PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN 0-0 AC Ajaccio
1970 PSG Man Of The Match: Lucas Moura
It was a largely frustrating night for Paris Saint-Germain on Friday who could not break down Ajaccio’s resolve and were left to ponder what might have been.
The 0-0 opener to the calendar year was marred by the dismissal of Thiago Motta on the stroke of half-time for a late challenge on Frederic Sammaritano, which forced him to go off with an Achilles injury. To add salt to the wounds, skipper and talisman Thiago Silva was also forced off with an injury after appearing to jolt something as he landed after clearing a header. On top of that, reports today from RMC state that Jeremy Menez refused to come on as a substitute during the second-half. His entourage have denied any such reports but if they are indeed true then PSG need to throw the book at him. Totally out of order.
Positives? Without doubt the debut from Lucas Moura. Prior to kick-off, his name was greeted with an almighty roar by the Parisien faithful as the teams were announced on the tannoy. He played in the middle just behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic with Javier Pastore and Ezequiel Lavezzi complimenting the wings. The Brazilian prodigy was able to weave into pockets of space and open up the play and he had the Ajaccio defence running scared. He kept things simple with the passing, abided to tactics and worked so hard for the team by pressing the opposition. In the last 10 minutes he was forced off due to cramp, being replaced by Kevin Gameiro, but received a standing ovation from the Parc des Princes.
There is absolutely no doubt that we dominated the game and if it was won on stats, it would have been a compressive win. Dominating possession for near enough the 90 minutes, Ajaccio offered nothing in attack. But, credit to them, they abided to their formation, kept their shape, looked defensively organised and it quelled our attack. We did have our chances, but in truth they were minimal. Very rarely did we create a number of real clear cut opportunities. Zlatan had one of his rare off nights and perhaps missed the best chance of the game as he eluded the defence in the first-half to get onto Motta’s clever chipped ball but got too much on the lob. For his calibre he will tell you that he should have done better.
The result puts us a point ahead of Lyon and Marsille who are still yet to play, facing strugglers Troyes and Sochaux respectively. It is a golden opportunity for them to leap above us.
Meanwhile, it was confirmed last night that Nene will sign for Qatari club Al-Gharafa. Wish him all the best and there was a fitting touch from the Parc who chanted his name in the 10th minute, same for Guillaume Hoarau in the 9th minute (their shirt numbers) emphasising their popularity in the capital.