Paris-Ajaccio: A corset duel!

On the occasion of the reception of the Ajacciens at the Parc des Princes for the 35th day of Ligue 1 this Saturday, May 13 at 9 p.m., we offer you a focus on the next meeting of the capital club. Between memories, rankings, dynamics and players to follow, an overview of the match that awaits our Red and Blue against the ACA.


With a total of 25 wins, 3 draws and 6 losses after 34 league matches, Paris Saint-Germain are still at the top of the Ligue 1 standings. The capital club has 78 points and is 6 points ahead of its new runner-up Lensois, as well as 8 on Olympique de Marseille, which occupies the last step of the podium.

For its part, AC Ajaccio is experiencing a much more delicate exercise. The Corsicans, freshly promoted to the elite this season, occupy 18th place in the standings. A position synonymous with relegation to Ligue 2 if the ACA fails to raise the bar. With 6 wins, 5 draws and 23 losses, the players of the emblematic Olivier Pantaloni have a total of 23 points. With 11 units behind AJ Auxerre, 16th in the standings and first non-relegation, the future of the ACA seems undoubtedly to be in the lower echelon. But be careful not to bury a club that intends to boldly play its luck against the Parisians too soon.


The two teams met on the occasion of the 12th day of the championship, on October 21. A meeting which had been fully mastered by the Rouge et Bleu, since the latter had won 3-0 at the Stade François Coty. From the first half hour of play, Paris took the lead thanks to a well-conducted counter-attack. Carlos Soler served Lionel Messi which transmitted in the meantime for Kylian Mbappe : the French striker took the opposing defense in default and concluded the action with a rolled up right foot in first intention (0-1, 24th) !

In the second period, the Parisians tried to increase their advantage but the Corsican goalkeeper Benjamin Leroy opposed Juan Bernat Then Renato Sanches. It was then necessary to wait for the last quarter of an hour to break the Ajaccio lock, when Mbappé alerted Messi to a superb heel. The Argentinian then hooked the opposing goalkeeper before doubling the bet in the empty goal (0-2, 79e). A few moments later, the infernal Mbappé-Messi duo continued their recital to definitively seal the outcome of this meeting. The six-time Ballon d’Or saw his pass reach the French striker, who then played the opposing defender with his oriented control before continuing with an unstoppable strike (0-3, 82e). Paris Saint-Germain thus left the Island of Beauty with 3 new points on their counter.


Olivier Pantaloni and his team mainly come with two different systems of play: a 4-3-3 as was the case last week in the draw against Toulouse (0-0), or a 4-4-2 at flat. In goal, Benjamin Leroy has established himself as one of the ACA coach’s trusted men. However, the French goalkeeper has the lowest rate of clean sheets achieved in the championship (10%). In the central hinge, the Oumar Gonzalez-Clément Vidal duo managed to win, although the first city suffered in their duel against Mbappé in the first leg. Despite his age, Mohamed Youssouf (35) seems to compete with the Ivorian Ismaël Diallo in the right lane, although the latter can also play in the opposite lane to come and take the place of a Youssouf Koné again not spared by injuries this season.

In midfield, Vincent Marchetti and Mathieu Coutadeur are Olivier Pantaloni’s two basic men. The Corsican technician has the habit of entrusting the captain’s armband to one of them. But in the midfield, another experienced in the championship could chain a fifth tenure: it is Thomas Mangani. Finally, on the front of the attack, the Ajaccien staff had to find alternatives to make up for the absence of Youcef Belaïli (6 goals, 3 assists). This is how Kevin Spadanuda (1 assist) but especially Cyrille Bayala (1 goal, 1 assist) have grown in the ACA collective lately. But it is the center-forward Mounaïm El Idrissy (6 goals, 1 assist) who guides his team on the offensive level. Affected by repeated injuries, the former Stéphanois Romain Hamouma (2 goals, 2 assists) also seems to be able to apply for a starting spot on Saturday evening on the lawn of the Park.


Author of his second goal under the colors of Paris on the occasion of the victory of the capital club on the ground of Troyes last weekend (1-3), Fabian Ruiz will be one of the players to follow on Saturday evening on the Parisian side. Beyond his goal, the Spanish international achieved a high-level overall performance against ESTAC. With 113 balls touched during this meeting, he greatly participated in the Parisian domination in the midfield. He is also the second player to have touched the most balls in this match, just behind his teammate Marco Verratti (118).

But the number 8 of Paris Saint-Germain was not content to take his team’s game to his account, since he tried to improve these balls as demonstrated by his particularly high pass rate (97%) or the two key passes he originated. His offensive contribution was a major asset for Paris, since he alone was responsible for 25% of his team’s shots on target that evening.


Born in Brazzaville in 1947, François M’Pelé began his career at Standard Brazaville in 1966 before joining France and more specifically Corsica two years later, when he signed for AC Ajaccio. He quickly established himself as an essential element for the Acéistes, scoring a total of 71 goals in the space of 149 matches. During his five seasons on the Island of Beauty, the center-forward notably won the African Cup of Nations in 1972 with the Congo team. A unique trophy which, to this day, is still the only one to have been won by his country.

It was in December 1973 that François M’Pelé joined the capital and Paris Saint-Germain. The African striker then established himself as one of the emblematic figures of the first decade of the club’s history, and distinguished himself in particular by becoming the first Parisian scorer at the Parc des Princes in the first division, on August 13, 1974 against Metz ( 2-2). During his six seasons in Paris, he took part in 217 matches for a total of 95 achievements.

A figure that allows him to continue today in the ranking of the best gunners of the capital club, with an 8th position which places him just ahead of a certain Angel DiMaria. At the dawn of the 1980s, the Parc des Princes striker went to discover another French club: RC Lens. Endowed with an extraordinary sense of goal, the Congolese striker has undoubtedly marked the memory of the oldest Parisian and Ajaccio supporters.

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