AC Ajaccio 0-0 PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN
1970 PSG Man Of The Match: Blaise Matuidi
Paris Saint-Germain remain unbeaten in Ligue 1 but are still winless after a 0-0 stalemate in Ajaccio that was marred by incident.
Ezequiel Lavezzi and coach Carlo Ancelotti both found themselves sent off by notorious referee Clement Turpin, whilst floodlight failure in stoppage time provided a prolonged delay.
Ancelotti rang the changes with Javier Pastore and goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigiu coming back into the fray. Pastore was back from his suspension whilst Sirigu was reintroduced in place of Douchez. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was ruled out beforehand due to a foot injury so Jeremy Menez took up the role as the makeshift centre forward with Nene to his right and Lavezzi on the opposite side. Once again Kevin Gameiro had to settle for a place on the bench with Ancelotti evidently not entrusting him with a starting berth.
The first-half petered out somewhat with little incident. Both teams were happy to feel each other out in the opening quarter of an hour with chances few and far between. PSG were beginning to settle and dominated the possession without really threatening Guillermo Ochoa’s goal.
Menez squandered perhaps the best chance of the entire match just before the half hour mark as Pastore produced a Hollywood ball out to the right for Nene who played the ball across the face of goal for the Frenchman who was denied by the right foot of Ochoa from four-yards out.
Clement Chantome also had a decent opportunity when Pastore headed the ball into the penalty area but the midfielder tamely nodded the ball into the grateful arms of Ochoa.
After the interval, the visitors pressed, beginning to create some openings. Pastore was looking bright and went close with a neat jinking run towards the penalty area but his right footed curler swayed away from goal.
L’ours however gave their glamorous guests a few scares. Johan Cavalli – their catalyst – was having a sterling game and a teasing ball of his via a free-kick was millimetres away from being tucked home by Fousseni Diawara at the far post.
Then a minute later a mistake by Mamadou Sakho allowed Eduardo the space to bore in on goal and his stinging effort was tipped onto the post by Sirigu.
Frustration was creeping in and it boiled over as Lavezzi received a straight red card on the hour for a two footed lunge on Cavalli. That forced Ancelotti into sending Gameiro on for Menez and played him alone up top.
The sending off was costly and Les Parisiens struggled to conjure anything dangerous in the final third. Nene and Gameiro were isolated and the midfield struggled to keep the ball. That began to change when Marco Verratti was brought on for Nene and the Italian’s composure rubbed off on his teammates and they began to play better. The 19-year-old really was marvel in the midfield and his maturity to play it simple along with some sweet delicate touches shone through.
What Verratti possessed in those 20 minutes, his coach lacked on the touchline when in the heat of the moment he kicked a water bottle onto the pitch when Pastore was brought down. The referee immediately sent him to the stands and before he left, vented some strong words towards his opposite number Alex Dupont.
The Parisiens just could not find a breakthrough and the game ended in a draw – after a 10 minute delay due to floodlight failure that got the biggest cheer of the night from those in the Stade Francois Coty.
Its Bordeaux at home next weekend where HOPEFULLY, we will get that first elusive win of the season. Lavezzi however will not be there to play a part due to his impending suspension.