At least we got the three points. That is the positive thing to take from Wednesday’s 1-0 victory away to struggling Valenciennes. Even though the performance has not been hailed as one for the purists it was imperative for us to pick up the win on the back of the 1-1 draw at home to rivals Monaco on Sunday.
With the Red and Whites easing to an easy 3-0 victory at home to Bastia on the same night they continue their voyage at the summit with a two point cushion over ourselves as we sit in second place.
Edinson Cavani’s goal right on the stroke of half-time was enough to settle matters, assisted by Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Again, another incidence of how well the two can combine. The goal was architected by the sheer power of Zlatan who ran all the way from his own half, powering through before cutting inside and slipping Cavani in who finished with aplomb for his third Ligue 1 goal. It was a stunning move. The endeavour of the Swede and the clinical nature of Cavani were the killer ingredients to ensure Les Parisiens went back to the capital with maximum points.
That was the biggest positive of the night but Blanc again utilised his squad by reintroducing the likes of Christophe Jallet, Javier Pastore and Alex who returned from his thigh strain. Unfortunately the Brazilian had to go off at half-time with more complications to that area and will therefore miss today’s clash with Toulouse. Blanc is hopeful however that he will be back for the Champions League clash with Benfica next week.
Another player who came back into the fold was Lucas Digne who had a solid outing. He showed good signs of bombing forward, making use of the space and put in some telling crosses. The young man is still learning all the time and unfortunately for him, Maxwell will most probably return today. Saying that, with Benfica coming to town next week Blanc may just be half-tempted to keep the former Lille man in for today.
Our recent record against Toulouse is exemplary. We have won seven consecutive league encounters and have not tasted defeat against them since 2009. But the irony of today is that a Paris Saint-Germain player will be hoping that streak ends as Clement Chantome makes his return to the Parc des Princes – currently on loan at TFC. The Frenchman sprung a surprise with his choice of destination after being incessantly linked with clubs in England during the summer. But, craving first team football which he was deprived of at the Parc, he opted to join a club to help fill the void left by Moussa Sissoko. He has played every minute of every league game thus far, integrating himself as a key member to the Toulouse-XI already. I personally have a lot of time for CC. I felt he was severely undervalued at the club and warranted more minutes on the pitch. Hopefully, come next season this loan spell will stand him in good stead to try and break into the Parisien set-up. Time will tell but so far so good for the lad.
Alain Casanova’s side have made a decent start to the season. Losing just twice, they are unbeaten in the last three which included a 1-1 draw to Marseille and two consecutive wins over Saint-Etienne and Lorient. Sitting just outside the top-10 the early signs are promising. They are efficient, hard to break down and pose a threat in attack. They just need to hope that Wissam Ben Yedder can rediscover his minus touch from last season. He has only the ntted the one goal so far this season.