Monday, 19 March 2012

Caen 2-2 PSG:

Jallet: PSG's latest last-minute man
 As procrastinators across the world will tell you, doing stuff at the last minute is no bad thing.

A looming deadline tends to focus the mind, hence why my productivity is pretty low at present but will (hopefully) increase later in the week.

In footballing terms, Paris St Germain are certainly Ligue 1’s greatest procrastinators. Christophe Jallet’s late equaliser at Caen on Saturday night meant PSG have scored in the last five minutes of each of their last five games.

Over the course of the season we have gained an impressive 12 points thanks to goals in the last 15 minutes of matches, while "losing" just two points in the same period (Jonathan Petroipa's late equaliser for Rennes back in August). Without said points we’d be fourth, looking enviously up the table at Montpellier and co, and credit for this remarkable set of statistics should be given to both this season's managers. We're obviously a very fit side, which must at least in part be down to Antoine Kombouare's pre-season training regime, while Carlo Ancelotti seems to have installed a never-say-die attitude in the squad which will be invaluable during the run-in.

On Saturday our lead over Rene Girard’s MHSC team increased by a point after they were surprisingly beaten 1-0 at Nancy. This is obviously good news on the surface, but given Caen’s lowly status one could also look at it as an opportunity missed to give ourselves a four-point cushion. I guess it depends whether your glass is half full or half empty.

After an unimpressive first half, in which Caen twice went close to going in front, Pierre-Alain Frau gave the home side the lead, following up to score after Sirigu had blocked his initial shot.

Javier Pastore equalised a moment later with what was possibly the luckiest goal of his career. El Flaco saw a defender’s attempted clearance ricochet off his shin and find the corner of the net to make it all square.

The PSG defence then gave the opposition their regulation goal from a set-piece. You know how it goes, corner/free kick, no marking to speak of, free header, boom. This time Thomas Heurtaux was the lucky recipient, and it looked as though his would be the decisive impact until Jallet volleyed home in stoppage time.

Ancelotti’s glass is definitely half-full. He said: “Caen played really well and scored from some of their chances. But we showed the character to score in the closing minutes.

“It's a good day because our gap over Montpellier has increased by a point.”

PSG are back in action on Wednesday night, when Lyon come to the Parc-des-Princes for a Coupe de France quarter-final show-down.


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