PSG coach Galtier targets consistency in title fight with Lens and Marseille

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Christophe Galtier, the boss of Ligue 1 pacesetters Paris Saint-Germain, warned his players they needed to recapture the consistency that helped them establish a healthy lead at the top before the break for the World Cup in Qatar.

Since the return from the Middle East, PSG have taken only seven points from their five games in Ligue 1.

They went down 3-1 at Lens in their second game after the World Cup on 1 January, beat Angers at the Parc des Princes before losing at Rennes on 15 January.

After the expulsion of midfielder Marco Verratti, a barely deserved victory seemed to be on the cards against Reims on Sunday.

But Falorin Balogun levelled with seconds remaining.

A win would have allowed PSG to establish a five-point lead over Lens who were held to a 1-1 draw at Troyes on Saturday afternoon.


“Strangely enough, against Reims, with 11 men on the pitch in the first-half, we suffered a lot,” recalled Galtier. “And when we found ourselves with 10 men, we had chances.

“The end of the game was disappointing. We have to find some consistency in our matches. At the moment we’re playing with too much fluctuation in quality.”

PSG’s quest for domestic and international glory has been unashamedly constructed on the trifecta of Kylian Mbappé, Neymar and Lionel Messi.

All three megastars were on show against Reims. But none of them dazzle during a collectively stodgy first-half performance.

Verratti’s introduction for the second-half perked up the team and Neymar opened the scoring.


All seemed set fair for a routine win before Verratti’s gruesome lunge on Ito Junya brought a red card.

Despite the disadvantage, Messi should have wrapped up the points for PSG seven minutes from time.

“We realise that in the French league, anyone can beat anyone,” added Galtier.

“There is quality in the squads and it’s very tight in the table. Teams are fighting for survival or for a place in the European competitions.

“We must quickly find a higher level of play than what we are offering. We let points slip against Reims, we have to get them back in Montpellier.”

That PSG are not over the hills and far away has injected edge into the 2022/23 season.

They lead second-placed Lens by three points. Marseille, in third, trail by five.


Both appear well placed to profit from any lapses. Lens though seem as flaky as PSG. 

After beating PSG, they drew at struggling Strasbourg, edged past Auxerre before the stalemate at Troyes.

“Teams are much more wary of us and are more defensive,” said Lens striker Florian Sotoca.

“It’s up to us to find ways around that but what we’ve been doing so far has been magnificent.”

Nice will go into the fixture against Lens at the Stade Bollaert on Wednesday night on a three-match unbeaten streak since Didier Digard took over from Lucien Favre on 9 January.


“They’ve changed a number of things,” said Lens boss Franck Haise about the opponents.

“They are more aggressive and more enterprising. They’re going through a good phase.”

Marseille’s dropped points for the first time since the restart with their draw against Monaco on Saturday at the Vélodrome.

Igor Tudor’s men travel to mid-table Nantes buoyed by the 32 million euro club record signing of the SC Braga striker Vitinha just as the January transfer window closed.

The 22-year-old scored 13 goals and set up five for teammates before leaving his homeland for Ligue 1.

By contrast, PSG’s last-minute attempt to recruit Hakim Ziyech from Chelsea ended in failure.

The 29-year-old Morocco international was poised to leave west London until the end of the season but the paperwork was not completed in time.

PSG’s appeal to French authorities on Wednesday to sanction the deal was rejected.



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