WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 28: Zlatan Ibrahimovic #18 of Paris Saint-Germain FC warms up before a game against D.C. United during the World Football Challenge 2012 at RFK Stadium on July 28, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
2 Total Updates since August 10, 2012
9 months ago Update 0 comments
Paris Saint-Germain will probably win the Ligue 1 title in 2012-13, but their all-star team isn't off to a terrific start. They played a very poor first half against Lorient, going down by two goals, and needed a stunning individual performance by Zlatan Ibrahimovic to claw back a point in a 2-2 draw at home.
Things got off to an abysmal start for PSG when Maxwell directed the ball into his own net, putting Lorient up 1-0 in the 4th minute on an own goal. The hosts were on top for much of the first half, but struggled to create clear chances, and even saw another Lorient goal narrowly disallowed for offside. The home fans were preparing to boo PSG off the pitch at halftime even before the second goal, scored by Jeremie Aliadiere on a great counter-attack, assisted by Lucas Mareque. The PSG players head it from their fans as they walked into the tunnel down two goals.
Ibrahimovic was PSG's most effective player in the first half, but he upped his game considerably in the second half and was clearly the best player on the pitch for either team. He set up Lavezzi with a great first touch and ball to the back post in the 50th minute, but Lavezzi put his shot right into the stomach of Fabien Audard. In the 54th minute, he nearly put in a cross by Lavezzi with a great bit of skill, but hit the post.
It took until the 64th minute for PSG to score, but Ibrahimovic finally found the breakthrough with a brilliant finish from close range. Things calmed down for a bit, but the home side started going for broke with around 10 minutes remaining in the match. They created multiple chances, but didn't equalize until Gregory Bourillon brought down substitute Blaise Matuidi in the box. A penalty was granted and the red card was shown to Bourillon. Ibrahimovic stepped up and converted, saving PSG from total embarrassment in their first game of the season.
9 months ago Update 0 comments
Montpellier, who aren't expected to mount too much of a title defense in Ligue 1 this season, got their season off to a shaky start with a 1-1 home draw against Toulouse. They took the lead early on, but had to play most of the game with 10 men after Jamelle Saihi picked up a red card late in the first half.
Souleymane Camara scored the opener for Montpellier in the 34th minute, assisted by a great lofted ball over the top of the defense by John Utaka. Camara surged through on goal and won a race with Ali Ahamada to the ball, poking it past him to put his team in front.
Salihi's red card came five minutes later on an absolutely horrible challenge. He stuck out his leg in an attempt to win a ball in the air and brought his boot so high that he put his studs into the forehead of Pantxi Sirieix. It was as clear of a red card as anyone's going to see this season, and it's only August.
Toulouse took control of the game after that but it took them until late in the second half to find an equalizer. Serge Aurier set it up with a great long diagonal ball towards the head of Ben Yedder, who nodded the ball into the back of the net at the far post. At that point, it looked like Toulouse might go on to find a winner as well, but the game turned quickly.
Just one minute after the equalizer, Toulouse's Adrien Regattin was shown a straight red card for a terrible lunging tackle on Daniel Congré that took them down to ten men. Montpellier went up a man when Aurier was sent off for a reckless tackle in the 84th minute, but they were unable to capitalize on their shocking 10-on-9 advantage and held on for a draw.