PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN 2-0 Dijon FCO
It was far from pretty at times but Paris Saint-Germain remain on top of the pile in France thanks to a brace from Brazilian Nene in a 2-0 win over Dijon at the Parc des Princes.
In front of a crowd of well over 40,000, Antoine Kombouare’s side looked pretty laboured at times but once again shown a resiliency to win despite not being at full throttle.
The first quarter of the game was very open. The visitors had the first real chance at goal in the fourth minute as Thomas Guerbert burst down the right-hand and slid in Benjamin Corgnet who stung the hands of goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu.
Minutes later it was the men in blue who broke forward. Ceara done excellent down the right to come inside before dragging the ball back for Javier Pastore who let it run for Kevin Gameiro but he subsequently snatched at the shot and the chance went begging.
Guerbert was finding so much joy down the right and was proving to be a real handful for left-back Siake Tiene and his defensive colleagues. With Dijon defending deep, that allowed them to counter attack with sheer velocity with Guerbert and his teammate Mehdi Courgnaud being instrumental figures in that tactic.
Javier Pastore, who had been quiet throughout, linked up neatly with Jeremy Menez and come infield before unleashing a vicious right foot effort that was well saved by Baptiste Reynet at his near-post.
The home side then conjured up a lovely sequence to take the lead minutes before the interval thanks to Nene. Ceara threaded Menez down the right who then proceeded to the byline and squared it across goal for the Brazilian to smash into the roof of the net with his weaker right foot.
Although they were far from spectacular, the goal was critical in settling the jangling nerves of the Parisian faithful in the stands.
The opening 15 minutes of the second-half saw much of the ball bogged down in midfield. Both teams, much like the first, could not control the game leading to a fairly scrappy spectacle.
On the hour mark Dijon had a fabulous opportunity to equalise. Courgnaud split the back four in two to find Christophe Mandanne in the penalty area but the 26-year-old got his feet tangled up and allowed Zoumana Camara – who replaced Diego Lugano minutes prior – to make the challenge.
PSG had a number of chances themselves to kill the game off. Pastore this time spotted Menez’s run into space near the edge of the box with a diligent pass but the Frenchman leant back and put his shot over. Gameiro then brought out a stunning reflex save from Reynet as he got up to meet Ceara’s set-piece but he could not beat the big left hand of the Dijon stopper.
As the game drew to a close Nene bought a ticket and won the raffle as he smashed home his second of the game in the 89th minute. He picked up the ball just outside the penalty area, tried his luck and caught Reynet unawares as the ball struck his left-hand post and rustled into the net. The number 10 had worked his socks off all game and duly deserves his plaudits.
It was by no means a fluid display by Kombouare’s side but he will be delighted with the effort and resiliency. PSG are becoming increasingly hard to beat and that is a significant trait if Ligue 1 success is to come to fruition next spring.