Goals, football start to flow vs. Evian

Posted by Jonathan Johnson

Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty ImagesKevin Gameiro's goal was a pleasant bonus in PSG's win

Paris Saint-Germain produced their most fluid display of football so far this season Saturday, running out 4-0 winners at home to Evian to illustrate to critics this team can play together and, more important, for Carlo Ancelotti.

Goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Thiago Motta and Kevin Gameiro demonstrated a more varied approach to winning than the usual Ibra-inspired victories. But the most satisfying aspect was the flowing football exhibited by Ancelotti's men. The performance was comprehensive, not to mention a second consecutive top-notch performance from Javier Pastore as well following the Porto victory.

The biggest positive on a very good day at the office was the nature of the performance; PSG looked stylish, slick, controlled and incisive as they picked Evian apart in a victory that in no way flattered them. Granted the visitors are not the strongest team in Ligue 1 right now, but their away form had been good coming into the clash.

However, the capital club wasted no time in asserting themselves and finally looked like a team over 90 minutes for the first time this season. Take Ibrahimovic's opener for example: some neat passing between Christophe Jallet and Pastore capped with a glorious backheel before the Frenchman served up an enticing cross for Ibra to prod home.

Motta's third goal and Gameiro's fourth also featured some of les Parisiens' best team moves this season.

Gameiro's goal in particular will be a huge boost for Ancelotti, who has been without his second goalscoring forward consistently since October, despite a string of substitute appearances. The Frenchman, who was on a hot run of form before an injury, was only given a short run-out on Saturday, but he took his opportunity brilliantly by capping a beautiful team move (replete with a beautiful killer touch from Jeremy Menez) just seconds after coming on.

The goal is an instant boost to Gameiro, whose confidence will be back on a par with how it was before his absence. More important, it allows Ancelotti to change things going forward with another trusted goal-getter from which to choose.

Motta's reappearance for the first time since the 1-1 draw in Montpellier last month was another welcome boost, the Italian having only started five league games this season after a spate of injury problems. Although his goal was a welcome bonus, the former Barcelona and Inter Milan man is not in the team to put the ball in the back of the net; instead mhis presence adds further authority to the middle of the park.

Motta only lost eight of 113 touches Saturday - his ball retention of the highest calibre and is something PSG have missed in recent weeks as the midfield has struggled to boss games in the manner they did earlier this season.

Lavezzi's goal, while not as much of an example of glorious teamwork like Ibra or Gameiro's, was an important strike all the same as the Argentine finally netted his first league goal in the rouges-et-bleu. The former Napoli man has reserved most of his goalscoring for the Champions League thus far with three strikes, but with his injury worries truly behind him now and fitness now close to optimum level, el Pocho looks every bit the player who convinced PSG to pay the Naples side so handsomely for his services in the summer.

His goal Saturday was a perfect demonstration of what the capital club's fans can expect on a regular basis from he and Ibrahimovic, the Swede cushioning the ball down for Lavezzi to profit from his teammate's unselfish play.

PSG moved into second, albeit possibly temporarily, ahead of a busy Christmas period crucially with no European commitments right now. Ancelotti's side need to concentrate on correcting their stuttering league form. With a tricky visit to Valenciennes looming Tuesday before the crunch clash with league leaders Lyon next Sunday, this was the perfect preparation.

PSG have already hit a large run of form this season when they went nine games unbeaten. The challenge now will be to replicate that and to finish the year as close to overhauling OL at the top of the table as possible. Finishing the autumn season with a trip to Brest will help. All three matches are arguably winnable for PSG but it seems that those have been the points that Ancelotti's side have struggled to maximise.

Following the Evian victory, another solid week of progress would make the rumours of coach swapping and capital crises seem like (bottled) water under the bridge.

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