PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN 6-1 Football Club Sochaux-Montbeliard
Paris Saint-Germain demolished Sochaux Sunday afternoon 6-1, recording their biggest victory of the season and moving within two points of leaders Montpellier.
In a near flawless display, Carlo Ancelotti’s men responded emphatically to their critics following the drab 1-1 draw in Auxerre last weekend with Javier Pastore rekindling his sparkling form with a magnificent display.
Ancelotti once again opted to drop skipper Mamadou Sakho to the bench and also chose not to field an out-and-out-striker. Jeremy Menez was used as the outlet through the middle as Pastore and Nene supported via the flanks.
With the Parc des Princes swallowed in sunshine, the Parisian faithful were treated to an early flurry from their team as they dominated the early going. It took just six minutes for Pastore to open the scoring as he bore in on goal, selling a clever dummy in the box before swinging the ball home with his right foot.
Once again however, PSG were contributors to their own downfall and were pegged back via a soft goal by in-form striker Modibo Maiga in the 12th minute. A standard ball over the top by Marvin Martin was not dealt with by goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu who beaten in the air by the Malian and headed the ball into an empty net.
To the host’s credit, they responded well. They could easily have felt sorry for themselves but they continued to ask the questions in the final third. Regardless of that, they could easily have fallen behind as Maiga nearly produced a carbon-copy of Pastore’s finish, bamboozling Alex with a dummy in the box but rattled the post with his shot as Sirigu stood rooted to the spot. A huge let off for Ancelotti’s side.
Thankfully, PSG restored their lead soon after. Nene’s free-kick from the left-hand side was met by the diving head of Thiago Motta – who was completely unmarked – to gain his first goal for the club since joining from Internazionale. The Italian international put in a sterling display throughout and dictated the play in midfield.
Menez dealt a killer blow on the stroke of half-time to make it 3-1 after some beautiful build-up play. Pastore produced a diligent ball out to the left with the outside of his foot for Siaka Tiene who swung the ball in for Menez to guide home with his head.
After the break it was more of the same. PSG were not really breaking a sweat, controlling possession and biding their time as they sought more goals. The fourth came in the 55th minute, Christophe Jallet whipped in a vicious ball to the back-post for Nene to volley home with ease.
Nene then produced a piece of individual magic on the hour to make it 5-1. The Brazilian weaved into the box with close control before rounding goalkeeper Teddy Richert and sliding the ball home to net his 14th goal of the season – equalling his tallies in Ligue 1 for the past two seasons.
To really put the icing on the cake, Sylvain Armand – perhaps his swansong campaign – netted a sixth in stoppage time at the near-post to send the Parc into raptures.
It really was – bar the concession of the goal – a near flawless display by the team. Ancelotti called for a response from his players and they delivered emphatically, improving the goal difference in the process and cutting MHSC’s lead at the top to two points.
The big test now comes next weekend with a trip to current champions Lille on Sunday night but this victory was a real statement of intent by the capital club.