Montpellier vs PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN
Venue: Stade de la Mosson
Date: 24th September 2011
Kick-Off: 20:00 (GMT)
Paris Saint Germain’s 2-1 victory over Nice on Wednesday night was a culmination of flair and efficiency. After an opening forty-five minutes of fast paced and free flowing football, a hint of complacency crept in during the second-half which allowed their opponents to get back into the game. Nevertheless, all came good in the end but there is no doubt that the visit to Montpellier tomorrow night poses as the club’s biggest task so far this season.
La Paillade has shocked everyone thus far – maybe even themselves – as they sit at the summit of Ligue 1. It is by no means a fluke as they have been in sterling form, winning five of their opening seven league games – accumulating the one solitary defeat away to Lyon. They have also just come off the back of an impressive 3-1 win over Ajaccio where John Utake netted his first goal for the club.
Their biggest scalp came last month when they travelled to champions Lille and gained a valiant 1-0 win thanks to Oliver Giroud, a man who PSG will need to keep close tabs on tomorrow. The 24-year-old has already netted four times in Ligue 1, just a goal short of top scorer Alain Traore of Auxerre.
Although travelling to the Stade de la Mosson is no easy feat, tomorrow’s opponents will be more than cagey in coming up against a PSG side that has not lost since the opening day of the season.
Record signing Javier Pastore is seemingly getting better and better as each minute passes in a blue and red shirt and is already becoming an integral cog in Coach Antoine Kombouare’s eleven. It was the Argentinean’s divine trickery that led to the penalty and the subsequent winner on Wednesday night. He weaved his way down the by-line only to bamboozle Fabrice Abriel and scooped the ball over his trailing body that inadvertently struck his hand, leading to the award of the spot-kick. No doubt their Coach René Girard will be stressing to his midfield to quell his presence in and around the final third during the build-up to the game.
The victory over Nice was a demonstration of real character by the Parisians, even more so when Christophe Jallet was dismissed for a second bookable offence with a quarter of the game left to play.
Coach Kombouare will need to make sure the midfield is resilient against Montpellier’s power, especially after sitting back in the second-half and allowing Nice back into the game.
He said following the victory:
“We made life difficult for ourselves after a fantastic first 45 minutes. We were our own worst enemy. We sat far too deep for my liking and let them dictate play.”
Those in red and blue can ill afford to do so again as they will be bullied out of the game by their adversaries in the middle of the park.
The fixture last season ended in a 1-1 stalemate as Ludovic Giuly netted just before the break. In all honesty, PSG would not mind taking a similar result back to the capital but with Menez, Pastore and co all beginning to gel, there will be an air of disappointment at Camp des Loges if three points are not claimed come 10pm.