PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN 1-0 Slovan Bratislava
Paris Saint-Germain have continued their superior home record in Europe by beating Slovan Bratislava 1-0 and go 18 games unbeaten at the Parc des Princes.
Despite showing some inconsistencies on their travels this term, a victory tonight was imperative in taking a huge leap towards qualification to the latter stages. Javier Pastore’s goal just after the hour-mark quashed much of the anxiety against a resolute Slovan side and now need just a point against Red Bull Salzburg to secure a place in the last-32.
Coach Antoine Kombouare unsurprisingly rang the changes again, with Nicolas Douchez returning in goal in place of Salvatore Sirigu and he recalled Mevlut Erding in place of Kevin Gameiro in attack. Diego Lugano also made his way back into the team after being dropped last weekend.
In what was an open first-half, both the Parisians and their Slovak counterparts failed to make the most of their opportunities. Mathieu Bodmer nearly opened the scoring but was denied by an alert Lukas Hrosso who witnessed his defence restrict the men in blue to long-range shots for much of the opening 45 minutes.
Nene, who was named the club’s Player of the Month for October, again showed his willingness to influence proceedings and produced a number of stinging left-footed strikes that gave his adversaries food for thought.
With the game very much in the balance, Douchez made the difference in denying Marko Milinkovic who nearly put the visitors in front as too Juraj Halanar who fluffed his lines and skied a glorious chance.
As you know in such tight affairs, a piece of magic is needed to resolve matters and that is exactly what Pastore did just after the hour-mark. Nene, again involved, produced a tantalising cross which was met sweetly by the Argentine on the volley and through Hrosso’s legs giving him no chance.
That gave the home team the impetus to search for a second but to no avail. Nevertheless, the result was the most important thing tonight and just a draw in Austria next month (December 1st) will book qualification to the knockout stage.