Paris Saint-Germain 4-0 FC Lorient
1970 PSG Man Of The Match: Marco Verratti
Laurent Blanc made five changes to his Parisien-XI on Friday night and we still coasted to an emphatic 4-0 win over Lorient without ever leaving second gear.
Lucas Digne, Christophe Jallet – who turned 30 this week – Adrien Rabiot, Jeremy Menez and Lucas Moura all came into the side. The changes were as expected with the Champions League encounter against Anderlect coming up on Tuesday night. With no change to the system, the players came in with ease and undertook their duties with ease. Digne got his night rolling within three minutes with a superb ball in from the left which was met on the volley with aplomb by Lucas to give us the lead. The Brazilian had a very productive all night, silencing a few doubters after taking some flack in the French media in recent weeks.
Menez opened his account for the season where persistence prevailed. He had an initial effort cleared off the line but Marco Verratti conjured up a diligent ball through to him in the box and he slotted the ball past Baptiste Reynet. It is good to see him in that kind of form, he was lively throughout and importantly completed 90 minutes. After his kerfuffle a few weeks back about not playing, it is good for him to remonstrate to everybody his undoubted ability. Just keep it up Jezza!
‘El Matador’, Edinson Cavani did not let us down as the main man up top with Zlatan Ibrahimovic out injured. Playing in his assertive central position, the Uruguayan netted a brace to take him above Monaco’s Radamel Falcao as Ligue 1’s leading goal scorer. He was not overly productive but when it mattered, he put the ball in the back of the net. That is all what is asked. One, a leaping header with three Lorient shirts around him and then a simple tap in after Reynet kept out Rabiot’s initial header 10 minutes before the end of the game.
Blanc again was astute with his management of the players. He has kept key personnel fresh for Tuesday but also rotated correctly. Rabiot has got more minutes under his belt and looks more at home each time he plays. Digne has been short on minutes since he arrived from Lille but he too showed his expertise. His ball for the opener was nothing short of world class.
There was also continuity in midfield as Thiago Motta kept his place and was skipper for the night. Marco Verratti too played from the start. The little Italian was marvellous as he kept us ticking over. He really has matured these last few weeks. Long may it continue.
Javier Pastore also made his return as a second-half substitute following his thigh injury. The Argentine even sported a new haircut, much like the one when he had when he first burst on to the scene in France. Hopefully it is an omen to rediscover some long lost form and confidence.
The unbeaten streak rolls on and if we can get another win on Tuesday, qualification to the knock-out stages of the UEFA Champions League is secured. To do that with two games to be spare will be a fantastic achievement and another feather in the cap of Monsieur Blanc.