The compliments have been occupying for a Paris Saint-Germain strike force nicknamed the Fantastic Four because of its damaging impact. Directed by Kylian and Neymar Mbappé, but supported by winger Angel Di Maria and poacher Mauro Icardi, the four have notched 32 goals in the previous seven games. It’s not hard to see why they’re revered by enthusiasts and French media, thus the nickname. The four’ve been working well together that trainer Thomas Tuchel has seen fit to leave Edinson Cavani on the bench to PSG’s 198-goal, all-time top scorer. Yet the Fantastic Four’s honeymoon period could be coming to an end after Monaco spoiled the celebration night. This was the first time for weeks that PSG had been tested by a side that is quick and highly skilled, and how Monaco forged holes in PSG’s defence will have been detected by Europe’s bigger clubs. Not least by Borussia Dortmund, PSG’s competition in the last 16 of the Champions League. Because PSG’s undoubted attacking might for all, the defence remains fragile.
This is going to be a concern for Tuchel considering that cash-rich PSG has not reached the quarterfinals of the Champions League at the last 3 seasons and he is to ensure at least progress in the last eight. However, the defending against Monaco, a side long on attacking flair yet only eighth in the French league, looked muddled, hasty and even panicky. A team with more self-belief would have come away with a victory. Every time Monaco attacked stretching the line by shifting flanks or combining with rapid passes, a sense of panic invaded a creaking PSG shield marshalled by 35-year-old Brazilian centre half Thiago Silva. Monaco had enough chances to win, and Silva was perhaps fortunate when a penalty should have already been granted his handball went unpunished. It was the very first time PSG has conceded three goals this season, and not because May 2012 has PSG surrendered twice within the first 15 minutes of a league game. The 16 shots of Monaco has been the greatest allowed by PSG since October 2018. It was not the fault, which is where Tuchel needs to be decisive of the defence. Playing with the wonderful Four is quite entertaining to see but it signifies the side is top-heavy from the assault, which in turn affects on the midfield and that may mean help for your defence. Tuchel has some thinking to do over whether to keep on enjoying his four forward together.
Robert Moreno showed intuition and impressive tactical nous during his first league game in charge of Monaco. Had it been a boxing competition, he would have beaten his number Tuchel online points. With his team trailing 3-2, inventive midfielder Cesc Fabregas was taken off by him and brought on Islam Slimani. Five minutes later, the Slimani equalized. Moreno then shielded the draw by taking his very best player, the league’s 14-goal top scorer Wissam Ben Yedder, and replaced him. The combative midfielder Silva won tackles, selflessly harried and put himself around taking the pressure off a Monaco side that was tired. Tuchel appeared overly conservative in his decision making. Striker Icardi had a quiet game Tuchel kept him until the minute. When Cavani substituted Icardi from the 86th it galvanized PSG, but it had been too late to unsettle. Moreno said playing defending winner PSG not overawed him, and such self-belief could have rubbed off on his players.”I don’t think that it’s an issue playing at Parc des Princes. If you would like to play with style you can do that everywhere,” he said on French TV. “That is what I said to my players: that we could win every game.” Next stop is at Stade Louis II, at which Monaco faces PSG again on Wednesday.