Mid-table with nine points from a possible 21, the summer departures of Gaetan Laborde and Andy Delort are proving difficult to get over while Olivier Dall’Oglio is still getting to grips with his new team. Thankfully for him and this Paillade outfit, Valere Germain has hit the ground running while Stephy Mavididi is also stepping up.
It is rather curious that similar play to that which saw Harry Kane garlanded with praise at this stage of last season has now brought vocal debate over the England captain’s form, fitness and general demeanor since his failed attempts to leave Tottenham. Twelve months ago Kane was adding further feathers to his bow by functioning as creator and scorer, now the punditocracy fear he has lost his way because he is occupying much the same spots on the pitch.
Ultimately end product dictates the consensus view on Kane. Last season a string of difficult passes that set Heung-min Son up for difficult finishes resulted in goals and he was the do it all center forward who was in the prime of his career. Now he is dropping into similar spots outside the box, particularly in the outside left channel, and all is doom and gloom. That perhaps suggests that people were rather too high on his creative flourishing in 2020-21 where he topped the assists charts largely because of eight goals laid on in his first six games (seven of which were for Son) and six in the 27 that followed.
However, the hosts – who saw their captain Dylan Bronn and head coach Frederic Antonetti sent off in stoppage time – were unable to hold on for a point, as Hakimi cut inside from the right and rifled in his second of the night and a dramatic 95th minute winner, sparking wild celebrations which caused tempers to flare between both sides as the full time whistle blew.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men became just the fourth French top-flight outfit in history to win their opening seven league games. Following Marseille’s goalless draw with Angers, Les Parisiens have now extended their lead at the Ligue 1 summit to seven points, though Marseille do have a game in hand.
PSG, who have already scored 20 league goals so far this season, have an impressive record against this weekend’s opponents Montpellier, winning six and drawing one of their last eight meetings against them, as well as scoring at least twice on each occasion.
As the Parisian outfit are desperate to reclaim their Ligue 1 crown from Lille this campaign, Pochettino will be keen for his side to build on their strong start with another three points on home soil.
After losing their opening game of the new Ligue 1 season at home against Marseille, Montpellier have since accumulated nine points from a possible 15 available.
Their most recent result on Wednesday evening saw them play out an entertaining 3-3 draw against Bordeaux, who snatched a point when substitute Samuel Kalu scored in the 85th minute.
An earlier brace from Valere Germain as well as a strike from Florent Mollet were not enough for the hosts to come away with all three points, though Olivier Dall’Oglio’s men have climbed into the top 10 and are now just three points behind the Champions League places.
Montpellier, who have yet to win away from home this season, face a difficult challenge on Saturday against an in-form PSG side. La Paillade have lost by at least a four-goal margin in each of their last four league visits to the Parc de Princes, including a 4-0 defeat last season.
Dall’Oglio’s side have scored in every game so far this campaign, netting at least twice on five occasions, and with PSG having conceded in each of their last three matches across all competitions, the visitors can be confident of causing problems in the final