PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN 1-0 Olympique Lyonnais
1970 PSG Man Of The Match: Thiago Silva
Paris Saint-Germain beat Olympique Lyonnais 1-0 at the Par des Princes last night to go above them at the top of the table heading into the final round of fixtures before the winter break.
The win puts us in good stead to finish as winter champions with a clash away to Brest on Friday night. The only goal of the game came from Blaise Matuidi on the stroke of half-time in what was a dogged affair. Very little in terms of flair and fluid football from either side and on the basis of things you could say that both teams at the break were even-steven.
Nevertheless, the quality of PSG in the final third told and although the goal came from an unlikely source, the build-up was superb. Thiago Silva, who was fantastic all night, timed his challenge on Lisandro Lopez in our penalty area before distributing the ball out into midfield. The ball ended up with Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the wide right who then floated a telling ball in for the Frenchman to head home and the Parc was in delirium.
Lyon had their chances in the first-half, no more so than Lopez who struck the foot of the post after a wonderful piece of inspiration with a first-time volley. But, the goal on half-time really knocked the stuffing out of them and they posed no threat whatsoever after the interval.
Chances were few and far between from both sides but Les Parisiens were always the more likely to net a second. Javier Pastore was again instrumental and nearly produced one of the goals of the season. He completely bamboozled the opposition on the inside right, cutting inside with his quick feet before he was denied by a smart stop by Remy Vercoutre. Just after that, El Flaco slipped in his compatriot Ezequiel Lavezzi with a beautiful ball but again the Lyon stopper was there to deny the hosts.
It was surprising just how less of a threat Les Gones offered in the second-half. Despite being a goal down they never looked like troubling Salvatore Sirigu and it played into our hands. We were comfortable for the majority of the game.
Coach Carlo Ancelotti paid tribute to his players after, thanking them for their turn in fortune. He said; “I want to thank the players, many things have changed in terms of the attitude after our defeat to Nice. I’m satisfied, it was an important match to regain the top spot. The team showed a lot of strength, especially in the second period.”
Interestingly, the win now means that we now have statistically the best attack & defence in Ligue 1 with 32 goals scored and 12 goals conceded.
The feel good factor in the camp and the morale of the club as a whole is a stark contrast to when we lost to Nice at the beginning of the month.