Paris in control at Montpellier


Paris Saint-Germain Handball beat Montpellier 26-31 on Sunday in the headline clash of Liqui Moly StarLigue Round 18.

With a perfect record after 17 rounds of the Liqui Moly StarLigue season, the capital club were keen to continue their good run of form at Montpellier. It was a more than perilous trip, however, to face a side that was taking a n 18-month unbeaten run into the game. However, Raul Gonzalez's men have been brimming with confidence since the start of the season, and were determined to thwart home coach Patrice Cannayer's plans.

Despite a largely partisan local crowd, Les Rouge et Bleu got into their stride straight away and took an early lead (2': 0-2). However, the Hérault-region side managed to claw back the deficit as the ten-minute mark approached (8': 4-4).

Led by an in-form Kamil Syprzak (seven goals) and Ferran Solé (five goals), Raul Gonzalez's men extended their lead shortly after the quarter-hour mark (20': 7-11). Although Montpellier were giving it their all, Andreas Palicka made a string of saves typical of the stellar recent form that saw hium star against Kielce in midweek (26': 10-12). And it was partly thanks to him that the capital club went into the break with a two-point lead (30': 13-15).

After the restart, Kamil Syprzak continued his scoring spree, scoring his tenth goal of the evening to keep Paris in the lead (36': 18-20) before Jannick Green saved a penalty (41': 19-23). In the final quarter of the match, Spanish winger Ferran Solé scored his eighth goal of the match - his best performance of the season (45': 21-26). Just a week after setting a new personal-best scoring record with Les Rouge et Bleu, Kamil repeated the feat, finding the back of the net for the 13th time in as many attempts (52': 23-28).

With just a few minutes remaining, Jannick extinguished all Montpellier's hopes with another penalty save (58': 24-29). The second half was flawless, and once again led by the unstoppable Kamil, Paris toppled the MHB at home and continued their unbeaten run in the Liqui Moly StarLigue (60': 26-31). The win extended the capital club's lead at the top of the league following Nantes' draw at Chartres on Saturday. Next up for Raul Gonzalez's men is Thursday's trip to Zagreb for the penultimate matchday of the EHF Champions League group stage.


(Credits: J. Azouze/PSG)