Messi flops as PSG dumped out: Winners, losers & ratings as Galtier gets it wrong in Marseille cup defeat

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Messi Malinovskyi GFX
The Argentine was anonymous while Christophe Galtier endured his worst night as PSG manager as his side slipped to defeat in Le Classique

Marseille hit twice on the break and defended diligently to see off a largely ineffective Paris Saint-Germain side in the Coupe de France last 16 on Wednesday night.

Lionel Messi was nowhere to be seen as the visitors suffered without the injured Kylian Mbappe, and crashed out of the cup thanks to a 2-1 loss at Stade Velodrome.

The home side were on the front foot for most of the opening 30 minutes, forcing Gianluigi Donnarumma into a series of saves. And they were eventually rewarded, with Alexis Sanchez sending Donnraumma the wrong way from the penalty spot after a clumsy foul from Sergio Ramos.

Ramos redeemed himself on the stroke of half-time, nodding a Neymar corner into the ne, but the hosts retook the lead shortly after the break, with Ruslan Malinovskyi smashing the ball past a sprawling Donnarumma after a passage of poor PSG defending.

Galtier's side pushed for an equaliser for the remainder of proceedings, but Marseille retreated deep into their own half. And without the threat of Mbappe's pace and trickery, PSG failed to create much.

The loss marked Galtier's first major setback at the helm. The first-year manager has met every expectation so far, leading PSG into the Champions League knockout stages and establishing a convincing lead atop Ligue 1.

But his side, with their financial power and raw quality, should be winning every trophy available to them.

  1. The Winners
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    The Winners

    Alexis Sanchez:

    Former Arsenal star Sanchez didn't figure to be giving Marquinhos and Sergio Ramos the runaround in 2023, but he was excellent on Wednesday. He was a constant source of energy, pulling Ramos and Marquinhos out of position with his clever runs and constant movement. He scored Marseille's opener with a calm penalty, before being involved in the build-up to the second. The home side were always going to need a good performance out of their No.10 to topple PSG, and Sanchez delivered on the night.

    Warren Zaire-Emery:

    The teenager couldn't drag PSG back into the game after his introduction with 25 minutes remaining, but he certainly improved his team's poor showing. Zaire-Emery provided an immediate lift for Galtier's side, driving forward with the ball and creating space without it. One mazy run into the final third was rendered useless by a poor decision from Hugo Ekitike, and he wasn't helped by a tiring Fabian Ruiz next to him. Still, Zaire-Emery showed just why Galtier has made him one of his favoured options off the bench. He isn't a game-changing talent yet, but he seems very close.

    Igor Tudor:

    Tudor spent most of the game looking not particularly happy. Though his side executed his counter-attacking style to perfection, the Marseille manager cut a focused figure, and seemed to ponder the happenings on the pitch for the majority of proceedings. He must have liked what he saw, though. Marseille outmatched PSG in both tactical nous and raw energy, with Tudor's side running out deserved winners. Marseille have struggled against PSG in recent years, winning just 1 of the last 26 meetings between the two going into the game. Tudor's tactics made it two in 27.

  2. The Losers
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    The Losers

    Lionel Messi:

    Messi can't win everything alone - try that he might. And it's genuinely hard to blame Messi for any loss. But here was the kind of game that was crying out for some Messi magic, which never came. His close control was the usual sort of captivating, and he nearly whipped in a free-kick for good measure. Still, a signature moment of footballing magic was needed, and Messi couldn't provide it on the night. It is, perhaps, credit to Marseille that the 36-year-old was kept relatively quiet. But Messi usually turns these kinds of games around.

    Christophe Galtier:

    Not for the first time this year, Galtier got his tactics wrong. The manager opted for four central midfielders, while playing Neymar and Messi up front. It was a puzzling system that failed to get the most out of either of his two star men, and also left PSG rather vulnerable on the break. Messi and Neymar's positional liquidity seemed to unsettle their team-mates, and with Marseille going very direct, PSG often found themselves scrambling in transition. Both goals came from such situations, with Marseille simply taking advantage of a lackadaisical structure. Galtier tried to change things with 30 minutes remaining, switching to a more familiar 4-3-3, but the game was already lost.

    Nuno Mendes:

    The Portuguese left-back hasn't been at his best since his return from an injury sustained during the World Cup. And on a night like this, when PSG badly needed attacking thrust from their full-backs, Mendes failed to deliver. He was typically quick and didn't lack for legs, but he always seemed to fall short on his final ball. At the other end, he wasn't much better. Both Marseille goals came down his wing, with Mendes caught out of position for the first and failing to clear the ball for the second. He will have better nights.

  3. PSG Ratings: Defence
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    PSG Ratings: Defence

    Gianluigi Donnarumma (6/10):

    Could do little about either goal, and made a few nice saves.

    Achraf Hakimi (6/10):

    The better of two underperforming full-backs. Didn't create a chance on the night, though.

    Marquinhos (6/10):

    Fine on the ball, but culpable for Marseille's second for failing to clear the ball.

    Sergio Ramos (6/10):

    Gave away a penalty with a really clumsy challenge. Almost redeemed himself with an equaliser. Saw a late equaliser ruled out for offside.

    Nundo Mendes (5/10)

    An underwhelming showing from a player still trying to find his legs after a long layoff.

  4. Midfield

    Marco Verratti (5/10):

    A welcome returnee for PSG after suspension. Was his usual aggressive and pesky self, but was often pushed around by the bulkier Matteo Guendouzi.

    Danilo Pereira (5/10):

    Back to his preferred defensive-midfield role, and endured one of his worst performances of the last few weeks. His legs are not made for these kinds of fast-paced games.

    Fabian Ruiz (6/10):

    The only midfielder to play all 90 minutes, but it's tough to reason why. His lack of creativity epitomised PSG's struggles.

    Vitinha (6/10):

    Once again put in an attacking midfield role, despite not really being an attacking midfielder.

  5. Attack
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    Neymar (6/10):

    Assisted Ramos' header, and hit the post, but didn't contribute too much else. Fortunate not to get booked for a series of silly fouls.

    Lionel Messi (5/10):

    Put a free-kick over the bar and completed three dribbles, but also seemed slightly apathetic about the happenings on the pitch. This game needed a spark, and Messi looked ambivalent.

  6. Subs & Manager
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    Subs & Manager

    Warren Zaire-Emery (7/10):

    Entrusted with trying to get PSG back in the game. Almost did so with some lovely passages of play.

    Hugo Ekitike (6/10):

    Made a few nice runs. Probably should have started.

    Carlos Soler (5/10):

    Never caught up to the pace of the game, gave the ball away three times.

    Christophe Galtier (4/10):

    His worst night as PSG manager. Galtier got everything wrong from the start, deploying four natural central midfielders, who seemed to run into each other a lot. The manager probably needed to change things, with PSG being overrun all over the pitch, but he stuck to his system, and was made to pay. Messi and Neymar can't save him every time.