PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN 3-1 Evian Thonon Gaillard
Paris Saint-Germain had to come from behind to beat Evian this evening in a 3-1 win that keeps their lead at the top of Ligue 1 intact.
Cadric Cambon had given the visitors the lead right on half-time but a brace from Nene and a late Kevin Gameiro strike ensured Carlo Ancelotti’s 100% record continues. It is now five wins on the bounce for the Italian since he took over.
PSG had the first real sight on goal in the 8th minute after some clever interplay down the left from Nene and Jeremy Menez who teed up Maxwell but the Brazilian miscued his shot allowing the visitors to clear.
Nene, once again involved, then played a beautifully cushioned ball into the path of Gameiro who controlled it brilliantly just outside the penalty area but his subsequent shot went inches wide.
Both sides were taking their time in their pursuit for the opener. The hosts were enjoying more of the possession but Pablo Correa’s side posed a threat, particularly down the right with Sidney Govou.
Menez should have put his side into the lead in the 35th minute but missed a gaping open goal. The number seven did fantastic to round goalkeeper Stephan Andersen after latching onto Nene’s through ball but he rattled the frame of the goal to the sheer despondence of the Parc. Minutes before that, Menez had ushered down the right, dinking a lovely ball into the path of Nene but the Brazilian generated minimal power in his shot allowing Andersen to make an easy save.
Thiago Motta was making his debut and looked calm and composed. However, he was unfairly booked by referee Said Ennjimi who bowed to the protests of the Evian players who felt he caught Cambon maliciously. That incident seemed to knock the stuffing out of the Parisians and looked out of sorts, giving the ball away and losing concentration.
That lack of focus led to them falling behind right on half-time as they failed to deal with a corner which was scuffed back into the mire by Olivier Sorlin and nodded in at the near-post by Cambon.
After the interval, Nene’s influence was again apparent and his importance to the team cannot be underestimated. His improvisation to stroll into the penalty area and coolly round Andersen enabled him to net the equaliser although the Danish keeper got his hands to it. Nevertheless, the home side were back on terms.
Remarkably, Evian still looked slightly more dangerous and perhaps should have taken the lead just before the hour. Mohammed Rabiu cut the defence in two, slipping Govou in behind but could not beat an on rushing Salvatore Sirigu.
With the game still so evenly poised, PSG were granted a huge opportunity from the spot with 10 minutes remaining. Guillaume Rippert rashly brought down Menez and Nene coolly converted to make it 2-1.
Striker Gameiro rounded off proceedings a minute from time to ensure the capital club remain three points clear at the top. Montpellier’s win at 1-0 at home to Brest ensured that outcome.
Great character from the team to come from behind and keep the title surge going. Coupe de France takes centre stage on Wednesday with a trip to Dijon.