Saturday, 15 September 2012

PSG 2-0 Toulouse: Parisiens manage Tou (not) louse

Sorry about the slightly nonsensical headline, but I had to shoe-horn in at least one terrible pun at TFC's expense. Look out for more of the same when we play the return match in February.

Paris Saint-Germain extended their unbeaten start to the season to five games with a comfortable victory over the aforementioned Toulouse at the Parc-des-Princes this evening. While the performance didn't quite hit the heights of the Lille game, it was certainly an assured display from PSG, who look to be growing as a team and will now go into Tuesday's Champions League match against Dynamo Kiev in confident mood.

Carletto surprised no-one by naming an unchanged line-up, and again it was the impish, fearless, figure of Verratti who shone brightest in midfield, rarely wasting a pass and providing Ibra with the ammunition he needed to pull the TFC defence all over the place.

Toulouse enjoyed some decent spells of their own, particularly at the start of both halves, but were unable to convert their possession into shooting chances, and the lack of a focal point for their attacks was painfully obvious.

In Ibrahimovic, PSG have a focal point par exellence, albeit an expensive one. For once he wasn't directly involved in the move that led to the home side taking a 38th-minute lead, though he was wandering around in an offside position as Verratti played a pass over the top of the Toulouse back-line for Javier Pastore, whose first time lob over the on-rushing Ali Ahamada was more delicate than a sack of bone china.

Earlier Menez had failed to connect with a low cross from Ibra, and at the start of the second half he warmed the hands of Ahamada with a shot from a narrow angle which the keeper patted behind for a corner.

At the other end Franck Tabanou was proving to be a useful, if inconsistent, outlet for the visitors, while Serge Aurier on the opposite flank was giving an out-of-sorts Maxwell some problems. Sirigu had to make a comfortable low save from Aurier's shot, but other than that the Italian didn't have a lot to do, and PSG's second in the 69th minute wrapped up the points for the home side.

The move started with Sissoko losing possession on the edge of the PSG box. Verratti picked up the ball and found Pastore, who set Menez away down the right. Jezza had time and space to look up and roll the ball across to Ibrahimovic, who had the simple task of touching the ball into the net for his fifth goal of the season. He is Zlatan, and he's quite good you know. 2-0.

PSG could have had more in the closing stages, but Alex's header was cleared off the line by Etienne Capoue, while Chiek Mbengue did just enough to put substitute Nene off as he was about to shoot into the unguarded goal.

But a third goal would have been harsh on Toulouse, who were made a good fist of competing with the PSG but ultimately came up a bit short. The lack of a consistent attacking threat is a common problem for teams in Ligue 1, which is typically one of Europe's lowest scoring divisions, and that's where PSG's extra quality could make all the difference.

Man of the Match: Marco Verratti - Arguably now our most important non-Swedish player, quite a feat for a teenager who had never played top-flight football before this season.


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