PSG boss Galtier praises Portuguese arrival Vitinha’s adaptation, as Fonseca backs Lille’s philosophy

Lille 1-7 PSG

Paris Saint-Germain made an ominous mark in France this weekend by beating Paulo Fonseca’s Lille 7-1 away in Ligue 1 on Sunday.

Kylian Mbappe scored a hat-trick while there was a brace for Neymar and more goals from Lionel Messi and Achraf Hakimi. There were also several Portuguese at both sides, with Nuno Mendes, Vitinha and Renato Sanches among the winners, while Jose Fonte and Tiago Djaló suffered for the home side.

PSG left-back Mendes collected an assist – his second in consecutive games – but Vitinha’s performance in midfield alongside Marco Verratti caught manager Christophe Galtier’s attention. Vitinha was signed by new PSG sporting director Luís Campos from FC Porto in the summer and the 22-year-old has impressed his new coach.

“Am I surprised by his success? nope When Luís Campos told me about Vitinha, who I knew very little about, I looked at his career at Porto. He’s always on the move, he has a very collective spirit, he’s the link between defense and attack. He is very mature for his age. I’m not surprised that he quickly integrated into the system and with his teammates.”

After the game, Vitinha himself told reporters, “I feel really good. I think everyone saw the incredible game we had tonight. The goal now is to keep going and improve if we can. We want to progress game by game and not think further ahead. We know we are capable and that we have all the qualities and all the elements to win the French championship. We’ll make progress game by game but right now we’re feeling very strong.”

Fonseca not for changing

The game was a sobering experience for Lille manager Paulo Fonseca, who began life at the club with a win and a draw in his first two games as manager. Asked if his side might have shown a little too much ambition in their tactics against the champions, Fonseca insisted he and his players are committed to their style of play.

“Of course, seven is a lot. But I’m not too angry with my players because that’s our philosophy. When you build a team – and let’s not forget we had two good games – and you ask courage from your players, you can’t be the first to show fear.

“Why should I change anything? We didn’t change anything even when we conceded the goal, we tried to push up and play and we had a couple of good moments. This is our philosophy, this is our identity. The players showed courage. Of course we can get better defensively. But the most important thing is our character. It gives me confidence in the future.

“I have to get the players back up, we will analyze the game, but we have to think about what’s next. I want the same courage for the next game. We have to learn. I don’t want this defeat to affect our development. I want players who can react.”

By Sean Gillen


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