The 1-0 win away to Nancy on Saturday was a pivotal step in the club’s quest for the Ligue 1 title.
Striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic proved just how indispensible he is once again with a fantastic strike 15 minutes from time to seal the points and what is our first win at the Stade MMarcel Picot in five years.
The performance was efficient and well disciplined. The influence of Blaise Matuidi was evident once again and he has cemented his place in the team – no doubt. He and Marco Verratti are invaluable in that midfield trio with the remaining spot is being alternated between the likes of Clement Chantome, Mathieu Bodmer and Momo Sissoko. Interestingly on Saturday, Javier Pastore was installed there, giving him the license to drop deep and allow striker Kevin Gameiro to play up top with Zlatan and Jeremy Menez.
The opening half was a stern test for Carlo Ancelotti’s side and Nancy enjoyed their share of the game, going agonisingly close to taking the lead via Benjamin Moukandjo who beat Salvatore Sirigu, but not the woodwork.
With Verratti on a yellow card, he was replaced at half-time by Bodmer and French starlet Adrien Rabiot was brought on for Gameiro to alter the shape and stabilise the midfield. PSG were improving as the game wore on but required a born match-winner to ease the anxiety with a goal. No surprise, Ibra popped up to do so in emphatic fashion – as he has so many times this season. He teased the Nancy defence on the edge of the box looking to slip a through ball in but as his avenues were shunned, he opted to rifle a shot that stung Guy N’Dy Assembe’s fingers before crashing in off the post.
It is a massive a result under the circumstances. Vanquishing a poor recent record against a club, and on a surface we are not accustomed to earns great satisfaction.
Ancelotti is certainly pleased, telling reporters after the game; “This was a beautiful victory, and a very important one because we know the club has struggled to win here in the past. Tonight we obtained a very tough win, with a very physical first half. We then got control of the match and won thanks to an excellent second half. We have negotiated this busy part of the fixture list well because the players are still in good condition. After Reims and Zagreb, it’s another good win, without conceding a goal. The team is very solid at the moment.”
Zlatan’s influence was praised by Matuidi who said; “We stuck together and stayed strong. And then it’s true, we have a phenomenon up front to put the ball in the back of the net and make the difference.”
The win is all the more sweeter as we keep our three point lead at the top after the clash between Marseille and Lyon was postponed last night due to strong winds. There are discussion for the game to take place in November, but in the mean time Les Parisiens can revel in earning a cushion at the summit of Ligue 1.
(Quotes courtesy of the club’s Official Site)