Can Strasbourg beat PSG again?
By D. Crossan
Having inflicted Paris Saint-Germain's first defeat of the season back in early December, Strasbourg will attempt to repeat the trick when they visit the Ligue 1 Conforama leaders on Saturday afternoon.
Strasbourg burst PSG's bubble and put an end to thoughts of Unai Emery's men being "invincibles" this season as goals from Nuno Da Costa and Stéphane Bahoken either side of a Kylian Mbappé equaliser saw Ligue 2 champions Strasbourg emerge victorious 2-1. PSG did gain some revenge by winning 4-2 at La Meinau 10 days later in the round of 16 of the Coupe de la Ligue.
After losing to Strasbourg in the league, PSG fell 3-1 in their next game at Bayern Munich on the final matchday of the group stage of the UEFA Champions League. This time the capital club come into a meeting with Strasbourg off the back of the disappointment fo a 3-1 first leg loss at holders Real Madrid in the round of 16 of the competition.
Rabiot: "It's easy to score eight goals against Dijon"
Midfielder Adrien Rabiot, arguably PSG's best player on the night and the scorer of the opening goal of the game in the Spanish capital, gave an honest assessment speaking to French TV immediately after the final whistle. The French international said: "As usual we had chances and we weren't clinical enough. When you play against teams like that, they have two or three chances and they all fly in. We played the way we needed to and I'm disappointed we conceded the late goals. The problem is that's it's easy to score eight goals against Dijon or four in a league game. It's in these big Champions League games that we need to be decisive. We're competitors and we will try to qualify but it will be difficult with such a handicap."
Bahaoken will never forget his winner against PSG two months ago. The former Nice forward said: "I can't put into words the emotion I felt when I scored. I didn't know where I was and I just wanted to celebrate the goal with the fans."
Speaking before knowing the score in the Real-PSG game, Bahoken added: "Even if they lose they'll really be up for the league game against us because they'll remember that we beat them and they'll be wary of us. They've got even more extraordinary players now than when I last played at the Parc des Princes as a Nice player. I can't wait to taste the atmosphere."
Bahoken: "We'll give it everything"
Strasbourg had the worst record in the division this calendar year before returning to winning ways by beating Troyes last Sunday whilst runaway leaders PSG have won five of their six league games since the winter break. PSG have not last at home in the league since falling to Monaco in March 2016.
Bahoken is fully aware of the size of the challenge: "We'll give it everything and we'll try not to think about that statistic, as it's a statistic that could make you very, very scared. We'll go there without pressure and try to give our best. What will be will be."
Paris Saint-Germain: Aréola; Alves, Marquinhos, Silva (c), Kurzawa; Rabiot, Diarra, Draxler; Di María, Cavani, Neymar Jr
Strasbourg: Oukidja; Foulquier, Koné (c), Martinez, Seka; Aholou; Lala, Gonçalves, Martin, Da Costa; Bahoken