Lille OSC 1-3 Paris Saint-Germain
1970 PSG Man Of The Match: Lucas Moura
It was another record breaking night for Paris Saint-Germain. Laurent Blanc alluded to it during Friday’s press conference and he ultimately got his wish. Not only did the side set a new club record points tally in Ligue 1 of 86 – beating last season’s 83 – they also beat the overall previous league record that was set by Olympique Lyonnais in 2006 of 84. The coach said after the 3-1 win in Lille; “The record for the most number of points in a single season meant a lot to me and I wanted my team to win tonight”.
It was an excellent encounter at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy. Blanc’s hand was forced into making a number of changes such as Marquinhos coming in at right-back, Zoumana Camara coming into central defence and with Edinson Cavani out, in came Lucas Moura. Also, Marco Verratti as well as young Adrien Rabiot came into the middle of the park with Yohan Cabaye as Blaise Matuidi and Thiago Motta were left on the bench. Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a quiet game in truth but seeing him start his first game since the beginning of April against Chelsea was more than a pleasant sight.
It was a cagey opening to be honest. Not much in terms of goalmouth action. Les Parisiens were happy to keep the ball in the middle of the park, LOSC also were not creating anything substantial. But, the turning point came when Marvin Martin recklessly took out Yohan Cabaye – back at his former club for the first time – and was subsequently stretchered off. Martin was dismissed, as Cabaye was given a standing ovation as he was carried off. There was serious concern that his World Cup chances may have been dashed but thankfully Blanc said after the game his ankle was swollen rather than broke.
Moments later, a superb run by Lucas where he left Simon Kjaer on his backside brought out a decent stop by Vincent Enyeama but compatriot Marquinhos was on hand to head home the rebound. It is his second league goal of the season and one that evidently meant an awful lot to him.
With Les Dogues down to 10-men coach Rene Girard made a change that swung the dynamics of the game. Nolan Roux was brought off for Jonathan Delaplace which gave LOSC so much more width and they were undoubtedly the better side. We were struggling from defending set-pieces and Marko Basa could easily have got a goal or two.
Thankfully however we sucker punched the Champions League chasers thanks to Lucas who was teed up by Javier Pastore, his first assist in the league this season, which took the sting out the game.
Lucas, who was not called up to Brazil’s World Cup squad last week, was man of the match for me. He summed it up with a beautiful through ball for Matuidi who came on as a substitute to finish with aplomb.
Lille pulled a goal back through Delaplace who deserved that for his valid contribution.
The night belonged to the champions. Setting a new league/club record of points, as well as equalling two league records of most wins (26, set by Monaco and Nantes) and points is a fantastic feat for the club. With one game to go against Montpellier at the Parc next weekend, which will be a celebration, Blanc can motivate his players again this week to smash two unprecedented records that will stand the test of time.