Mauricio Pochettino and Ronald Koeman have one thing in common - they are both having to play without Lionel Messi this week. But while a grumpy Barcelona manager has been tense, niggling and all with the 'look at what I've got left!', Pochettino was being classic...Pochettino.
On Tuesday, ahead of today's Ligue 1 game at Metz, the PSG coach was in fine form, even taken a moment out to congratulate the brilliance of the translator, who was interpreting the Argentinean's thoughts from Spanish into French for the local media. This was all despite the fact that Messi had just been ruled out for the Metz match due to a knee injury.
The eternally positive Poch was able to see two pro's to this situation - he won 'told-you-so' points to those who challenged him for subbing out Messi minutes after his knee knock against Lyon. Also, Poch still has Neymar, Angel di Maria, Mauro Icardi and Neymar available for today's game which could see PSG winning the first seven games from seven in Ligue 1, in what would be only the fifth time in Ligue 1 history.
🎙️💬 M.Pochettino:— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) September 21, 2021
"Leo Messi and Angel Di Maria, or Leo Messi and Neymar Jr. know eachother, we have to integrate Kylian Mbappe into that. I think this will take some time." pic.twitter.com/j1cICKNP8Y
The downside is that it slows down the process of integrating these four super star players into one groovy unit. "We're at a point where we have to combine the talent of Kylian Mbappe, for example, with the relationship between Messi and Di Maria or Messi and Neymar, who already know each other."
That will have to be put on hold on Wednesday as PSG head towards the German border to take on a Metz side that is rock bottom of the standings and still without a Ligue 1 win this season.
👉 Metz vs. PSG is live🔥 on beIN SPORTS at 2:55PM ET / 11:55AM PT.💥
Atletico Mineiro take charge in Palmeiras match-up
Diego Costa made some waves in Brazil on Tuesday night by lining up for Atletico Mineiro alongside Hulk for his first ever Copa Libertadores appearance. However, it was his team's defence that made the difference once again in a first-leg, semifinal clash in the home of Palmeiras, the defending champions.
Atletico Mineiro picked up a seventh clean sheet in a row in the competition against Palmeiras in a goalless draw. It continues an outstanding season in general for Atletico Mineiro which are also 'crushing it' - as the kids say - at the top of Brazil's Serie A.
👉 The Copa Libertadores🏆 semifinal action continues today with the thrill fest of Flamengo🇧🇷 and Gabriel Barbosa up against Barcelona🇪🇨.
Yes, that's right, Barcelona in a continental semifinal. That's Barcelona SC of Ecuador, to be fair, this season's surprise package in the Copa Libertadores and one that is flying the flag as the only non-Brazilian side in the final-four. Catch Flamengo vs. Barcelona live today on beIN SPORTS at 8:30PM ET / 5:30PM PT.