Sunday, 20 October 2013

PSG 4-0 Bastia: Andy Murray mesmerised by Ibra as Paris claim straight sets win

If Andy Murray says it kids, it must be true. Has the Wimbledon champion been outed as a secret Ligue 1 connoisseur? I'll be keeping an eye on his Twitter feed for mentions of Lyon's poor start to the season or Herve Renard's appointment at Sochaux.

Paris Saint-Germain continued their unbeaten start to the season with a straights sets demolition of Bastia at the Parc des Princes yesterday. Our 4-0 win, coupled with Monaco's draw at Renard's aforementioned Sochaux side earlier today, means we're now have a two-point lead at the top of the table. If we can keep this kind of form going there's no reason a second successive Grand Slam Ligue 1 title should be beyond our reach.

"When you see the names of the two scorers for them you can see what a gulf there is between our two sides," said dejected Bastia coach Frederic Hantz, having seen his side smashed by PSG aces Zlatan and Edinson Cavani, both of whom scored twice.

"We're disappointed by the margin even if financial logic would suggest we should have lost 20-0 and we only conceded four, so that's not so bad after all."

Of course football isn't quite as easy as that, but to be fair to Hantz there aren't many teams in world football, let alone Ligue 1, who would be able to withdraw a player of Ibra's talent at half-time and replace him with another world-class centre-forward.

Cavani started on the bench as Laurent Blanc, with an eye on Tuesday's Champions League game in Anderlecht, named a much-changed line-up.

Ibra was stationed up-front alongside Hevin Ongenda as PSG reverted to a 4-2-2-2ish formation, and took just 10 minutes to score the goal that had Murray mesmerised. Lucas delivered the cross which was helped on by Ongenda to Zlatan, who produced an overhead backheel flick of surprising power which zipped past ex-PSG keeper Mikael Landreau. Taekwondo-tastic, 1-0.

However much a team cost to put together, there's no excuse for the kind of shoddy marking displayed by the Corsicans as Ibra added a second three minutes later. The striker was completely unmarked to meet a Lucas free kick six yards out and head home. Game over, 2-0.

Not to be outdone, Cavani added an individual wondergoal of his own in the 62nd minute, receiving a pass from the recalled Jezza Menezza, tiptoeing round a couple of defenders and Landreau before stroking the ball home from the narrowest of angles. Lovely stuff from El Matador, 3-0.

The score-line could have been worse for the visitors were it not for the heroics of the silver-haired Landreau, who stopped Lucas and Ongenda from getting on the score-sheet with excellent saves.

Cavani hit the post before he added his second a minute from time, converting a penalty after he had been brought down by that man Landreau.

"Changes had been made to the team and there were young players in there," said Blanc, for whom Adrien Rabiot also excelled in the absence of the suspended Marco Verratti and Thiago Motta.

"I think our level was very good and we scored four goals and created a lot of chances. It proves everybody is motivated and up for the season, which will be long.


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