PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN 4-2 SM Caen
Paris Saint-Germain remain at the summit of Ligue 1 after a frenetic 4-2 win over 10-man Caen at the Parc des Princes.
PSG started on the front foot, eagerly keen to put the doubters to bed after the midweek debacle in the Coupe de la Monde. Mamadou Sakho had the first real effort on goal as he met Nene’s corner but it ended up being easy pickings for goalkeeper Alexis Thebaux.
Mohamed Sissoko did brilliantly to intercept the ball in midfield which allowed Javier Pastore to go one of his vintage buccaneering runs through the heart of the Caen defence, feeding in Jeremy Menez who went to the byline but could not conjure up a final product – terrific build-up nevertheless.
For all the Parisian’s possession they went behind, completely against the run of play. Defender Thomas Heurtaux roamed in completely unmarked and headed in from a corner on the 11th minute to the shock of the Parisian faithful. Salvatore Sirigu was left stranded as he came out to punch the ball away but to no avail.
Minutes later, Kevin Gameiro came agonisingly close to equalising after a wonderful piece of improvisation to diligently chip the ball over Thebaux but hit the wrong side of the post.
Caen were then reduced to 10 men in the 19th minute after Gameiro cleverly flicked the ball over the top for Nene to chase, holding off three men in white shirts before being clipped by Benjamin Nivet in the box and was subsequently sent-off. The referee awarded the penalty and deemed it as obstructing of a goalscoring opportunity. The man who won the penalty, coolly converted it. Nene gave the keeper the eyes and sauntered up to the ball and sent him the wrong way – expertly done.
That sparked a real urgency from the hosts who smelt blood but could not find that elusive second. Nene again nearly found the back of the net after Menez did superbly to cut inside and find his teammate lurking on the left but only stung the hands of Thebaux at his near-post.
Gameiro had a number of half chances throughout the half but Caen weathered the storm, digging in deep with 10 men. Amazingly they could have gone in at the interval 2-1 up, Pierre Frau smashed the ball from distance and to his anguish witnessed it hit the crossbar – stunning effort.
After the break, Antoine Kombouare’s men looked the more dangerous, making the most of their numerical advantage. Menez and Pastore linked up beautifully, with the Frenchman coming onto a lovely back-heel from the Argentine and oozed into the penalty area but steered his shot over.
Menez was not left to ponder his miss for long as minutes later he put the hosts in front in the 55th minute, albeit controversially. Gregory Leca thought he did enough to usher the ball out of play, only to see Gameiro nick it from him on the byline and pass it to Menez to tuck home at the near-post. Caen completely stopped, thinking it was out and were baffled to see referee Clement Turpin allow the goal.
That seemed to kill any aspirations they had at claiming a result as the men in blue and red continued to boss the play. Nene had been instrumental throughout and went close with a number of half chances – as too Gameiro.
Amazingly Nene hit the post directly from a corner in the 69th minute. Soon after Mohamed Sissoko rattled the bar with a deflected effort which could not capitalised on by Mamadou Sakho from the follow-up and blazed well over the bar, when he really should have scored.
It was not to matter as Nene wrapped things up – or so we thought – from the spot again with quarter of an hour to play after Nicolas Seube clumsily bundled over Gameiro in the box. The Brazilian stuttered in his run up and fired into the roof of the net.
The defensive weakness’ from set-pieces was again shown as Jerry Vandam headed home from a corner with 10 minutes left. Much like the first he was allowed so much time and space.
Thankfully, it was not to matter as the Parisians made it 4-2 thanks to Pastore who toe poked the ball past Thebaux from a Christophe Jallet cross and keep their three point lead at the top of the table.
Kombouare wanted a response from the defeat on Thursday night and he got one!