PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN 0-1 AS Nancy
A bad night for Paris Saint-Germain as they suffered their second defeat of the season in Ligue 1 and with it, their three point lead at the top of the table is no more.
Jean Calve’s goal early on in the second-half gave the visitors a famous win and propelled themselves out of the bottom three.
Unsurprisingly, it was the Parisians who started the game on the front foot. Blaise Matuidi made his return after six weeks out due to a thigh injury and produced the first effort on goal that was easily gathered by goalkeeper Guy N’dy Assembe. Minutes later, Nene provided a tantalising ball from the left-hand side that was met by the head of Kevin Gameiro who peeled away from his marker but his effort looped onto the roof of the net.
Reynald Lemaitre gave the PSG backline food for thought as his vicious driven effort was parried away by Salvatore Sirigu who was nearly caught unawares at his near post. That seemed to give the visiting side a sense of belief and began to gradually feel their way into the game. Despite his exploits in the attacking sense, Lemaitre very nearly gifted PSG the lead with an own goal by attempting to clear Nene’s cross that flashed inches past the post.
Javier Pastore yet again had a quiet first-half and his error very nearly gave Nancy a breakthrough. The Argentine saw his lacklustre pass intercepted in the middle of the park and resulted in Djamel Bakar galloping down the left-hand side but his teasing cross was just too high for Moukandjo Bile in the penalty area.
Pastore then nearly made amends in the 26th minute by cleverly eluding his marker at the back post and anticipated a ball in from the right but was unable to steer a right-foot shot past Assembe after opening up his body.
Les Chardons were proving that despite their league position, just how resilient they are. They made it difficult for the league leaders to conjure something meaningful in the final third. Boos echoed round the Parc des Princes as the referee brought the first-half to a close which consisted of plenty of possession for Antoine Kombouare’s men, but no end product.
Minutes after the break, Nancy took the lead. Lemaitre’s ball from the right eluded everyone in the box except for Lossemy Karaboue who calmly rolled the ball into the path of Calve and produced a superb swinging effort that gave Sirigu no chance despite his best efforts to save it. If the chorus of boos at half-time had been loud enough, they were deafening at this point.
Much did not change after that in truth. PSG continued to boss the play but just lacked that killer instinct when it really mattered. Nene did brilliantly to orchestrate a counter-attack on the hour mark and dinked the ball into the path of Christophe Jallet but his half volley was just too tame for Assembe.
In the 66th minute, the visitors could have easily gone 2-0 up had it not been for Sirigu. Calve’s set-piece was met by the head of Andre Luiz but was denied by the fingertips of the Italian and then the crossbar.
With time running out and chances few and far between, Gameiro missed an absolute sitter in the 78th minute as he hit the bar from three yards out. Pastore’s in-swinging free-kick was met by the head of Mathieu Bodmer into the path of the Frenchman but could only steer it onto the frame of the goal.
Minutes later, Assembe produced a startling double save. First he denied Nene from distance and then showed fearlessness to prevent Bodmer at his near post when it seemed for all the world he was about to ripple the net.
PSG continued to press but could not find that elusive equaliser as ASNL held on for the win. It was evident that the absence of Jeremy Menez played a significant part and – perhaps – the uncertainty surrounding the position of the Coach.
The club are still top of the table but only due to goal difference, with Montpellier level on points. The game away to Marseille next week – as if it needed it – now has even more added pressure.