PSG stumble puts pressure on Emery ahead of table topping clash with Nice

By Samindra Kunti

December 9 – French champions Paris Saint-Germain are teetering on the edge of a crisis following a defeat against Montpellier and a draw against Ludogorets in the Champions League. On Sunday, they host league leaders Nice with coach Unai Emery in the pressure seat.

Emery has succeeded Laurent Blanc, who failed to lead the Parisian club beyond the quarter-finals stage of the Champions League last season. The Spaniard’s reign in the French capital has been wobbly, but a 12-game unbeaten run had helped PSG and Emery in building confidence.

Last weekend PSG were, however, soundly beaten by Montpellier 3-0. In midweek the Parisians were left to scramble for a 2-2 draw against Ludogorets from Bulgaria in a performance that left many questionmarks over Emery’s coaching.

The Parisian defense, led by Thiago Silva, was weak. There was no connection with the midfield either, and Emery, despite his team playing poorly, left substitutions very late. The full-time whistles at the Parc des Princes were of discontent.

“This disappointment must give us the desire to lift our hands and show a different face in the last 16. We must improve, and that starts on Sunday against Nice,” said Emery.

Nice have been top of Ligue 1 since mid-September. They have a reported budget of less than a tenth of PSG’s, but have thrived under coach Lucien Favre. Nice are on 39 points, with PSG trailing by four points in third place as the half-way mark of the season approaches.

PSG will be without Adrien Rabiot and Javier Pastore. PSG may turn to Hatim Ben Arfa for inspiration. Last season he was Nice’s marquee player.

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