Paris Saint-Germain warmed up for the visit of Manchester City with a comfortable
4-1 victory over OGC Nice on Saturday afternoon. That man again, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, netted a hattrick and with it equalled his own Ligue 1 record of 30 goals.
It was the perfect momentum builder heading into Wednesday’s clash, especially after our home defeat to Monaco just before the international break. City themselves will be buoyed after they registered a 4-0 win against Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth on the same day.
Coach Laurent Blanc pretty much fielded his strongest team under the circumstances. The likes of Javier Pastore, Angel di Maria and Marco Verratti were all out due to injury but the inclusion of Hervin Ongenda in the front three as opposed to Edinson Cavani was a surprise.
It took Paris a quarter of an hour to break the deadlock and it was a stunner. David Luiz played a ball over the top that was diligently brought down by Ibra before he smashed it into the net.
Minutes later, OGCN were on level times. Hatem Ben Arfa, a player incessantly linked with a move to the Parc des Princes, produced a gorgeous finish from distance. Luiz perhaps should have closed the Frenchman down but you have to credit the finish. Kevin Trapp stood no chance!
In a game of world-class strikes, Ibra nearly burst the net to put us back in control in the 34th minute. His freekick was expertly driven past Yoan Cardinale to give us the lead heading into the interval.
Luiz netted his first goal of the season via an Ongenda corner in the second period and Zlatan would complete his hat-trick 10 minutes from time.
The Swede was buzzing post-match and as quoted by the club’s official site said; “I think it was a good match. We are already champions, so we play these games to maintain our motivation and style in form. We played a good game ahead of Wednesday’s European match against City. It was a good preparation. We need to continue like this, with the same confidence, the same rhythm, and with a little bit of luck, we’ll get there. Personally, I feel good. The team is doing magical things this season and I’m just following them. They play well, so I play well”.