PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN 2-0 FC Sochaux
1970 PSG Man Of The Match: Kevin Gameiro
Kevin Gameiro inspired Paris Saint-Germain to a fifth straight win in all competitions with a first-half brace over Sochuax.
Carlo Ancelotti handed the striker a rare start, playing him alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic up top for the first time and the two combined superbly.
Carlo Ancelotti made six changes from the team that beat Bastia 4-0 a week ago. Skipper Christophe Jallet returned in the place of Gregory Van der Wiel with Alex coming back into the centre of defence alongside Thiago Silva – Maxwell completing the quartet. The return of Mohamed Sissoko was welcomed and he accompanied the ever present Marco Verratti and Blaise Matuidi in midfield. The biggest surprise of course was the inclusion of Gameiro up front with Ibrahimovic. The Frenchman revelled in the company of the prolific Swede and he looked a completely different player to the one whose confidence has been shot for so long.
Les Parisiens controlled the game right from the off. Despite one or two scares down the right-hand side from Roy Contout and the physical presence of Cedric Bakambu in attack, we coped with them well and never really looked threatened at the back.
We kept the ball well and the interplay between Gameiro, Ibra, Pastore and co was fluid. On the 11th minute Gameiro got his first goal of the evening as Pastore did ever so well to weave into a pocket of space before dinking the ball through the middle for the Frenchman to slot through the legs of goalkeeper Simon Pouplin. The assist from Pastore in particular was a wonderful piece of play but the finish was reminiscent of the Gameiro at Lorient.
From then on in, the home team pretty much dictated the half. Sissoko still found the time to pick up a yellow card having played just half-hour in his first game for a long, long time. His eagerness to win the ball is sometimes his downfall but nevertheless, it was an assured display by the Malian.
Matuidi nearly rounded off a brilliant move as Ibrahimovic smashed the ball across goal which Pastore completely miskicked with it eventually falling to the midfielder who swiped it just wide.
It was not to matter as Gameiro was on hand to make it 2-0. Ibra produced a delicate flick to Maxwell out on the left who produced a delightful ball into the box for the striker to bundle home, showing immense bravery with an on rushing goalkeeper charging at him. It was just reward for the striker who was excelling with his new found belief.
After the interval, PSG were comfortable. The visitors failed to threaten Salvatore Sirigu’s goal as such. Gameiro nearly got his hat-trick with an acrobatic effort following the assist from Ibrahimovic but the ball went wide. The two of them playing up top will give Ancelotti food for thought for his future selections.
It is a huge win that propels us up into second with leaders Marseille playing on Sunday afternoon against out of form Valenciennes. Whatever the result of that it is set up nicelely for the Clasico in a week’s time at the Velodrome.
Attention for us now turns to the UEFA Champions League with a visit to the Portuguese city of Porto, with their champions lying in wait.