AS Nancy 2-1 PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN
Paris Saint-Germain have suffered a massive blow in the quest for Ligue 1 glory as AS Nancy registered a 2-1 win thanks to Yohan Mollo’s goal three minutes from time.
It is the first defeat in the league for Carlo Ancelotti during his tenure as the Italian rang wholesale changes to his team which have ultimately backfired.
The biggest surprise was the exclusion of Nene who was on the bench, and sat the entirety of the game on it. Captain Mamadou Sakho was also dropped with veteran Zoumana Camara taking his place alongside Milan Bisevac in the centre of defence. Thiago Motta was left out of the squad completely.
Guillaume Hoarau led the line up top supported by Javier Pastore and Jeremy Menez, as stand in skipper Mohamed Sissoko lined up alongside Mathieu Bodmer and Blaise Matuidi in midfield.
The game was relatively poised in the early going with neither team really carving any clear cut chances. The home side could have done more from a corner as midfielder Bakaye Traore got up above his marker at the back-post but could not direct his header on target.
They did however take the lead not too long after in the 19th minute with Traore being more clinical to put his team one up. Pastore’s stray pass was punished as Yohan Mello brought the ball forward from the left before teeing up Traore who was given the room after Camara slipped in his path and toe-poked the ball past Salvatore Sirigu’s right-hand side. It was a goal that could have been prevented but the PSG defence opted to back off allowing the men in white to capitalise.
Defender Andre Luiz then nearly doubled the lead from nearly 35-yards out with a venomous right foot drive that had Sirigu beaten all ends up.
PSG had a spell in which they were being smothered by their counterparts, failing to get a foothold in the game.
Menez squandered a huge chance to equalise as he failed to direct his header on target from Pastore’s looping ball. The Frenchman may have been more concerned at being clattered by an onrushing Guy Assembe in goal.
After the break, things picked up drastically and Les Parisiens looked a lot more accomplished. Skipper Sissoko got the visitors back on terms with a well taken header from Sylvain Armand’s cross to the jubilation of the small pocket of Parisian behind the goal. The Malian rarely finds himself so far up the pitch but did brilliantly to get above Andre Luiz and Sebastien Puygrenier to head home.
From there on in it looked as if there was going to be one winner. PSG dominated possession, absolutely bossed it for large quarters but just could not find that elusive second. Hoarau had a diving header superbly saved by Assembe in which Christophe Jallet produced a scintillating ball to create the chance.
Ancelotti brought on Kevin Gameiro, Maxwell and Ceara to try and make the difference but it did not materialise. Nene looked despondent watching from the bench and his no-show looks all the more baffling when someone of his quality was needed to create something in the final third.
A point was snatched from the grasp three minutes from time as Mollo coolly slotted the ball home to the elation of the Stade Marcel Picot. A mistake by Camara – yet another slip – aloud Benjamin Moukandjo Bile to break and showed great awareness to cut the ball back for his teammate to convert, with the ball creeping steadily into Sirigu’s goal.
That left little time for the PSG players to get back into it and looked completely dumfounded by what had happened. The anguish from the bench was apparent as Carlo Ancelotti stormed into the dressing room upon the final whistle.
It is a massive blow, a real opportunity missed. With Montpellier not playing this weekend, there was a chance to go top and put some daylight between us but it was not to be. The result is all the more frustrating with third placed Lille having the chance to catch up ground at home to Toulouse tomorrow.