Paris Saint-Germain’s relentless defence of the Ligue 1 title rolls on. Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s brace away to Saint-Etienne last night made it nine straight victories against Les Verts. As a consequence it is also 32 league games unbeaten, which has equalled the overall record set by Nantes in 1995. If the champions get a result at home to Lorient in the week, it will set a new record that will stand the test of time.
Injuries forced Laurent Blanc’s hand with his team selection. With David Luiz and Thiago Silva absent, youngster Presnel Kimpembe kept his place in the team alongside Marquinhos. Also, Adrien Rabiot was a late withdrawal having picked up a knock in training on Saturday. Because of that, in came Benjamin Stambouli to the midfield trio alongside Blaise Matuidi and Thiago Motta.
These games at the Stade Geoffroy Guichard are always a close affair and it proved to be the case again last night. Goalkeeper Kevin Trapp had one of his busier nights of the season. The German needed to be on guard to deny the Greens on a number of occasions.
In the end it was the veteran who grabbed us the spoils. Ibra was on hand just after the hour mark to finish Serge Aurier’s cross which was put on a plate for the big Swede. Aurier was involved again for the second in stoppage time. He laid the ball into the path of Edison Cavani who cut back for Angel di Maria to slice his shot but thankfully the ball dropped to an unmarked Zlatan to finish.
Blanc realised it was a tough game. As quoted by the club’s official site, he said post-match; “It’s not the first time that we’ve struggled. Every team wants to get a result against Paris. They sit deep to defend and are very aggressive. It’s important to win these types of matches. It proves that even with the team we put out tonight, we still manage to win. The unbeaten record? I didn’t know about that. What I saw is my team come here and win, and that’s not easy.”
Incidentally, Monaco’s humbling at the hands of Angers (3-0 defeat) means our lead at the top is now 24 points. Amazing!