It wasn't vintage but PSG down Bordeaux

Posted by Jonathan Johnson

Zlatan IbrahimovicPA PhotosPSG celebrate with goalscorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic

It wasn't pretty but Paris Saint-Germain got the win they needed in Bordeaux thanks to Zlatan Ibrahimovic's solitary goal on the stroke of half time. The win moves Carlo Ancelotti's side back to the top of Ligue 1 on goal difference and ends the league's only remaining unbeaten home record, not to mention that it is the capital club's first victory at the Stade Chaban-Delmas since Pauleta and Mario Yepes secured a 2-0 victory in 2005. PSG's victory also ends a sombre week following the death of Head of Performance Nick Broad, on a positive note.

- PSG back on top, Nice leapfrog Rennes

Ancelotti elected to restore Jeremy Menez to the starting line-up in place of the ineffectual Javier Pastore, preferring to go with the direct threat of the Frenchman and opting to keep Lucas Moura on the right of midfield. The decision paid off because PSG were more clinical going forward than they were against Ajaccio, even if they produced less chances. It was far from convincing but with Menez in the side and dual threats out wide in Ezequiel Lavezzi and Moura, the attacking third looks more balanced but still lacking in chemistry which can only come with time.

More crucially it was Moura who provided Ibrahimovic's goal, the first sign of what could be a blossoming relationship and something that needed to happen in order to justify the Brazilian's immediate inclusion in the first team. With Moura in the side, it offers Ancelotti that consistent threat and creative outlet that Pastore fails to provide on a regular basis. Many will point to the fact that Lucas only completed four passes in the final third on the night, but one of those was the killer pass for Ibra's goal. Pastore has not provided an assist since early December's 4-0 win against Evian.

However whilst it is easy to criticise the Argentine without him getting too involved in the game, he was only given the last 15 minutes of the match to prove himself. Given Lavezzi's good form and Moura's immediate introduction to the first team, now might be the time for Ancelotti to play Pastore in the deep-lying playmaker role he wanted to at the start of the season before the emergence of Marco Verratti. The Italian has looked brilliant at times this season but at others he has looked rash (he picked up his seventh booking of the season against FCGB) and, in the words of coach Ancelotti, "naive."

The 20-year-old did not start the season expecting to play such a large role, so perhaps now would be a good time to see if Pastore can influence the game from deep in an effort to find space for him on the pitch. A rotation with Verratti would also move PSG away from their largely defensive mind set with which they approach domestic games.

Another positive to take from the result was the performance of Christophe Jallet, who was back as captain in the absence of Thiago Silva and was impressive once he had learnt how to deal with the considerable threat of Benoit Tremoulinas. Other impressive showings included Maxwell and Zoumana Camara. The latter was solid partnering Mamadou Sakho in the centre of defence for a rare start with Alex unavailable amidst something of a mini selection crisis for Ancelotti. Even Diego Lugano made the bench! Unthinkable.

A workmanlike performance admittedly, but after being outplayed in the first half, Ancelotti's side were more convincing in the second period. Most importantly though PSG got the three points, being back on top of the table even if it is only on goal difference makes a big difference heading into next week's home clash with Lille. Also, another clean sheet to add to Salvatore Sirigu's growing collection which is currently the best across all European leagues. Next up is the Coupe de France clash with Toulouse at the Parc des Princes before facing the Pink City outfit at the Stade Municipal just over a week later.

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