PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN 2-0 Olympique de Marseille
1970 PSG Man Of The Match: David Beckham
FOLLOW 1970 PSG ON TWITTER
LIKE 1970 PSG ON FACEBOOK
He is 37-years-old, way past his peak, does not have the legs anymore and signed purely for selling shirts. If those were the thoughts of those who believed David Beckham was signed by Paris Saint-Germain for non-footballing reasons then his performance last night in the 2-0 win over Marseille will have undoubtedly silenced them.
It was a vintage Beckham display. Nothing brash. Just simple, tidy and ever so effective. He was an absolute credit and his performance was imperious. The ovation he received from the Parisien faithful when he was substituted in the 85th minute told the story. They rose to their feet and applauded off their new cult hero, bellowing his name in the process.
Nearly at the tender age of 40 and still able to play near 90 minutes in one of Europe’s most frenetic fixtures speaks volumes. His fitness is unbelievable and he is able to manage it superbly. Sitting ever so deep it was he who dictated the passing as his partner in central midfield Blaise Matuidi did the leg work. They complemented each other wonderfully, working to a tee.
Beckham’s display was an admirable one in an efficient team performance to register a consecutive 2-0 win over OM in the classique in as many days (four classiques in total this season; three wins, one draw, no losses). In truth, it was fairly comfortable too. The Marseille side that battered us for 45 minutes on Sunday just did not turn up and looked a shell of the side that were desperately unlucky to lose three nights prior. We dictated the play, had the majority of possession and created the better openings. Elie Baup’s side had one or two half chances, Andre-Pierre Gignac’s effort just after the interval that brought out a fingertip save from Nicolas Douchez the most notable one. But apart from that, there was nothing too strenuous for Les Parisiens to deal with.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic put on a pre-winter break performance and it was his brace that sent us into the quarter-finals where we will face Evian away. The big Swede had to contend with Joey Barton’s jibes about his nose but ultimately put the on-loan Queens Park Rangers man in his place with two precious goals. One lovely solo effort, latching onto a delightful Clement Chantome pass before tucking the ball through Steve Mandanda’s legs and the other from the penalty spot after being tripped by Jeremy Morel. It was good for Zlatan and pleasing to see. He has been criticised of late for being off the boil since Christmas and some of it is justified. Nevertheless, the amount of goals has scored for us has been nothing short of astonishing, putting us on course for a truly special finale to the season.
Special mention to Gregory Van der Wiel by the way. The Dutchman had a terrific game and looked the part. Something we have not said too often this season but credit to him, last night was perhaps his best performance in a blue shirt thus far.
Next up, a trip to Reims on Saturday afternoon before the big one next Wednesday in the Champions League against Valenica. Yet another possible quarter-final beckons for us if all goes well.