Monday, 22 April 2013

PSG 3-0 Nice: Goals, non-goals and a gramatically correct ref

So much interesting stuff happened at the Parc des Princes last night that it's hard to know where to begin.

The headline news is that Paris Saint-Germain beat Nice 3-0, meaning a first Ligue 1 title since 1994 is a mere two victories away. Happy days.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was back to his menacing best, and had a foot in all three goals. First he provided the pass to Javier Pastore, who did brilliantly to lob the ball over visiting keeper David Ospina and tee up Jeremy Menez for the opener.

Nice held their own until the second half, when Ospina handed the points to PSG with a cock-up of epic proportions. After controlling a back-pass, he dallied and presented the ball to Lavezzi, before fouling the Argentinean as he tried to make amends. Ospina was sent off, and Ibra drilled in the resulting penalty. Substitute Clement Chantome added gloss to the scoreline when he converted a Zlatan cross.

In between Ibra's pen and the Chantome menace's tap-in, Thiago Silva scored the best non-goal ever in the history of the world. Ever. It's hard to find the words to do it justice, so just watch on and marvel at the awesomeness.

Replays showed that the killjoy linesman's decision to disallow the goal was correct, which probably makes the fact that the ball ended up in the goal an even more amazing achievement.

So a good night for Ibra and Thiago Silva, but not so much for Jezza, who despite his early goal missed a couple of sitters and became embroiled in a row with referee Tony Chapron, the king of Ligue 1's bald ref cartel.

I don't like Chapron very much, but hats off to him for this very French put-down after Jezza had called him a "son of a bitch".

"Start by using the [French] formal form of 'you', and then we'll see," remarked Le Arbiteur as the pair left the field. There's no better way to insult a Frenchman than to target his inappropriate grammar, I'm sure Jezza is poring over his copy of Bescherelle as we speak. Maybe.

Jezza's potty-mouth didn't go down very well with the boss either.

"He took the risk of getting a red card by speaking with the referee," noted Carletto afterwards. "I don't know what he said to him, but it's not a good thing to speak with the referee because he's doing his job and Jeremy has to do his without talking."

Overall the gaffer was happy with the way his team performed, but remains puzzled by our inconsistency. He's not the only one.

"I don't understand how we can be so bad against Evian and so good this evening," said Ancelotti. "We have to improve our consistency. This team has a lot of quality. Of course you can't be happy after a game such as the one at Evian. Tonight's match was important. We've got a nine-point lead again, which means the title is closer. It's easy to be motivated."


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