he struggled to manage the big names, especially Neymar, this season. But Mesut Özil is not Neymar and there is no player in the Arsenal squad as egocentric as the Brazillian winger.

What to expect from the man

Unai Emery will certainly inject defensive stability, organization, and motivation after taking a look at last season’ performances of the club away from the Emirates. Problems such as lapses in concentration, gifting points to smaller teams, lack of heart from the players and a definitive lack of winning mentality have to be addressed before the start of the new season. 

Emery will get Arsenal more organized than they’ve been in years and his keen interest in drills and discipline. He will bring a completely different style of football to the club. His philosophy would entail high pressing, high intensity defending and counter-attacking style as opposed to Wenger’s possession-based football.

Emery won’t have the same pressure he had at PSG when he joined them having 3 successive Europa League titles to his name and that is a very good thing for both the club and the manager.

Rebuilding the team

The rebuilding job at Arsenal may suit the ex-PSG manager as the job entails working with the players that are already present in the squad rather than spending money on 10 or more players. 

Emery is expected to hand (Arsenal Player of the Year) Aaron Ramsey and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang key roles in the team as he aims to take the team back to the Champions League. Unai Emery is a manager who can work with the players that are currently at his disposal and doesn’t demand €100 million superstars.

Emery is picking up a team who just endured Arsenal’s worst season defensively since a very long time and Emery will be demanding a right to make changes in the coaching as well as the playing department. Players like Shkodran Mustafi and his habit of switching-off, Koscielny’s drop in form and the retirement of Per Mertesacker. Hence the club will definitely be in the market for another experienced defender and he will also turn to other important areas which need addressing such as the midfield anchor position and the goalkeeper position.

Winning the fans back

The number of empty seats in the home stands last season made it clear that they had lost a worrying number of fans. Paying for tickets and choosing not to attend sends out a clear message to the higher-ups. The new manager has to bring something that would romantically win the fans back, a style of football which is exciting to watch as well as getting results. The lack of trust from the fans is understandable but Emery has the ability to get them back if he can buckle up and get early victories.

With Arsenal competing for Europa League trophy next season, Unai Emery who holds a fitting title of ‘King of the Europa League is the perfect option to replace Arsène Wenger as manager and even though he is seen as a short-term replacement, that might be exactly what Arsenal needs right now.