Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 Olympique de Marseille
1970 PSG Man Of The Match: Lucas Moura
It was the sixth classique on the trot at the Parc des Princes where Paris Saint-Germain have come out on top. With Monaco succumbing to defeat in Saint-Etienne on Saturday, our 2-0 win has opened up an eight –point gap ahead of Claudio Ranieri’s side. To be so far ahead at this time of the season and with Radamel Falcao out injured for ASM, the win last night may just have put one hand on the Hexagoal trophy. To put the icing on the cake, Edinson Cavani not only returned after coming off the bench, he scored the second goal to send the Parisien public into raptures.
It was a terrific performance from the lads. Laurent Blanc named an unchanged side for the third consecutive game and it worked perfectly. His counterpart Jose Anigo made a bold decision to play Florian Thauvin, Dimitri Payet, Mathieu Valbuena and Andre Pierre Gignac all from the start but in hindsight, he may have wish he didn’t. For the vast majority of the game we had control in the middle of the park. The ball retention is what you have come to expect at home these days, superior. And that trend continued last night.
Lucas Moura for me was the man of the match by a mile. That performance was a coming of age one. He took responsibility, made things happen and had Marseille running scared at times. He left his compatriot Lucas Mendes in awe at one point after completing around half a dozen step-overs. He almost scored one of the greatest classique goals where he ran all the way from the edge of his own penalty area, skipping various challenges before dinking the ball over Steve Mandanda only to be denied by Rod Fanni’s clearance. It would have been goal of the season by a distance but the appreciation from the Parc will have made Lucas feel 10-feet tall. Even Zlatan Ibrahimovic gave him a pat on the head for what he did. The thing with Lucas is that he is becoming a bit of a regular in the team and it has helped him greatly. With Cavani back, Blanc may need to sacrifice Ezequiel Lavezzi – who is playing well himself – in order to keep this momentum going for the Brazilian. Again, it was a stunning performance from LM.
The first-half ended 0-0 but it was good advert for Ligue 1, a real enthralling encounter. After the break, we took the initiative as ‘Mr Underrated’ Maxwell opened the scoring on the back of his contract extension. It was fitting really that he was set-up by one of his closest friends Ibra and finished with aplomb in the penalty area.
We were in control indefinitely from then. OM never really posed any threat to us in the final third, although they did hit the post late on.
‘El Matador’ made his long awaited return and took just nine minutes to get on the score sheet. Gregory Van der Wiel volleyed the ball into the mire for the Uruguayan to leap up and head home with authority. The scenes were fabulous. The Parc was rocking, Edi was being embraced by everyone and Laurent Blanc was fist pumping like never before. Everybody realised just what that goal meant. It ensured a result that may end up in us retaining the championship!
We still have 11 games to play of course but it would take a monumental collapse for us to throw this away. It is easy to get carried away but there is no doubt that PSG took one massive step towards retaining the league title for the first time in the club’s history!