PSG-OL: “Leonardo came to provide support”, says Echouafni

PSG is ready to receive OL this Friday evening (9 p.m., Canal +) at the Parc des Princes. If the Parisiennes have already played in the stadium of the 16th arrondissement of the capital in the Champions League, it will be a first in the French Championship. Enough to motivate the players and the technician Olivier Echouafni, present this Thursday at a press conference before this shock of the 9th day of Women’s Division 1 between the Lyon leader and his runner-up.

How much confidence does a 14-0 win the week before give your squad?

OLIVIER ECHOUAFNI. If we had been hooked, the match against Lyon would have been different… So that’s already a good point. Against Issy, we had a good start and with great efficiency in both surfaces, especially against the opponent. We had the same match against Marseille last year ( Editor’s note: 11-0 ). So it brings confidence, especially on the offensive side.

Can it help you to have more chances against OL, which was lacking in previous seasons?

We wish it, we hope so. Against Lyon, we have fewer opportunities, fewer situations. It is often divided by two or three. We must have a significant offensive animation. We have always lacked a little more strikes, presence in the box.

Does bench depth this season make a difference for your squad?

It is a set. There is real progression. The matches were often close in the league last year despite the difference we were able to make in the game. We are making the best start to the season in the history of the club, especially on the offensive side. 36 goals scored, only one conceded … We have offensive assets, everyone is concerned defensively. The bench is involved, provides solutions. There is really good competition.

How do you experience this match at the Parc des Princes even if it will take place behind closed doors?

I am very happy. It is historic what we will experience tomorrow. It has never been done in the league. It’s a real first and a real motivation for the girls, for the group. I would like to thank the club, the institution, the president, also Leonardo. We know the boys’ deadlines. It also shows the interest of all the leaders.

Did you receive a visit from Leonardo this week?

I was with Leonardo half an hour ago (this Thursday afternoon). He came to lend his support. The boys will play at the same time in Monaco, it’s a shame, but he won’t be able to be with us.

Each year, PSG gets closer to OL. But is it possible to win against Lyon, finally?

We are part of the teams that also put pressure. The results are very close. Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg also put OL in trouble. We are there, OL are the best team in the world. They have a status, are favorites, take that very well. We work, we progress with a staff who do a remarkable job with the players. We do everything so that one day it will pass.

Lyon has not won in Paris since 2015. Is this a cause for hope?

It was February 21, 2015, to be precise (smile). We are on a tremendous series at home in the league. We could not receive the OL because of the sanitary conditions. The girls are affected by the game. We feel that it is progressing and that there is a group.


PSG – LYON (Canal +)

Friday, 9 p.m., at the Parc des Princes

Referee: Mme. Vanderstichel.

PSG: Endler – Lawrence, Paredes (cap.), Cook, Morroni – Luana, Geyoro, Däbritz – Diani, Katoto, Nadim. Entr. : Echouafni.

OL: Bouhaddi – Carpenter, Buchanan, Renard (cap.), Karchaoui – Henry, Kumagai – Cascarino, Marozsan, Majri – Le Sommer. Entr. : Vasseur.

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