Winning return to league duties
On Wednesday night, Paris Saint-Germain Handball returned to Lidl StarLigue duties after a month-long break and showed no sign of slowing down as they dominated Aix-en-Provence 31-27 in their Round 8 clash.
Three days after emptying the tank to win past Szeged (33-31), les Rouge et Bleu took a little while to get going on Wednesday night, although it must be said that Aix 'keeper Wesley Pardin and sharpshooter Aymeric Minne didn't make it easy for them (9': 5-5). However, after some fine-tuning, our lads got back on track and made the break thanks to Kim Ekdahl du Rietz (13': 8-6). The Swedish international shone throughout the first half, either starting or finishing most of the Parisians' attacks (19': 11-8). Now in full swing, the capital club widened the gap as the likes of Henrik Toft Hansen and Adama Keita won their duels with Pardin (24': 15-10) and Paris remained in front as the half-time buzzer sounded (17-14).
Raul Gonzalez's men rolled on in the second half, with Kim hitting a quick-fire double (33': 20-14). The team's back-line effectively muzzled the visiting forwards and Rodrigo Corrales, subbed on at half-time, conceded nothing for seven whole minutes (37': 21-15). At the other end of the court, our forwards thrilled the Coubertin crowd, Adama Keita pulling off a laser-guided spin-shot (41': 23-16) and Mikkel Hansen bagging his 900th Lidl StarLigue goal (44': 24-17). Heading into the final ten minutes, the result looked well and truly secure (51': 27-20) and with Mikki following Adama's lead and scoring with a perfect spin-shot (54': 29-21), the Parisians' little dip in form in the final minutes did nothing to endanger their victory (31-27).
Thanks to a solid performance, Paris Saint-Germain Handball claimed a deserved win. With Nantes losing at home to Chambéry (29-33), Paris could go top of the table should they emerge victorious from their postponed match away to Montpellier in December.
The Parisian scorers:
Mikkel Hansen (ten goals), Kim Ekdahl du Rietz (8), Sander Sagosen (4), Luka Stepancic, Adama Keita, Henrik Toft Hansen (2), Benoît Kounkoud, Luc Abalo, Viran Morros (1).
The Parisian 'keepers:
Thierry Omeyer: 4 from 18 (22%), Rodrigo Corrales: 11 from 24 (45%).