Match Reports

Trophée des Champions: Xeka strike seals trophy for LOSC

Publish on 01/08/2021 at 10:30 - L. DAVEY


A fantastic first-half finish by Xeka handed LOSC their first ever Trophée des Champions title, putting an end to Paris Saint-Germain's eight-year dominance of the trophy.


Last season's title rivals reignited their rivalry with the season's first opportunity of silverware at stake. Despite a change of coach, Les Dogues showed that pipping PSG to the Ligue 1 Uber Eats title was no fluke and left Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino with plenty of food for thought on how he aims to reclaim the league title.

LOSC started the brighter of the two teams at a sold-out Bloomfield Stadium, Tel Aviv and went close early on with Burak Yilmaz's low-driven free-kick flashing inches past Keylor Navas' far post.

The irrepressible Turk continued where he left off last season with the same intensity, posting a sure-fire warning to title rivals PSG that he has no plans of slowing down yet.

Down to the bare bones

Missing many of his star players, Pochettino watched his make-shift side grow into the game and they began to control proceedings in the intense heat in Israel. New signing Achraf Hakimi started to find his groove and the resolute full-back utilised space out wide and used his pace to run at LOSC full back Reinildo.

The Moroccan linked up well with the lively Arnaud Kalimuendo as PSG started to probe the LOSC defence.

The capital club were in the ascendency without being overly threatening in front of goal and registered their first shot on target just before the half-hour when Julian Draxler's long-range dipping strike was palmed away by LOSC shot-stopper Leo Jardim.

Jocelyn Gourvennec's side stood firm against the onslaught and quickly reminded PSG of their threat on the break with a devastating counter-attack led by Jonathan David who played in Yilmaz, only to see his low drive saved by Navas.

Pochettino's men failed to heed the warning and paid the price on the stroke of half-time. Yilmaz found Xeka in acres of space and the Portuguese curled a superb 25-yard effort past the hapless Navas to put the champions 1-0 up at the break.

PSG began the second half with intent played on the front foot as they searched for an equaliser.

Abdou Diallo wasted a gilt-edged chance to level the scores in the 57th minute when Mauro Icardi headed a corner in the path of the Senegalese international who was unable to turn the ball home from four yards out.

Too little too late for PSG

With time running out and LOSC not giving PSG any space to create, Pochettino introduced Gini Wijnaldum for the final 20 minutes for the lively Éric Junior Dina Ebimbe.

PSG continued to push and probe and began to find some pockets of space for the dangerous Wijnaldum to exploit and it was the Dutchman who set-up Icardi to finish from close range only to see his effort ruled out for offside.

Pochettino's men were galvanised and in quick succession Julian Draxler shot just wide with a volley. Danilo Pereira and Wijnaldum also both went close in the dying minutes, but LOSC were able to hold on for another victory and shutout against the Parisians whilst claiming their first Trophée des Champions title.

THE PLAYER: Burak Yilmaz

The Turk set up the winning goal and was the engine behind every LOSC attack and a constant thorn in the side of PSG's backline. The veteran striker looks set to build on his 16-goal haul from last season and shows no sign of slowing down just yet.

THE STAT: Three shots on target for PSG

PSG registered just three shots on target in the 90 minutes, giving a clear indication that Mauricio Pochettino is in dire need of his stars back from their summer break. The firepower of Neymar and Kylian Mbappé along with the creativity of Marco Verratti and Angel Di Maria, should get PSG back firing on all cylinders once again.

(Photo: LOSC)