‘We are forced to win’ – PSG pushed to better performances by Ligue 1 title race, says Verratti

The Italian midfielder says the French champions cannot afford any more mistakes in their pursuit of a fourth successive league crown

Marco Verratti says Paris Saint-Germain have been pushed to deliver better performances during this season’s tense Ligue 1 title race, saying they always feel “obliged to win”.

PSG returned to the top of Ligue 1 after a 3-1 win at Metz on Saturday, with Kylian Mbappe scoring twice and Mauro Icardi also netting from the penalty spot.

Verratti acknowledges the reigning French champions are expected to emerge victorious in every domestic fixture they play, and he is embracing that extra pressure heading into the final weeks of the season.

What’s been said?

“We are somewhat obliged to win. We have a plan which is to win the most matches possible,” Verratti told RMC Sport. “The others will play and will make their way. We will see who comes first.”

The Italian midfielder added: “It’s an incredible championship, one of the prettiest. There are still four teams that can win the title, that’s why we can’t make any mistakes. Today we played a serious game, we won and we deserved it. We are happy.”

The state of play in Ligue 1

PSG are now two points clear of second-placed Lille at the summit, albeit having played one game more.

Lille’s game in hand is against Lyon, who are three points further back in fourth, at the Groupama Stadium on Sunday.

Third-placed Monaco will be in action on the same day away at Angers, where a win would see them move to within a point of PSG.

How has Verratti performed this term?

Verratti’s 2020-21 campaign has been disrupted by two positive coronavirus tests and a string of niggling injuries, but he has still been a key figure in the team when fully fit.

The 28-year-old has featured in 27 games in all competitions, recording six assists but is yet to score.

Verratti will likely have another chance to impress when PSG turn their attention back to the Champions League this week, with the first leg of their semi-final tie against Manchester City set to take place at Parc des Princes on Wednesday.

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