PSG dominate and win convincingly in Bordeaux

Posted by Jonathan Johnson

NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP/Getty ImagesAfter playing 90 minutes earlier in the week for France, Blaise Matuidi put in another full match and scored PSG's opener in the win at Bordeaux.

Last season, an emotionally charged 1-0 victory for Paris Saint-Germain in Bordeaux was arguably the turning point in their title-winning campaign. This season's 2-0 win, coming Friday night courtesy of goals from Blaise Matuidi and Lucas Moura, could be another seminal point but for different reasons.

- Report: Bordeaux 0-2 PSG

The defending champions' two-goal triumph at the Stade Chaban Delmas might be remembered in the future as the moment that Laurent Blanc really got to grips with his new side. Maybe it won't, but PSG cruised to victory in the Gironde and barely looked threatened by a Girondins side that had pushed them to a narrow 2-1 win in Gabon during the Trophee des Champions less than two months ago.

Blanc, returning to face his former side in southwestern France, got his tactics spot on and ensured that his depleted side still had far too much for Francis Gillot's distinctly average men. Since Le President has taken over at the Parc des Princes, he may not have won every game convincingly, but he has a better record than predecessor Carlo Ancelotti after five weeks of action.

PSG are two points better off this campaign than they were last year, boasting 11 points. But more importantly, they are playing better football.

Blanc has got the team playing the sort of possession-based football that the Italian could only dream of his PSG producing. Although it had not made the side any more convincing than in the Ancelotti era over the first four games, the team look to have hit their stride in the fifth.

Admittedly, it was a 2-0 victory over a very poor Bordeaux side who have been stripped of their best talent over the last two or three seasons, but they remain resolute in defence. That did not stop Blanc's side from taking control of the game early and creating a hatful of chances though.

PSG's most impressive player on the night was Lucas Moura. Despite having been called up for international duty with Brazil over the past fortnight, where he was used sparingly, the 21-year-old started against Les Girondins and put in arguably one of his best performances since arriving in January.

Full of running, creativity and determination, the Selecao star grew in confidence as the game progressed and looked comfortable as part of a forward three alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Hervin Ongenda. His goal was not particularly outstanding on his part, although it did come from a sublime Marco Verratti, but scoring only seemed to spur him on as he improved and finished an 81-minute performance strongly.

His 64th minute strike ended a 1019-minute wait for his first goal in PSG colours after an effort against fierce rivals Olympique de Marseille last season was later judged to have been a Nicolas N'Koulou own goal instead.

If Moura was man of the match, then Ibrahimovic was equally as vital, particularly in the first half. The Swede, despite having played and scored for his country in Kazakhstan three days prior, looked full of purpose and produced an outstanding passage of play to provide Blaise Matuidi with the game's opening goal.

Ibra's sensational pass was untidily converted by the French international midfielder, but the towering striker enjoyed a few chances of his own before he was replaced by Edinson Cavani with nine minutes remaining.

Cedric Carrasso produced some good stops on the night, despite being badly at fault for Moura's second half strike, but saved well from Ibrahimovic late-on as well as denying debut boy Lucas Digne.

Matuidi was as consistent as ever and was in the right place at the right time to score the opener. Considering that he had played for France in their 4-2 win over Belarus in World Cup qualifying in Gomel on Tuesday, he did very well to play the full 90 minutes with his usual impressive diligence. Controlling a midfield three also comprising Verratti and Thiago Motta, the trio combined well and proved that, despite some early criticism, Blanc's preferred 4-3-3 formation does have a future with these players.

The wait to see Marquinhos play continues, but in truth, PSG did not need him in Bordeaux and keep a second consecutive clean sheet. Cavani then added a late touch of class to the evening following his nine-minute cameo, donating his short to a handicapped member of the crowd.

2-0 did not flatter PSG at the Stade Chaban Delmas; if anything, they could and should have scored more. However, considering the mammoth next three weeks that the club are facing, it was an excellent result that takes them provisionally top of Ligue 1. To say that PSG have turned a corner might prove to be a bit premature, but the victory in Bordeaux is the strongest signal yet that Blanc is finally starting to win over his players.


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