Athletic Bilbao 2-0 PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN
A disappointing night for Paris Saint-Germain as they succumbed to a 2-0 defeat at the San Mames against Athletic Bilbao.
Goals from Igor Gabilondo and Markel Suaseta sealed the victory in a game which the Parisians failed to find any sort of rhythm in midfield or attack.
PSG started the game tentatively and could not get a real foothold in the game. They were more than happy to sit back and allow Bilbao have possession – hitting them on the counter attack but to no avail.
The hosts began brightly and almost capitalised on some slack defending as Fernando Llorente got in behind Diego Lugano in the penalty area but could not guide his effort on goal via a telling cross from the right-hand side.
The Spaniards continued to seek Llorente with searching balls into the penalty area that gave the PSG defence a problem or two. Lugano could easily count himself lucky after bundling over the big Spanish powerhouse in the box which the referee deemed unworthy of a penalty – although you have seen them given.
Los Leones deservedly took the lead on 19 minutes thanks to a superbly worked goal that would have the football purists drooling from the mouth. It culminated from a terrific dummy by Iker Muniain which bamboozled the PSG defence, as they completely lost track of Oscar De Marcos’ run down the right and he played in a stupendous ball towards the back post that was met on the volley by Igor Gabilondo.
That seemed to wake up Antoine Kombouare’s side – momentarily at least – as they began to find space and create some openings. Nene troubled goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz with a pearler of a free-kick via his deadly left peg from 30-yards and it appeared to clip the top of the crossbar.
Siaka Tiene was finding some joy down the left and provided some wonderful deliveries into the box but nobody in a white shirt was able to get on the end of them.
Three minutes before halftime, PSG had a wonderful chance to go in level at the break after Pastore weaved into a little pocket of space before laying the ball off to Nene down the left and his driven ball across the 18-yard box found Mathieu Bodmer who blazed his effort wide. He did brilliantly to tee himself up with the control but disappointed with the end product when he had space in front of him.
Bilbao punished Bodmer two minutes later as Markel Susaeta made it 2-0 when he tucked in Jon Aurtenetxe’s low searching cross past Nicolas Douchez.
The second-half pretty much started as the first had ended, with Bilbao on top. To make matters worse, on 52 minutes Mohamed Sissoko was brandished a second yellow card after going through the back off Muniain and was sent off – making the result a formality.
Pastore who had been pretty anonymous all game was replaced just before the hour mark following the dismissal. The side just could not find any sort of rythymn to their play as Bilbao continued keep the ball with ease.
Nene did brilliantly to produce – at last – a defence splitting pass for Tiene who had worked his socks off down the left but his resulting effort – much like the whole night – was disappointing.
The game began to peter itself out and Bilbao deservedly held on for the win which will certainly give them some needed momentum in La Liga.
As for PSG, it was evident that a number of key players were missed tonight such as Kevin Gameiro, Jermey Menez and Blaise Matuidi – who did come on as a substitute later on in the second-half.