Les 🔴🔵 ramènent ✌️points précieux de leur déplacement à Aalborg (29-32) et rejoignent le @FCBhandbol en tête de la poule ! le match de dimanche prochain s'annonce ENORME ! #AALPSG pic.twitter.com/DxFwlaS0ZT— PSG Handball (@psghand) November 24, 2019
With Barcelona winning at home to Flensburg on Saturday night (31-27), Les Rouge et Bleu had to score two points on their trip to Denmark if they wanted to keep pace with the leader. Not an easy task as, a month earlier, Aalborg had shown their quality by defeating the reigning German champion at the Jutlander Bank Arena - the venue for Sunday's clash with Paris.
As was the case in Créteil in the middle of the week (29-38), Les Rouge et Bleu took a while to get going. Two goals behind for the first 15 minutes, they came close to going three points adrift, but Rodrigo Corrales produced several decisive saves to help the capital club level it up and then get back in front thanks to a strike from Luka Karabatic.
22': Les Rouge et Bleu repassent devant après ce tir de @mikkelhansen24 contré par le gardien et bien rattrapé au vol par @LKARABATIC_Off qui donne un but d'avance à Paris ! 11-12 #AALPSG pic.twitter.com/lgaZVYGpBH— PSG Handball (@psghand) November 24, 2019
The Parisians then managed to widen the gap somewhat before heading into the break three goal to the good (14-17).
However, the early stages of the second half went in favour of the hosts. Paris struggled to find a way past the opposition goalkeeper, scoring just four goals in ten minutes, and had Rodrigo Corrales not been on point, the Danes would have been able to get back on top very quickly.
All too often at a numerical disadvantage, Paris were very much in danger of seeing Aalborg turn the match on its head. But, be it through Rodrigo Corrales, Mikkel Hansen or Kamil Syprzak, Les Rouge et Bleu found a second wind and had their noses in front when the final buzzer sounded on their eight European win of the season.
The Parisian of the game:
Despite having a rather timid start, as most of his teammates did, Rodrigo Corrales played a starring role for Paris, keeping them in it just when Aalborg had the opportunity to tale control of the match. With 15 saves at over 35%, the Spanish goalkeeper delivered a great performance. Even though he was sent off for two minutes at the very end of the game - with Vincent Gérard deputising ably with two saves at 100% - Rodrigo turned in an heroic performance.
The word: Team
In a match where Les Rouge et Bleu were repeatedly put in difficulty by their opponents, they stuck together and were able to weather the storm both in attack and defence. This cast-iron mentality was the key to their not allowing Aalborg back into the game.
The Parisians know it well: you can't afford to get ahead of yourselves. Before playing host to Barcelona in what is already shaping up to be the biggest clash of the Velux EHF Champions League's Round 10, Paris Saint-Germain Handball will do battle with Saint-Raphaël at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin.
This clash against the Lidl StarLigue's eighth-placed side will be far from a mere warm-up. Saint-Raphaël are enjoying some excellent form, unbeaten in five: a draw against heavyweights Montpellier and four consecutive wins.