Mauricio Pochettino’s reign as Paris Saint-Germain boss gets off to frustrating start as French giants fail to capitalise on Moise Kean’s equaliser in 1-1 draw with Saint-Etienne
- It wasn’t the dream start Mauricio Pochettino was hoping for as PSG manager
- PSG fell behind in 19th minute against Saint-Etienne through Romain Hamouma
- But Moise Kean levelled proceedings just three minutes later for Ligue 1 giants
- Pochettino was desperate for a quick turnaround but it did not materialise
It wasn’t the explosive start to life at Paris Saint-Germain that a ‘disappointed’ Mauricio Pochettino was dreaming of as his side were held to a 1-1 draw at Saint-Etienne.
After waiting 14 months following his sacking as Tottenham boss in November 2019, Pochettino finally got a taste of managerial action once again with PSG.
But the former Premier League manager got off to the worst start possible in charge of PSG after seeing his star-studded side fall behind in the 19th minute through Romain Hamouma.
It was a frustrating opener for Mauricio Pochettino as PSG drew 1-1 against Saint-Etienne
It was Pochettino’s first match back in management since he was sacked by Tottenham in 2019
Moise Kean earned a point for PSG as they immediately responded to going 1-0 behind
Pochettino speaks to his skipper Marquinhos as PSG toiled against Saint-Etienne
However, just three minutes later PSG drew level thanks to Moise Kean, and Pochettino was hoping for a immediate turnaround against Saint-Etienne.
But that did not come, and despite enjoying the majority share of possession, the Ligue 1 giants struggled to break their opponents down – who sit 14th in the table.
And following the final whistle, Pochettino expressed his frustration after his opening game didn’t go to plan.
‘I am of course a little disappointed because we are PSG, so we must win,’ Pochettino told Telefoot.
‘But after three days we had little time to prepare. There are a lot of things to work on that we have to improve. It is not a result that we wanted but it is clear that Saint-Etienne deserved this result.
‘We must improve a lot. We tried to put into practice different concepts, but I’m happy that the players tried to apply them. I’m happy with the effort, the attitude. We have to improve with the ball. It was positive but there are many things to improve.’
Kean drew PSG level in the 22nd minute, scoring the first goal of Pochettino’s reign
Kean is mobbed by his team-mates after being played in by Marco Verratti on Wednesday
Meanwhile, PSG skipper Marquinhos admitted that his side need a lot more time to adapt to Pochettinho’s philosophy.
‘We knew that [Saint-Etienne] are a complicated team to manoeuvre against, who have tightened up the middle,’ the Brazilian said.
‘We tried to create, to animate. It’s the beginning of a new stage for us. We must continue to work and adapt to the new system of the coach.
‘When you are behind, you have to push. They tried to counter several times, we lost a few balls and they scored. It’s always more difficult when you have to run after conceding.
‘There were some difficulties in the game but we need to improve very quickly with the new system.’
Romain Hamouma had put the hosts ahead in the 19th minute but their lead didn’t last long
Both goalkeepers had a busy start to the evening as Keylor Navas denied Harold Moukoudi before Kean tested Saint-Etienne’s Jessy Moulin at the other end inside the first 10 minutes.
But not long after, Pochettino’s re-introduction into football management took a sour turn after PSG played themselves into trouble.
Denis Bouanga capitalised on Idrissa Gueye’s slip before Hamouma coolly converted over PSG shot-stopper Navas.
PSG responded in style though, with Kean slotting home the first goal of Pochettino’s new era in Paris after being played in by Marco Verratti.
Even though PSG controlled possession afterwards, it was the hosts who arguably had the better chances of the match.
Pochettino admitted he was disappointed with the result, insisting PSG must always win
Bouanga’s header hit the crossbar with 20 minutes remaining, with Navas beaten all ends up.
The only shot on target PSG managed in the second period came through Angel Di Maria, but his low strike was well saved by Moulin.
The result now leaves PSG three points behind league leaders Lyon, who narrowly overcame Lens 3-2 on Wednesday thanks to Memphis Depay’s brace and a Steven Fortes own-goal.
PSG however did move up to second on 36 points from 18 games despite the draw, leapfrogging Lille on goal difference after they slumped to a 2-1 defeat at home against Angers.
Pochettino will be desperate for his first win in charge of PSG against Brest on Saturday