Sunday, 30 September 2012

PSG 2-0 Sochaux: Gameiro goals scupper Sochaux

"Perhaps some of the players were already thinking about the next games," remarked Carlo Ancelotti in the aftermath of Paris Saint-Germain's 2-0 win over Sochaux yesterday.

It certainly appeared that way every time the camera cut to the bench. Mssrs Nene, Armand, and Sakho were sitting there, ashen-faced, looking like couldn't be more bored. Perhaps they should take a leaf out of Mario Balotelli's book and take their iPads with them next time.

Kevin Gameiro spends most of his time on the sidelines these days, but grabbed a rare first team chance with both hands, scoring twice to give PSG another routine victory, their fifth win in a row.

Carletto's men weren't particularly impressive in seeing off struggling Sochaux, who fashioned a few half-chances of their own but rarely looked like matching their hosts. I enjoyed this analogy from's Robin Bairner on Twitter:
Sochaux competing well & have out-shot PSG 7-4, but it's like a dad having a play fight with his kid. There's only going to be one winner.
Indeed, it seemed that way from the moment Super Kev opened the scoring in the 11th minute. Javier Pastore was the provider, playing an inch-perfect pass over the visiting defence for Gameiro to run onto, and he did the rest with a low finish. Vintage Gameiro, 1-0.

Matuidi should've made it two shortly afterwards when Ibra's cross found him at the far post, but he could only guide his low shot across the goal and the wrong side of the post. But it was Sochaux who were making most of the running, with Seb Corchia and Roy Contout linking up well on the right, while centre-forward Cedric Bakambu appears to be a decent replacement for the departed Maiga.

Bakambu forced a decent parry from Sirigu with a powerful effort, before Thierry Doubai passed up a great chance to equalise, getting free to meet an inswinging corner from the right, but planting his header wide of the goal from eight yards.

He'd live to regret that miss as Gameiro bagged his second in the 32nd minute. Ibrahimovic worked the ball wide to Maxwell, who delivered an early cross which Gameiro, sliding in, did well to guide past Simon Pouplin in the visiting goal. Take a moment to say Pouplin out loud, it's a funny word. 2-0.

The second half was something of a non-event, though Christophe Jallet, Ibra, and Guillaume Hoarau all missed presentable chances to increase PSG's lead. Ibra and Gameiro also attempted overhead kicks, neither of which troubled the goalkeeper.

"Kevin Gameiro worked very well and had a fantastic match," said Carletto afterwards. "It shows that he hasn't lost any confidence and he deserved to score his goals tonight. 

"We were, however, not brilliant in the second half. That wasn't good. It's true Sochaux came at us and attacked us but we need to play with more rhythm."

PSG will need to play a lot better in the next two matches, away to Porto and Marseille respectively. But in truth they did what they needed to do to beat mediocre opposition with minimal fuss, and that's all you can ask for really.

Another positive is that the team got the win despite neither of their star performers this season - Ibrahimovic and Verratti - particularly impressing. Pastore really stepped up to the mark with an energetic performance, and Momo Sissoko looked good on his first start of the season. Bring it on Porto, we're ready. I hope.

Man of the Match: Kevin Gameiro - Up and running for the season with a poacher's brace.


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