Theatrical, the situation could have made yellow laugh if it had not invited to tear your hair out. At the time, of course, Christophe Galtier did not show his feelings, too busy as he was to deal with the most urgent and to inject new blood to keep his team afloat. But four days before the reunion against Bayern in the knockout stages of the Champions League, the Parisian coach could not spare himself some dark thoughts.
Bad luck, again. Bad luck as a traveling companion, this is perhaps what crossed his mind for a moment when Nordi Mukiele then Marquinhos successively had to leave their partners during the match on Saturday evening against Nantes due to a tottering physique. The first, hit in the Achilles tendon on contact with Hadjam, limped back to the bench twenty minutes from the final whistle. The second asked to be replaced five minutes later after being hit in the ribs in a duel with Ignatus Ganago.
Two additional hard blows in a rearguard already weakened by injuries and doubts. As if the absence of Presnel Kimpembe, deprived of ground until the end of the season due to a ruptured Achilles tendon, the indictment of Achraf Hakimi, accused of rape, and the swings of concentration de Donnarumma were not enough to weaken it, Paris could have been faced with the possibility of giving up on two other elements of its defensive block. Not really ideal before going to challenge Munich in the hope of winning the ticket for the quarter-finals of the Champions League. Even less when the statistics come to darken the picture a little more and reveal that this Parisian defense, beaten 25 times in 26 Ligue 1 games, is the least hermetic of the QSI era in the league.
“We will cross our fingers”, had slipped Christophe Galtier on Saturday at a press conference, referring to injuries which did not seem to him “not too serious”. A good feeling since, according to our information, Marquinhos and Mukiele should be fit for service on Wednesday evening on the lawn of the Allianz Arena. Hadjam’s crampons have certainly left traces in the flesh of a Mukiele, victim of an involuntary scratch from Nantes. As for the ribs of Marquinhos, although they still suffered this Sunday from the consequences of his duel with Ganago, they are not enough to give rise to fears of a package in the Parisian ranks.
On the contrary. In a week where the values of courage and combat are displayed as virtues inseparable from the exploit, the Parisians would already be ready to grit their teeth to turn the tide in Bavaria. Three weeks after having yielded to the Parc des Princes in front of Kingsley Coman, the Parisian defense will have little room for maneuver this time. Whatever its structure – certainly with three axial defenders – and its composition – with Mukiele or Hakimi in the role of right piston – it would be well advised not to bend for the first time this season on the European scene.