PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN 2-0 Olympique Lyonnais
Paris Saint-Germain have opened up a three point gap at the top of Ligue 1 after an impressive 2-0 win over Olympique Lyonnais at the Parc des Princes.
Goals from Javier Pastore and substitute Christope Jallet settled matters in a frenetic and entertaining encounter.
PSG created the first real opening of the game in just under five minutes. Jeremy Menez found himself just inside the dee,then diligently cushioned the ball to an unmarked Kevin Gameiro who drilled his effort straight at Hugo Lloris.
Seven minutes later it was Lyon who gave their opposition’s defence food for thought. Alexandre Lacazette showed a terrific burst of pace with the ball down the middle but Ceara did ever so well to block his shot with his trailing right leg just outside the penalty area.
Michel Bastos was soon booked for diving in the penalty area by referee Stephane Lannoy. However, replays did show contact from Zoumana Camara on the Brazilian and on another day,a penalty may have been awarded.
Both teams were seemingly cancelling each other out in midfield, both having their fair share of possession, keeping opportunities in the final third to a minimal.
Javier Pastore who had a quiet opening to the game began to ooze his way into proceedings and came within a whisker of opening the scoring in the 19th minute. He linked up with Menez in the penalty area with a neat one-two but his deflected effort trickled onto the post and subsequently into the grateful arms of Lloris.
Menez followed that up a minute later with a drilled right-footed effort at the goalkeeper’s near post who did brilliantly to save with his right foot – showing quick reactions.
Arguably the best chance of the half fell to Lacazette who peeled away from Diego Lugano in the six-yard box but his headed effort via a delivery from the left-hand side drifted way off target.
The Parisians should have been awarded a penalty on the half-hour mark. Pastore was clipped just inside the penalty area by Jimmy Briand but the referee deemed it just outside to the anger of the Argentine. Menez’s subsequent free-kick deflected off the wall for a corner.
Lyon started the second-half brightly. Bafetimbi Gomis who was proving to be a handful, had a wonderful opportunity to open the scoring as headed Bastos’ cross wide after losing his marker Zoumana Camara at the back post.
Unfortunately for Antoine Kombouare, he was forced to make a change when midfield anchorman Blaise Matuidi had to come off due to injury – possibly jeopardising his involvement in the French squad this forthcoming week – and was replaced by Clement Chantome.
Disappointment soon turned into ecstasy for those in blue as Pastore opened the scoring just after the hour mark with a wonderful solo goal. He picked up the ball out on the left, weaving his way towards the Lyon goal and pulled the trigger just short of the by-line which beat Lloris at his near post. It was all his own work and sparked rapturous scenes both on and off the bench.
The game was becoming stretched as both teams squandered their opportunities.
Les Gones should have equalised with 20 minutes remaining as Gomis missed an absolute sitter. Bastos did brilliantly to dink the ball to the Frenchman after outsmarting Ceara in the box but the French international headed miles wide after being totally unmarked.
Gameiro and PSG had numerous chance to kill the game off but it came from an unlikely source in stoppage time as substitute Christophe Jallet coolly slotted home from a set-piece to the absolute delight of himself and his peers.
The capital club have opened a three point lead at the top and gain a huge morale boost following the disappointment in Bilbao last Thursday. As for Lyon they will be left to rue their missed chances and contemplate at what might have been, especially the chances Gomis missed.
Nevertheless, a wonderful advert for French football in general and a great night for PSG.