Olympique Lyonnais 1-2 Paris Saint-Germain
1970 PSG Man Of The Match: Blaise Matuidi
As Thiago Silva lifted aloft the Coupe de la Ligue trophy into the air at the Stade de France last night it put to bed a turbulent 10 days and replaced it with joy. Edinson Cavani who has come in for so much criticism since the Chelsea defeat silenced his doubters with a brace against a depleted Lyon side that still gave their all. It was a history making night for the football club. It is the fourth CDL triumph which is the most in the competition’s history. It is the first cup win since 2010 and the first under the QSI ownership.
For me, the biggest winner of the night was Laurent Blanc. I have been a staunch defender of the coach and that will not change. It was imperative for him that his side come out on top that puts us on course for the league/cup double which is a fabulous achievement for a coach in his debut campaign (bearing in mind he was the club’s fifth choice or so last summer).
The first-half was as good as we have played in the past few weeks. We got off to the best possible start after some beautiful interplay between Ezequiel Lavezzi and Maxwell down the left which resulted in El Matador to toe poke past Anthony Lopes. But credit to this young Lyon side, they did not falter. Bafetimbi Gomis had a fabulous opportunity to equalise with a free header but Nicolas Douchez easily gathered.
As the half wore on we settled into things. We dominated possession, accumulating over 60%. The midfield trio were fantastic, especially Blaise Matuidi who was just about everywhere.
But, we were dealt a huge slice of luck as Lopes clattered into Lucas Moura resulting in a penalty. It was a difficult position for the referee to be in but replays did show that the incident was just outside the box. Cavani stepped up and rifled past Lopes to send the Parisien faithful into raptures.
After the break Thiago Silva (who had a poor game by his high standards) gave the ball away. Anthony Lacezette bore towards the PSG penalty area and finished with aplomb past Douchez. It really was a wonderful goal by the Frenchman which galvanised Remi Garde’s men.
You cannot fault Les Gones’ effort but in truth Douchez had a relatively quiet night. Chances were few and far between as the champions held on for the victory! The scenes at the end were fantastic and the passion that oozed from the pours from the skipper Thiago Silva said it all. Just a truly wonderful occasion for all affiliated with the club.
There is one way now and that is forward. The Chelsea game has gone, a piece of silverware is now in the cabinet and the retention of the league for the first time in the club’s history is imminent.