Cyprus Mail
Champions League Football Sport

Dominant PSG still searching for right balance

The mega-money acquisitions of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe (left) had forced changes that were still being bedded in, says coach Unai Emery

Finding the right balance of individual talent and tactical discipline remains a challenge for Paris St Germain coach Unai Emery, even after the side’s convincing Champions League win at Anderlecht on Wednesday.

The 4-0 success in the Belgian capital means the Parisians have won all three of their Group B games and are well on their way to qualifying for the knockout phase.

“We were happy to take the three points. Our goal is to finish first of our group,” Emery said after the match, while emphasising that the acquisitions of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe had forced changes that were still being bedded in.

“We are like a new team, we need to progress, to improve on the details. We didn’t master the game in the way we wanted to,” he added.

“We were better in terms of balance, positioning and tactics in the second half but we still need to properly mix the two aspects: the tactical discipline and the individual talent. It’s my job is to give this balance to the team.”

Wednesday’s triumph came relatively comfortably as Mbappe scored after just three minutes before Edinson Cavani, Neymar and substitute Angel Di Maria added the other three.

“It’s true it’s easier when you start by scoring after just three minutes. But in the dressing room at half-time, we emphasised that it was necessary to improve our control of the game,” Emery said.

“This season we are very strong in the transition. Especially if the opponent gives us space. We want to have this control, with the possession and transition, but it’s still missing in a lot of our performances.”

PSG, who could confirm progress to the next stage when they host Anderlecht in Paris on Oct. 31, have won 12 of 13 games in all competitions since the start of the campaign.

Last month’s goalless draw at Montpellier remains the only blemish on their otherwise perfect record.

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