Paris Saint-Germain were well and truly brought back down to earth last night as Monaco shocked the Parc des Princes with 0-2 victory and inflicted our first home defeat of the season; and first at the PDP in the league since May 2014!
Les Parisiens succumbed to their fate after a dominant first-half that wasn’t matched in the second. The old cliché of ‘a game of two halves’ was as appropriate as ever on this occasion.
It was a strange game all round in truth. We played some gorgeous football in the opening 45 minutes and created numerous openings that should have perhaps resulted in a goal. One of those did as Zlatan Ibrahimovic netted an open goal after goalkeeper Danijel Subasic initially saved an effort from Edinson Cavani. Replays showed though that Ibra was in actual fact miles onside. It was a criminal decision really and we wouldn’t know at the time just how costly it would turn out to be. There are no excuses for the linesman at all. It was not as if it debatable by a matter of inches. The striker was onside by a good few metres!
That set the tone for what would be a barren night in front of goal. We huffed and puffed but to no avail. Angel di Maria was exceptional during that first half it has to be said. He was deployed in central midfield to compensate for the absence of Marco Verratti and Javier Pastore. Blaise Matuidi started on the bench before coming on in the second-half. ADM was pulling the strings though and every passage of play was practically coming via him.
Cavani had a few openings on goal. You can definitely see the upturn in his demeanour. There is an air of confidence about him which was lacking before he netted that winner against Chelsea at the Parc des Princes last month.
Heading in at half-time with the score at 0-0 you could definitely say that the visitors would have been the happier. They were lucky to go in at the break with the score line still intact. It seemed to be a matter of time before we came back out and found an opening goal.
We started as we left off with a bright 10-minute period but it kind of dwindled. We were not as intense with our play and it was the side from Monte Carlo who began to probe.
Lemar you can argue was man of the match. He is a player! And was a constant thorn in our side that eventually pierced through our armoury. He played a teasing ball towards the back post for Vagner Love to thrash home past Kevin Trapp. That stunned the Parc des Princes with the home fans looking to have a party after sealing the title at Troyes the weekend before.
Our misery was compounded minutes later after an arrogant David Luiz tried to be too cocky in the box, lost out to Fabinho and subsequently brought him down. The Brazilian then showed metal to produce an audacious panenka penalty down the middle to seal all three points.
This was a wake up call if ever there was one and should be a blessing in disguise with cup games coming up as well as that huge quarter-final with Manchester City in the Champions League. Yes, we were robbed of a legitimate goal but that should not mask over the deficiencies we showed in the game. Monaco are a good side – of course they are – but we should have been more clinical in front of goal. The lads seemingly left their shooting boots in Troyes last weekend and we let the visitors off the hook.
Any defeat is a disappointment. But, we can certainly use this as a positive going forward in the other competitions.