Lille OSC 1-2 PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN
1970 PSG Man Of The Match: Marco Verratti
Zlatan Ibrahimovic inspired Paris Saint-Germain to their first win of the season away to Lille last night.
His brace – including a goal as early as 27 seconds – turned out to be enough in a game that was relatively comfortable for the visitors for large quantities the play.
Carlo Ancelotti opted to recall Jeremy Menez in place of Nene with the Frenchman and Javier Pastore supporting lone man up top Ibrahimovic. Marco Verratti also came back into the fold, accompanying Blaise Matuidi and Thiago Motta in the three man midfield.
Playing at LOSC’s brand spanking new Grand Stade Lille Métropole, Les Parisiens showed little signs of anxiety and took the lead within 30 seconds of the game kicking off. Ibrahimovic did brilliantly down the left hand side to usher his way into the box before diligently slotting the ball past Mickael Landreau’s left-hand side to the delirium of the travelling support.
The home side responded well in truth, settling into the game and showing some impetus going forward. Striker Nolan Roux did brilliantly to make something out of nothing with a beautifully timed bicycle kick, only to be denied by Salvatore Sirigu.
They were only behind for 11 minutes however and equalised via centre-back Aurelien Chedjou. The Cameroonian peeled away from Mamadou Sakho to head home Dimitri Payet’s corner. Even Ibrahimovic at the near post was unable to get to the ball quick enough to prevent the goal.
From thereon in, Rudi Garcia’s side dictated matters, playing some good constructive football. Lo and behold though, PSG hit them with a sucker punch as Ibrahimovic put the Parisiens back in front in the 21st minute. Linking up superbly with Javier Pastore, the Argentine threaded the ball through for the Swede to run onto and he subsequently dinked the ball over Landreau.
The goal knocked the stuffing out of Les Dogues and even for all of their possession, they just could not create any real clear cut chances.
It was much of the same after the interval. They had their fair share of the play but were unable to construct anything in the final third. PSG were resolute, well organised and looked comfortable without the ball. The three men in midfield, in particular Marco Verratti were absolutely sterling throughout, providing a security to the back-four.
Zlatan went close to getting his hat-trick as Nene orchestrated a counter-attack, sliding the ball out wide to Christophe Jallet whose teasing cross was met by the head of the big man but Landreau got his palm to it and tipped over.
It was not to matter regardless as Ancelotti’s side held on for all three points and a pivotal first win of the season. It now means we are up to 8th in the table, six points off early pace setters Marseille at the top.
We now head into the international break before getting back to domestic matters at home against Toulouse on the 14th September.