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French Ligue 1Pochettino laments defensive errors after PSG throw away two-goal lead

Pochettino laments defensive errors after PSG throw away two-goal lead

Mauricio Pochettino was left to lament costly defensive errors after Paris Saint-Germain squandered a 2-0 lead in their frustrating 2-2 Ligue 1 draw with Troyes on Sunday.

Ligue 1 champions PSG found themselves 2-0 up inside 25 minutes at the Parc des Princes after Marquinhos and Neymar found the net.

Still, Nuno Mendes’ dire pass allowed Ike Ugbo to halve the arrears before Florian Tardieu scored a second-half penalty to ensure the points were shared.

The disappointing draw marked the first time PSG had led by two goals in a home Ligue 1 match.

And failed to win since February 2015 in a 2-2 draw against Caen.

After Presnel Kimpembe’s clumsy foul allowed Tardieu to beat Keylor Navas with an audacious Panenka.

The Parisian giants were again booed by their supporters at the full-time whistle and have now thrown away a two-goal lead in consecutive games after being pegged back from 3-1 down in a 3-3 draw at Strasbourg last time out.

However, Pochettino, facing mounting pressure in the French capital despite PSG’s title win, claimed his side was unfortunate not to win and should have been awarded a penalty when Achraf Hakimi appeared to be pushed shortly after the break.

He said after the entertaining draw:

“We started the match well. Then we made two errors which cost us two goals.

“I think we still created more than Troyes.

“We deserved a little more luck tonight. But, unfortunately, we may have missed this tension of the competition.

“The objective was to win the championship. It’s done. Now you have to respect the competition, and I think we did.

“I think [the lack of a penalty] was not justified. There was a penalty on Hakimi on the other side of the field.

“Our opponents must surely think the opposite, but that’s my opinion.”

PSG is now on a three-match winless streak in Ligue 1 – each of those finishing in draws is their most extended sequence since April 2019 (also three).

They have also failed to win back-to-back home games for the first time.

Since suffering three consecutive home defeats between February and April last year.

Pochettino’s team had numerous chances to win the game, with Lionel Messi hitting the post and the crossbar and Neymar having two goals ruled out by VAR.

“It’s an incredible lack of luck,” he said. “We could have won the match on his last action [when he hit the bar last minute]. For a player of his quality, this is the only explanation.”

With PSG having wrapped up their 10th Ligue title last month.

Pochettino has faced criticism from some quarters for not giving the club’s young players more game time.

But the Argentine insisted PSG’s academy prospects must earn their right to play.

He added:

“It is essential to clarify that we built a squad of more than thirty players at the start of the season.

“Of course, we had departures in January, but it is a team where there is not much room for young people.

“They have to earn their playing time. Several have been training with us since day one. It’s the first step.

“What is essential is the squad’s composition in the future and that there is room for them to gain minutes.

“Little by little, young people will find their place.”

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