Mauro Icardi’s performance has exceeded expectations at Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). The loan player from Inter Milan scored a hat-trick when PSG eliminated 10 Saint-Etienne players in the quarter-finals of the Coupe de la Ligue or the 2019/2020 French League Cup with a 6-1 victory at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday.
The Argentine national team striker has experienced significant development since arriving with an initial loan deal from Serie A club Inter Milan in September 2019, scoring 17 goals in all competitions.
Icardi’s hat-trick against Saint-Etienne was created in the second minute, 49 and 57. Three more goals were scored by Neymar (39), own goal Jessy Moulin (44), and Kylian Mbappe (67). While Saint-Etienne’s entertainment goal was packed by Yohan Cabaye (71).
Inevitably Icardi’s performance was praised by PSG midfielder Marco Verratti. ‘Mauro? He might not touch the ball, he knows the ball will approach him and he will score, he is always ready,’ Verratti said.
‘This is his main characteristic of Mauro. We didn’t expect him to be that good. Usually, the first six months are always difficult, but this is extraordinary and we hope he will continue like this.’
Icardi achieved an impressive performance in the French capital, with nine goals in Ligue 1 2019/2020, when the defending champions topped the standings with 45 points or seven points ahead of second-place Olympique Marseille.
Icardi – who was linked with Juventus, Napoli and Real Madrid before joining Thomas Tuchel’s team – said starting the season well was important for everyone and for the team.
‘We have done it with the last match at the Coupe de France, we showed the team that we have. And today, at home, we have once again shown the team that we have, facing other opponents, by making a great match,’ Icardi told reporters.
‘The Fantastic Four (Mbappe, Icardi, Neymar, and Angel Di Maria)? We are trying to improve performance, have a collective flowing game, to attack together, to defend together, to do it the best way. We know what we are must be done, that’s why we will have good results.’
‘We understand that if we want to play with the four front players, we all have to make sacrifices together. And that’s what we have done since the coach changed the system. And we did very well.’