We had a time believed to be the best for Angel Di Maria and PSG. As often when Neymar or Kylian Mbappé are outside the starting eleven, the 32-year-old winger takes responsibility, proves that his left paw is one of the most effective in Europe. And that’s how the meeting in Leipzig began, this Wednesday evening. The former Real Madrid player took advantage of wide spaces and individual mistakes to pave the way for his team.
On a poorly controlled pass from the French international Dayot Upamecano, Moise Kean quickly passed the ball to Di Maria. The latter perfectly manages the unsupported exit of the Leipzig goalkeeper to open the scoring from the outside of the foot (5th). A few minutes later, he returns the favor to the Italian striker, finally barely countered. Before everything speeds up.
At the quarter of an hour of play, Di Maria could have smiled for the second time of the evening. But his famous heart with his fingers remained in his pockets this time. A hand fault by Upamecano (15th), again, offered a penalty to the Parisian team. Shooter designated in the absence of the stars, “ADM” chose the closed side, sending a ball right up to allow the Hungarian goalkeeper, Gulasci, from Leipzig a nice stop (16th).
Five penalties attempted in career … for four failures
Di Maria is not an eleven-meter specialist. In an official match, he attempted his fifth career penalty this Wednesday in Germany… for a fourth failure. His only success (in Paris as elsewhere) dates from August 2019 during a success in Metz (2-0) in the league. A damaging turn for him and his team, who conceded the equalizer before the break. Without counting the opposing effectiveness on this same exercise of the penalty …
Before this shock, Thomas Tuchel had warned that one should not ask too much of Di Maria. “He is still the key,” praised the German. But it lacks rhythm. He needs it to gain confidence, in dribbling, finishing. I don’t want to put too much pressure on him. A script written in advance which has been verified on the lawn of the Red Bull Arena. The more the minutes passed, the more energy ran out, enough to cut the wings of the Argentine angel. His acceleration on the right side (62nd) or his crosses (66th, 72nd) proved his fine intentions but without sufficient technical quality.
However, we feel that Di Maria is raising the tone if we compare this performance to the two previous ones in the Champions League, against Manchester United (1-2) or Basaksehir Istanbul (2-0). Could he do better? Not sure. Was he surrounded enough? Not sure either. Author of his 22nd achievement in the Champions League, Di Maria has more goals than all the rest of the eleven lined up on Wednesday.
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr