Is Pochettino under huge pressure at PSG after Messi arrival?
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Kylian Mbappe was spotted fuming with Neymar on the bench after he was substituted during Paris Saint-Germain’s 2-0 win over Montpellier on Saturday. Mauricio Pochettino’s side maintained their perfect start to the Ligue 1 campaign as goals from Idrissa Gueye and Julian Draxler saw them win their eighth game out of eight in the division.
Mbappe had a relatively quiet game for his standards and was replaced by Mauro Icardi with just two minutes left to play.
And only seconds after he was taken off PSG scored their second, with Neymar finding Draxler who fired home from just inside the box.
Rather than celebrating his team’s goal, however, Mbappe appeared furious with Neymar for choosing to pass to Draxler when he had, in his view, not passed enough while he was on the pitch.
Canal+ cameras picked up Mbappe turning to his fellow substitute Gueye in the dugout and saying: “That tramp doesn’t pass to me.”
Pochettino certainly has a number of big egos to contend with this season, and it is yet another issue he will have to deal with after Lionel Messi stormed past him when he was substituted last week.
Whether or not Pochettino can keep all of his stars happy could go a long way towards deciding whether or not PSG will achieve their aims in the current campaign, with Ligue 1 and Champions League glory demanded of them.
Mbappe’s recent poor form will be a worry, with the France star now having gone four games without a goal – his worst streak of shots without scoring (13) since September 2019.
PSG’s next game is a mouthwatering clash with Manchester City in the Champions League on Tuesday.
And Pochettino appeared confident ahead of the match at Parc des Princes.
“I don’t know if it’s the perfect night but it’s a good night with these three points won,” he said after the Montpellier win.
“Eight wins in eight matches. It’s a good way to prepare for Manchester City’s visit in a competition, the Champions League, which is very important for the club and against a very strong opponent.”
It remains to be seen if Messi will return against City after he missed the Montpellier game through injury.
But Pochettino offered a positive update on Friday, saying: “Messi has started to run today… We are going to assess him and we hope he improves.
“We hope everything goes well and he will be available again… Yes, we hope he can play (against City). We have to be cautious.”
PSG were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw against Club Brugge in their first Champions League game in Group A earlier this month.
And the pressure will be on to get a positive result against City as they look to progress deep into the tournament.
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