Thomas Meunier critical of ‘drunken’ PSG display against Amiens
Paris Saint-Germain right-back Thomas Meunier called his team’s collective performance in the 2-0 win away at Amiens on Wednesday “drunken”, despite the fact that the four-time defending champions are through to play Rennes in the Coupe de la Ligue semifinals.
Second half goals from Neymar (a penalty) and Adrien Rabiot ensured that Unai Emery’s men overcame their hosts, who played with 10 men from the 34th minute, but Meunier was left unimpressed.
“We did not approach the match well,” the Belgium international told France 3. “Mentally, we were not very professional today. The game [performance] annoyed me.
“Logically, we won but we did not approach the game in a good way. We were drunken. There was not much commitment and we missed simple gestures that is not usually a habit of ours.
“Either Amiens or Real Madrid, we must prepare for the match the same way. However, that was not the case here.”
Rabiot was more upbeat after the win at Stade de la Licorne but admitted that with so many matches over January and February, it will be difficult for the French capital outfit to be at their absolute best each game.
“We had a cup match to play and we were serious without having to be that good,” the France international told Canal+. “We were up against a good team and they tried to counter. It was an open game and we are pleased with the win.
“We need to handle January and February carefully. There are matches where we will need to preserve ourselves a little. If we can economise, we will but we are always serious. When we come up against other teams, we want to finish with the best possible score.”
Emery was pleased that his players are into the semifinals but was disappointed to get another away match before a possible final at Bordeaux’s Matmut Atlantique.
“We deserve to be in the final four,” said the Spaniard. “We would have liked a home draw but we will go to Rennes. We have played them already a few times but that is how it is and we accept that.
“We avoided Monaco, who are strong in this competition. Anyway, I prefer to play at home. If we deserve to go to the final, perhaps we will play them [Monaco] then.
On the subject of Edinson Cavani and Javier Pastore, who were left out of the squad as continued punishment for their late return to training after the winter break in South America, Emery suggested that the Uruguay international could return away at Nantes in Ligue 1 on Sunday.
“We played today, while Edinson trained,” Emery said. “He has trained alone but also with the squad. Perhaps he will be there on Sunday against Nantes. I do not want to say more.
“Things can change from one day to the next. I prefer that the days pass, that the squad works hard and so does Edinson. After that, we will see.”
Regarding the current transfer window and the possible signing of free agent Lassana Diarra to act as a backup for Thiago Motta in defensive midfield, Emery remained tight-lipped.
“[Sporting director] Antero [Henrique] is here and he can say something about the transfer window,” said the former Sevilla boss. “My job is to concentrate on the game with the squad, like the players and I did here.
“If there is something transfer-related, we will talk. There is some sharing of information but I will not ask him every single day.”
Also on the topic of transfers, goalkeeper Kevin Trapp talked about his future after keeping a clean sheet in Amiens and being linked with a move away from Parc des Princes to boost his World Cup chances. However, the Germany international does not expect to be leaving before the end of the month.
“For the moment, I am staying with PSG until the end of the season,” Trapp said. “My playing time is not enough for me but for the moment, I am still in Paris.
“Whenever I can play, I will do my best — even with less game time. That is my goal. After that, it is up to the coach. However, if I want to go to the World Cup, all I can do is work hard and then we will see.”
PSG team coordinator Maxwell was present for the semifinal draw after the win over Amiens and the former left back from Brazil echoed Emery’s disappointment at another road game.
“For the third time this season, we will go to Rennes,” Maxwell told Canal+. “We would like to play at Parc des Princes in front of our supporters but we have the ambition to get all the way to the final and that is the most important thing.
“We must keep going — we want to reach Bordeaux [final venue] and win another title.”
Next up for PSG is a trip to Nantes in Ligue 1 before a visit from Dijon in Le Championnat and then another away day in Lyon.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.