Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Paris Saint-Germain 4-1 Dynamo Kiev: PSG back with a bang

Hello, we're back. Did you miss us?

So says the editorial in today's Parisien after Paris Saint-Germain announced their return to the Champions League in stunning style with a 4-1 thrashing of Dynamo Kiev at the Parc-des-Princes last night. I've been humming Lou Reed's Perfect Day ever since I woke up this morning, because in terms of performance last night's match was pretty perfect, certainly the best we've played since Carlo Ancelotti took over.

As supporters we're allowed to get a bit carried away, but at least the players are keeping their feet on the ground:

"This is not a signal [to the rest of Europe]," said Salvatore Sirigu, who was so untroubled that he could've played the second half with a cigar on. "It is only a game. What is important for us is to concentrate on our job. What other people think, it is not important at the moment.

"It is the result of our work. We never lost our heads, we always stayed focused even when things were not going too well."

Indeed, those rancid draws at the start of the season seem like a distant memory now. The team has clicked in quite spectacular fashion, and even the absence of injured pair Mamadou Sakho and Thiago Motta didn't adversely affect our rhythm. Of course it helps that we had the world's most expensive defender, Thiago Silva, to deputise for Sakho, while in midfield Clement Chantome started the match and put in his best display of the xampaign alongside Verratti and Matuidi.  

It should be said that, for a team containing a bus-load of quality players, Kiev were pretty average. The amount of space they gave PSG to work in was phenomenal, and Javier Pastore gleefully exploited it throughout.

El Flaco could have had a goal in the first minute after latching onto a pass from Jeremy Menez, but saw his shot from an acute angle blocked away for a corner. The same pair combined in the 19th minute to win us a penalty - Pastore's through ball found Menez lurking wide on the left, and as he skipped into the box his feet were too quick for visiting captain  Mikhalik, who chopped him down right under the referee's nose. Zlatan kept his cool, naturally, to send the keeper the wrong way and become the first player to score for six different clubs in the Champions League. 1-0.

It got even better for PSG in the 30th minute, when our other refugee from AC Milan, Silva, notched a debut goal. Kiev failed to deal with a corner from the left, and the ball was looped back into the far post where the unmarked Brazilian had the simple task of slotting home from close range. Not to be out-done, his centre-back partner, Alex, was on the scoresheet two minutes later when he smashed a first time shot into the net after a low, probably miscued, Chantome corner. Dream-time, 3-0.

The second half mainly involved PSG players keeping the ball and seeing who could commit the most fouls on Taye Taiwo without the ref getting his cards out. The former Marseille left-back didn't have the best of games, and his microphone was strangely absent at the final whistle. Funny that, I was hoping he'd sing us another song. 

Sirigu made his first save in the 75th minute, from Niko Kranjcar's low shot, before the game livened up again with two goals in the closing stages. First Miguel Veloso's cross flew straight in, Sirigu seemingly unsighted by a Kiev player running across the near post.

But PSG restored their three-goal advantage in the first minute of stoppage time. Nene broke away, and took an age to release the ball to Pastore in space, and he got a shot in which squirmed under the keeper for a deserved goal.

Yeah, so all in all a very pleasing night's work, and the task for PSG now is to follow this up with more victories. The team's ability to win European matches at the Parc has never been questioned - indeed we have apparently gone 20 European matches unbeaten on our home turf - but away games, such as the match in Porto in two weeks time, are a different kettle of poisson. Allez Paris!

Man of the Match: Javier Pastore - it's getting boring giving it to Verratti every week, so I'll nominate Pastore, who had his most influential game in recent memory.


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Grants For Single Moms