Paris Saint-Germain warmed up nicely for Wednesday’s tantalising duel against Real Madrid with a 2-0 win away to Bastia in Corsica on Saturday evening.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s brace was enough to ensure all three points as Les Parisiens opened up a five-point lead at the top. With the nearest challengers being Angers and Caen (in 2nd and 3rd respectively), it already looks at this point that the title is on its way back to the capital for the fourth consecutive year. The likes of Lyon, Monaco and Marseille are way off the pace – into double figures in terms of points off the top – but of course, lets not get too carried away.
The biggest test of the season thus far will come on Wednesday against Los Blancos. But, we took care of business in an efficient manner at the Stade Armand Cesari against SCB. Kevin Trapp, David Luiz and Marco Verratti were all missing due to injury. Blaise Matuidi was suspended. But, there was a late withdrawal in Angel di Maria. The staff at Camp des Loges deemed him not fit enough after an exhausting international break with Argentina. He played both games in full for his national team (a defeat to Ecuador and a draw to Paraguay), only returning to Parisian training at midday on Thursday. The staff felt it was best to get him ready for the clash with his former club instead of risking him in Corsica.
The team put out by Laurent Blanc was more than strong but the midfield trio was changed completely from the win over Marseille. Javier Pastore who has seen his playing time limited this season started in the middle alongside Benjamin Stambouli and Adrien Rabiot. Marquinhos was in for David Luiz and Lucas Moura replaced Di Maria.
The performance was far from pretty. It took up until the hour mark for the champions to register a shot on target. Zlatan though came to the rescue in the 72rd minute to open the scoring before sealing matters 10 minutes later.
The most important thing for the coach was the win. LB told the press after the match (as reported by the club’s official site); “We were expecting a difficult match and it was. It’s always difficult away to Bastia. I told my players they would have to be patient and play to our strengths, our technical quality, our philosophy. We had to keep plugging away, pass the ball better. In the end, Bastia started to tire. The main thing is to keep winning our matches because the league is a marathon.”
The win equalled a club record. We have obtained 26 points after the first 10 Ligue 1 game for the first time since the 1985/86 season.