Successful start

The context:
Five days after their Trophée des Champions win over Montpellier (34-27), Paris Saint-Germain Handball got back to Lidl StarLigue action on Wednesday night, making the trip to Istres' Halle Polyvalente to put their title back on the line against a side who secured their top-flight survival in style last season.

The match:
Les Rouge et Bleu needed no time to warm up as they set about defending their Lidl StarLigue title. Right from the off, captain Luka Karabatic had his side firing in all cylinders and they duly took the lead (9': 5-7). Which was far rom easy, as the home side were tough to move around. Guillaume Crépin in particular proved inspired as he took on Rodrigo Corrales, but luckily our side also has a left-back with an eye for bulk goals - a certain Mikkel Hansen (13': 5-8). Newcomers Kamil Syprzak (21': 6-11) and Gudjon Sigurdsson bagged their first goals in the French handball elite (25': 8-15), helping Paris to build in power and head into the break with a deserved six-goal lead (11-17).


The second half proved no different for our team. This time, it was Karabatic's older brother Nikola who led the way with a hat-trick in his first few minutes on the court (36': 14-22). Raul Gonzalez's men never looked in danger, thanks to an excellent Rodrigo, but also to a very good offensive efficiency, led by their pivots, Henrik Toft Hansen (41': 18-26) and Kamil (46': 15-27). In this context, wasn't surprising to see the capital club go ten goals clear as Mikki converted one of his three successful seven-metre throws for the evening (51': 21-31). With less than 10 minutes to go, the suspense was gone... but Dylan Nahi (56 : 22-33) and Kim Edkahl du Rietz (58' : 24-35) bagged two final strikes to seal the deal (25-35).

The Parisian in the game: Mikkel Hansen
Mikkel Hansen, who shot 5 from 6 (including his three penalties), was the game's top scorer. But beyond this fact, he cemented an even greater impact on the history of the championship - and our club - by reaching the 1000-goal mark in the Lidl StarLigue. He became the first player to achieve this rarified total who has scored all his goals for Paris.


The word: Leader
Paris Saint-Germain Handball got off to a perfect start in Lidl StarLigue with a great victory over Istres. Even though position on the table is merely anecdotal after just one round of the league campaign, it is worth noting that Les Rouge et Bleu now sit atop the standings with two points and goal difference +10.

Coming up:
A first big clash of the season is next on the cards! After taking a break this weekend, Les Rouge et Bleu will play host to Nantes as they return to the Stade Pierre de Coubertin on Wednesday. This fixture has proven thrilling and goal-filled over recent seasons and there is no reason to doubt that Wednesday's clash will buck the trend - but there are still some seats left at Paris' home arena.

(Credits: TeamPics/PSG)