Achraf Hakimi’s match-winning PSG display lauded by Pochettino

By Obiajulu Chiagoziem

Paris St Germain Manager Mauricio Pochettino has praised Achraf Hakimi for a tremendous display in the away meeting with Metz.

Hakimi scored a brace as he opened the goal scoring system in the fifth minute of the game, although they were later pegged by Metz’s Kiki Kouyate’s 39th-minute header.

The game seemed clueless for the France champions playing without star man Messi, who’s out due to knee injury. How, Luck was on their side as Dylan Bronn’s dismissal for a second yellow card set up a thrilling finish.

Also Metz head coach Frederic Antonetti got himself sent off for protestations and moments later Hakimi scored a 95th-minute winner as PSG made it seven victories from seven league fixtures.

Pochettino during his post match conference said “I am indeed happy with him [Achraf Hakimi], he’s a great guy, he’s a player who’s really bringing a lot to us, not just the goals, but also his capacity on the sideline to play both defensively and offensively,”

“I am very happy with him, and today, scoring goals, it’s been an important reward for the team and for him.”

“Can I tell an anecdote on Hakimi? Yesterday [Tuesday], after the training, I asked him: ‘How are you?’ And he said: ‘Very well, very well’. And then he replied: ‘And you coach? How are you?’

“I was surprised by the question. ‘Because no one ever asks you!’. ‘You ask everyone, but no one ever asks you’. And look, today he scored goals. That’s the reward for having good intentions.”

Achraf Hakimi has been involved in 13 league goals in 2021 (six goals and seven assists), no defender has done better in the top five European competitions.

PSG boss also heaped praises on Neymar who initiated the winning goal scored by Hakimi.

“I am very happy with Ney and with his contribution to the team,” Pochettino added. “For his attitude and mindset. I am very happy. What I believe is that creative players, players who the whole world hopes they show magic with every touch, those players spend extra energy that other players don’t have.

“Therefore it would be unfair to have a player like Ney play every three days hoping that every ball he touches he makes the play of the year. I am very happy with Ney and I think today he did a massive job, like last Sunday.

“Playing every three day, especially for players who’s got to create constantly, is not easy. Because of that, I am very happy with his performance. Very happy of it.”

Paris St Germain has won all their first seven games this season in league 1, and from records, only these teams have ever set such pace – Lille in 1936-37, Lille in 1949-50, Monaco in 1960-61 and PSG in 2018-19.

PSG will now meet with Montpelier on Saturday’s home clash. Subsequently on the 28th of this month, they’ll host Manchester City in the champions league campaign fixtures.