Mauricio Pochettino has won his debut match as Paris Saint-Germain coach at home, trailing 3-0 against Brest last weekend. Earlier, the former Tottenham Hotspur boss has been appointed as the new head coach of the of French champions after sacking its long-time winning coach Thomas Tuchel just before the New Year. However, rivals Lyon remain top of Ligue 1 after drawing at Rennes.
Pochettino has signed a contract at the Parc des Princes until June 2022, with the option for an extra year, in his first managerial role since being sacked by Spurs in 2019. PSG were third in the league when the reigning Ligue 1 champions released a statement confirming that Tuchel’s contract has been terminated. They remain a point behind the leaders and ahead on goal difference of third-placed Lille.
“We have still only had a few days working together and we have had two very difficult, very competitive games,” Pochettino said. “I am really satisfied with the effort put in by the players. It was an improved performance and an important victory.” The reigning champions won the match without their talisman Neymar, who is currently recovering from an ankle injury.
Moise Kean opened the scoring in the 16th minute followed by Mauro Icardi in the 81st and a Pablo Sarabia finish two minutes later. It was Kean’s 11th goal, and his ninth in Ligue 1, since signing on loan from Everton. “It was very emotional. This stadium has one of the best atmospheres in football and we missed having the fans here,” Mauricio speaking about his debut game at home with PSG.
The Argentine will lead his new team in the final of Champions Trophy, the French equivalent of a Super Cup. It will be his first his first piece of silverware if PSG wins against Marseille in the curtain-raiser to the season match. Pochettino spent five and a half years in the Premier League club.
Meanwhile, Lyon’s has kept their long unbeaten streak and shared two goals down in Rennes, with Clement Grenier and Benjamin Bourigeaud scoring for the home side. Memphis Depay pulled one back with his 11th goal of the season on 79 minutes and Jason Denayer equalised shortly after. “Our first half of the season has been of a really high standard,” said Lyon coach Rudi Garcia.
The draw for Rennes, and a goalless draw for Marseille at Dijon, gave Monaco a chance to move up to fourth spot as they beat Angers 3-0 with German international Kevin Volland grabbing his ninth Ligue 1 goal in between efforts from Guillermo Maripan and Stevan Jovetic. There were also wins for Bordeaux, Reims and Strasbourg.