Mauricio Pochettino, PSG
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No Messi, no problem, for Pochettino and PSG

Publish on 12/09/2021 at 08:45

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Paris Saint-Germain were without Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr. for their 4-0 win over Clermont Foot 63, but coach Mauricio Pochettino was delighted with the players who stepped up on Saturday.

Most of Paris's South American contingent arrived back in France too late after international duty, but Marquinhos, Rafinha and Mauro Icardi were among those who stayed behind and featured at the Parc des Princes.

 

The headline-grabbing contribution was Ander Herrera's, though, the Spanish midfielder scoring the first two to take his season tally to five goal contributions in just five games.


"It's important for the team that it's not just the forwards who score," said Pochettino, who also saw Kylian Mbappé and Idrissa Gueye find the target against Clermont. "That players from other lines do the same. It brings variation to our game, it's very important.

 

"We knew it would be a tough match against a team that plays good football, even if the result made it look easy. I'm happy because the players who stayed during the international break responded. I'm very happy with the performance of the team."


Achraf Hakimi created the first goal and could have added to his two career PSG assists had Clermont's Arthur Desmas not been so stubborn in goal. Pochettino thinks the club have more than adequately replaced fan favourite, Alessandro Florenzi, now of AC Milan.

 

"I'm very happy with Ashraf," he said. "He's one of the best right-backs in the world. He has a lot of potential, but he also has a lot to improve on. We'll make him work hard so that he fulfils his potential."