Neymar and new coach are differences from the best attack in Europe

Four goals against Nantes, in the Champions’ Trophy, five against Clermont, in the debut of the French Championship, another five against Montpellier and seven against Lille, in the following rounds of the national tournament.

After a first season of the trio of stars formed by Kylian Mbappé, Lionel Messi and Neymar marked by the smell of disappointment, Paris Saint-Germain can now say that they have the best attack in the world… And even prove it with numbers.

Among the teams that compete in the seven main national leagues in Europe (English, Spanish, Italian, German, French, Portuguese and Dutch, according to the UEFA coefficient ranking), PSG has the most productive offensive system in this season start.

The Parisian team has already put 21 balls in the nets in just four matches played. The Dutch AZ Alkmaar, second in the ranking, scored the same number of goals, but has already been on the field on seven occasions.

Neymar has been the big star of PSG’s attack in this 2022/23 start. The Brazilian ace has already scored seven times, three more than second-scorers Messi and Mbappé. Achraf Hakimi (2), Sergio Ramos, Marquinhos and Sergio Ramos complete the bill.

It is true that the great technical difference between the Parisians and the other teams in France makes life a lot easier for the reigning Ligue 1 champions. Even so, the jump in productivity from last season to the current one is absurd.

In 2021/22, PSG played 50 official matches and scored 112 goals, an average of 2.24 goals per 90 minutes of football. At the beginning of the season, the frequency of celebrations is at 5.2 per game.

The French’s thirst for goals is so great that they managed to overcome even the war in the locker rooms between Neymar and Mbappé. In the first match after the disagreement between the two stars became public, they led the team to a 7-1 victory in Lille, Sunday, with three balls in the nets of shirt 7 and two more by the Brazilian.

The start of the 2022/23 season is already the best of Neymar’s career, who has accumulated seven goals and six assists in 360 minutes on the field (extra time aside). It is also a response by the star to President Nasser Al-Khelaifi’s unfulfilled desire to negotiate him in the last vacation.

In addition to the “rebirth” of the Brazilian star, who scored just 13 goals last season, another factor helps to explain PSG’s growth in production: the replacement of coach Mauricio Pochettino for Christophe Galtier.

The last coach to prevent the Parisians from winning a French title (Lille-2021), he changed the team’s tactical design and started to line it up with three defenders (Marquinhos, Sergio Ramos and Presnel Kimpembe). With that, at the same time it gave more freedom to wingers Achraf Hakimi and Nuno Mendes to help the attack and reduced the amount of defensive work that the attacking trio needs to do, saving them to spend energy when they have the ball.

“We had players who came back even before the start of pre-season and others who worked a lot during the holidays, sometimes because of personal goals. [como a Copa do Mundo-2022, que será jogada entre novembro e dezembro]. I felt very quickly that the players wanted to start the championship very strongly,” explained Galtier on Sunday.

Champion in eight of the last ten seasons in France, PSG is the only team that has won all of its commitments in the first three rounds of Ligue 1 and, therefore, already leads the competition alone. On Sunday, he defends his 100% record against Monaco at the Parc des Princes.

Best attacks of the season

1 – Paris Saint-Germain (FRA): 21 goals (4 games)
2 – AZ Alkmaar (HOL): 21 goals (7 games)
3 – Bayern Munich (ALE): 20 goals (4 games)
4 – PSV Eindhoven (HOL): 20 goals (6 games)
5 – Borussia Mönchengladbach (ALE): 15 goals (4 games)
6 – Benfica (POR): 14 goals (5 games)
7 – Ajax (HOL): 13 goals (4 games)
8 – Twente (HOL): 12 goals (5 games)
9 – Porto (POR): 12 goals (4 games)
Braga (POR): 11 goals (3 games)

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