Paris win at the Parc

Equipe première

For many, this was 'the match before Manchester.' But for Paris, no such thing. On Saturday, Les Rouge et Bleu weren't worried about the Red Devils, but Les Girondins - struggling on the back of three straight defeats in all competitions. At the Parc, Les Parisiens were looking for a 12th consecutive home win in L1. But not forgetting that Bordeaux were the first club in L1 to take points of the capital club before the Christmas (2-2)…

The Match:
The Paris players' names were written in mandarin to celebrate Chinese New Year, but you didn't need to speak anything other than football to understand Paris' ambitions tonight: Paris Saint-Germain were looking to maintain their 100% home record in the championship. The Parc got it, and so did Bordeaux.
In a very physical start (3 yellow cards in 18 minutes), Pablo had to clear off his line to deny Thiago Silva (9'). Cavani fired just wide (22'), Choupo-Moting was denied by Costil (26'), and Diaby saw his effort fly just wide (29'). The Bordeaux defence was hanging by a thread. And finally they were beaten when Meunier was fouled in the box (41'), and Cavani blasted home the penalty (1-0, 42'). But the Parisian cheers turned tears when El Matador, injured when scoring, had to come off…

Mbappé replaced the Uruguay international at the break, but it was Bordeaux that looked for a way back into the game. A first effort from Kamano (55'), before the No.11 drew a magnificent save from Buffon in the Paris goal (61')! Kamano then clattered into Meunier who ended up being replaced by Dagba with ten minutes left to play (80'). Choupo-Moting went close (77'), Bordeaux's Cornelius headed wide  (87') before a last rush from Mbappé (90+2'), but there was no further change to the score. The win seeing Paris move provisionally 13 points clear of the LOSC in the second play!

A Parisian in the match: Marco Verratti
The good news of the day for Thomas Tuchel was the return of Marco Verratti. Injured against EAG (9-0), Marco was back and playing like Verratti, with 86 possessions, 87% successful passes and some wonderful vision, like when he released Cavani (22'). For 59 minutes, the Italian set the tone for before making way for Leandro Paredes.

The word: Diagnosis
Edi Cavani netted his 17th goal of the L1 season and his seventh in 2019 - more than any other player in Europe's top 5 leagues. Problem: the on fire Edi Cavani went off injured just seconds after scoring and seconds before the half-time break, with a thigh injury. Between now and Tuesday the fans will be waiting on news from the medical department...

Coming up:
After the Parc des Princes, the Theatre of Dreams! On Tuesday at 21:00 CET, Paris head to Old Trafford, for the first leg of the Champions League last-16 and a huge challenge. It's simple: no French side has ever won away to Manchester United (4 draws, 10 losses). Paris will have to show their fighting spirit in the north of England…