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Distracted PSG seek focus against Bordeaux

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 1,006

Pin Distracted PSG seek focus against Bordeaux . AFP
Distracted PSG seek focus against Bordeaux . AFP

Distracted PSG seek focus against Bordeaux

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 1,006

Paris Saint-Germain go into Sunday's home game with Bordeaux with a comfortable 10-point lead in Ligue 1, but life has been anything but comfortable for the French champions over the last week.

Club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi was indicted on Thursday in a Swiss corruption investigation, which does not directly involve PSG but is, however it turns out, a distraction.

Meanwhile, the future commitment of the club's star striker is again in doubt, after Lionel Messi said in an interview published in Spain on Thursday that Neymar "really wants to return to Barcelona".

On the field, PSG threw away points in their last league match with a bizarre 4-4 draw at Amiens last Saturday. PSG fell behind 3-0, fought back with four goals in 29 minutes and then conceded an equaliser in added time.

Perhaps that distracted display could be excused because the club was facing a much more meaningful test on Tuesday away to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League. It is a competition the squad has been built to win, but they have lost in the first knockout round the last three seasons.

"This is not life or death, it's a game of football," Sporting director Leonardo said before the match.

Yet the reactions after PSG lost, 2-1, their first defeat in any competition since losing in the league at Dijon on November 1, suggested not everyone agreed with Leonardo.

Coach Thomas Tuchel rested Neymar for the two Ligue 1 outings in the run-up to Tuesday and, while he scored in Dortmund, the Brazilian complained after the game.

"I understand the club's fear, because I missed the last 16 in each of the last two years," he said. "I respect the decisions, but it can't be that way, because it is the player who ends up suffering."

"It was very difficult to play a game of that intensity," he added. "If I were in a better condition physically then I definitely would have played better."

Neymar seemed to have discovered his intensity and rhythm by Thursday night. Videos showed him dancing topless at a party to celebrate the birthdays of team-mates d'Angel Di Maria, Mauro Icardi and Edinson Cavani.

Dortmund do not visit Paris until March 11. Next Wednesday PSG face old enemies Lyon in a French Cup semi-final.

Bordeaux are unbeaten in their last five games, but three of those were draws and they are trudging along in mid-table. The question is whether they present enough of a challenge to force PSG to rediscover their intensity or will they give another distracted display?



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