Paris Saint-Germain scored perhaps their goal of the season last night and it came from a man who was in the dog house at the beginning of the year. Ezequiel Lavezzi rounded off a wonderfully crafted team move in the first-half in a game where the stocky Argentine gave one of his best performances in a Parisian shirt.
The victory has momentarily put us just a point behind the leaders Lyon who travel to Monte Carlo tomorrow for an enticing clash with in-form Monaco. Everyone affiliated with the champions will be keeping a close eye on that!
As for last night, coach Laurent Blanc clearly had Tuesday’s Coupe de la Ligue semi-final with Lille in mind by resting a few key players. Lucas Moura, Maxwell, Blaise Matuidi and Marco Verratti all started on the bench. Young Adrien Rabiot came into the midfield trio alongside Javier Pastore and Yohan Cabaye. In the three man attack Lavezzi and Edinson Cavani joined Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The first-half was largely uneventful up until the goal just before the half-hour mark. It was a thing of beauty and certainly sent the Parc des Princes into delirium. It all stemmed from a quick freekick taken by Lucas Digne and Zlatan on the left. Ibra ushered forward before playing a quick one two with Pastore and playing it across the box for Rabiot who diligently dinked it into the box for Pastore. El Flaco coolly touched it back first time for El Pocho to fire past Benoit Costil. The quick interplay was excellent! As was the intelligence of Rabiot to spot the run of Pastore who also had the nouse to delicately flick it back to Lavezzi to finish first-time. Superb!
After the interval we had chances to make the lead more secure. Costil denied Cavani with a terrific save after Lavezzi ran forward and took three SRFC defenders out the game with a through ball for the Matador to shoot.
The Uruguayan had a couple of chances and was soon substituted after not directing Pastore’s power driver across the face of goal into the net. This was unlucky for the striker, the ball came at him too quickly but it did not stop the home support from getting on his back.
He was unfairly jeered as he was replaced by Lucas Moura. This led to the striker having words with Blanc as he trudged off. The coach alluded to this in his post-match presser by saying; “Yes, I had an exchange with Cavani. I had the same with Adrien Rabiot. It is a little personal but I told him I found what he did to be insufficient and that is why I made the decision to take him off”.
Rabiot was subjected to boos as well. The fans at the Parc were disgruntled all night in truth. Paris is ridiculously cold this time of year mind! But in all seriousness, we were 1-0 up at the time and the reaction was a little severe in my opinion.
Ibra was not happy with the jeers and gave his thoughts to the press after by saying; “I feel sorry for Edi. We don’t know what they want (the fans). We, win or lose they whistle”.
So, the performance marred by the jeers. The performance was not great by any means but the important thing was the three points. We just had to win with the trip to Lyon coming up next weekend! But the undoubted highlight of the night was the goal. Blanc summed it perfectly by saying; “To see such a magnificent goal was worth coming to the Parc des Princes for this evening”.
But maybe not everyone in the stadium last night would agree!