Paris Saint-Germain suffered the mother of all capitulations this evening by throwing away a 2-0 lead and succumbing to a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Bastia.
This is a massive blow to the football club. We had a golden opportunity to go top of the table after Montpellier beat Marseille last night. Yet, we missed the boat again! And because of it we remain three points off the top but Olympique Lyonnais can capitalise if they are victorious over Toulouse tomorrow.
Coach Laurent Blanc will come in for so much criticism. I dread to think what the papers are going to say but he was massively let down by his players.
He handed consecutive starts to Yohan Cabaye and Adrien Rabiot in central midfield. Javier Pastore played wide left with Lucas on the opposite side; Ibra as the striker of course. The defence was at full-strength but Nicolas Douchez started in place of the injured Salvatore Sirigu.
For the first quarter of the game we were flawless. We were much sharper than our opponents. We were bright and creating openings. The opening goal was a thing of beauty. Cabaye, making the most of his opportunity with Thiago Motta injured, played a delightful ball over the top for Lucas to latch onto and he diligently lobbed the on-loan PSG goalkeeper Alphonse Areola to make it 1-0.
The Brazilian perhaps should have made it 2-0 a few moments later but dragged his effort wide from the inside right. Ibrahimovic set him up in that instance but bar the opening quarter where he was involved in the play, he went missing for the rest of the game. He just did not look right at all.
We soon made it 2-0 in the 20th minute. Rabiot, who looks set for a move to Tottenham Hotspur, finished with aplomb with his left-foot. Blaise Matuidi did excellently to win the ball from Sebastien Squillaci. The ball fell to Rabiot who played it out wide to Pastore who came into the box, was tackled by Gilles Cioni but thankfully the ball rolled kindly to Rabiot to strike. From then on in, it looked as if it could be a rout. We were well on top and comfortable!
But, as the PSG supporters know we do love making it hard work for ourselves and the start of the decline began when Gregory Van der Wiel handled the ball in the box, resulting in a penalty. It was instinct from the Dutchman as his arm came outwards towards the ball but it could have been avoided. Up stepped Ryad Boudebouz to send Douchez the wrong way.
That gave the whole of the Stade Armand Cesari renewed belief. The players and fans were rubbing off on each other. We just fell into a shell, showing little signs of replicating our good football in the opening 25 minutes.
Then on the stroke of half-time a sickener for us as SCB equalised via the head of Francois Modesto. The defending in this was shocking. From a corner, the Frenchman was able to get his header on target and the ball bounced through a sea of bodies into the net. Despite Thiago Silva’s best efforts to keep it out, he failed to do so. The half-time whistle literally blew as soon as we kicked-off again.
After the interval we were dealt another blow as Cabaye had to make way due to injury. It was a shame because in my opinion he was one of our best players in the first-half. Marco Verratti subsequently took his place.
The last time we squandered a two goal lead was back in November away to Metz. Ezequiel Lavezzi popped up late on with the winner that day. With Lavezzi or not, there was to be no repeat for us this time around as the hosts went 3-2 up via a world class finish by Julian Palmieri. The former Istres man almost ripped the net off with one of the goals of the season. His strike was devastating! Rabiot did well with the defensive header but nobody could have envisaged the subsequent strike.
For all our possession from then, we created nothing. Thiago Silva came the closest by rattling the crossbar after Lucas picked him out with a clever freekick.
David Luiz and the skipper had a night to forget to be honest. This was summed up when the fourth goal went in via Palmieri as the centre-backs split and he was there to slide home. Maxwell also gave Abdoulaye Keita too much space to play the ball in.
Massive questions are going to be asked over the next few days. The Coupe de la Ligue quarter-final next week is huge! Playing away at Saint-Etienne is one of the most difficult trips in France and the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard will be rocking to its core on the night. If we fail there, then I dread to think what the repercussions will be. To rub salt into the wounds by the way, Les Verts’ win over Stade de Reims this evening means they jump us in the table as we drop to fourth.
This was a hammer blow tonight. It should not have happened! Being 2-0 up away from home we became complacent. There are no excuses. The players need to take a look in the mirror because they shot themselves in the foot again. And it is not for the first time either!