Friday, 23 September 2011

Penalties prevelant at the Parc

Maths and football aren't necessarily subjects that fit naturally together. Unless you're a French journalist that is.

"The quartet offensive (Menez, Nene, Pastore, Gameiro) of PSG keeps getting better and looking more like a magic square," declared L'Equipe in the wake of the team's 2-1 victory over Nice in midweek.

Perhaps the correspondant should've watched the Evian game, because it was certainly hard to discern any shape, magical or otherwise, during that.

All the goals in Wednesday's fixture came from the penalty spot, with Nene and Gameiro converting the PSG kicks. I didn't see the game, but from the highlights I've squinted at all three decisions seemed fair enough, and the unbeaten run is now up to a none-too-shabby eight matches.

"This was a great win secured in difficult circumstances," said AK afterwards. "But it's great to have lads who are committed and who fight to the death.

"Getting the three points was the best preparation for the trip to Montpellier [on Saturday]. In the first half we showed the doubters that we can play well as a team. It was a fantastic first half, my team's best this season."

The only sour note was the dismissal of Christophe Jallet, who replaced Tiene for the match but will now be suspended for Saturday's fixture away at early pace-setters Montpellier.

Much has been made this season of how poor PSG have been in the first half of matches, with the Nice game being cited as the first time they have turned it on in the opening 45 minutes. It will be interesting to see whether Wednesday's match truly marks a turning point in the evolution of this team, because one imagines Montpellier will not let them get away with being sluggish for half the match.

In other news, Mevlut Erding has signed a one-year contract extension, which presumably also comes with a Qatari-funded pay rise. Another striker, Peguy Luyindula, has been moaning about his exile from the first team. The 32-year-old has been training with the yoofs this season as he doesn't fit into AK's plans.

"I am trying to understand why I have been sent away, but I can't," Luyindula told Le Parisien.

"When I ask, I am told that it is the choice of the manager. I am being treated like a leper. I don't dare go to Parc des Princes to watch my team-mates because I don't know if I would be welcomed or sent packing."

You can always rely on footballers to keep a sense of perspective.


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