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January 12, 2013
• Parc des Princes, Paris
Referee: N. Rainville
• Attendance: 42008
90' + 4'
What a game. Despite no goals being scored, Ajaccio secure their second 0-0 draw of the season against PSG. Thiago Motta's sending off helped them on their way, but Carlo Ancelotti must be furious at his side's performance tonight. 0-0 it ends.
90' + 4'
FULL-TIME: PSG 0-0 AC Ajaccio.
90' + 4'
Lippini's pass towards Andre is picked off by Chantome, but the PSG break ends easily as Ibrahimovic is dispossessed despite looking for a free-kick. A fantastic defensive performance this has been from the visitors.
90' + 3'
Maxwell fires over the bar after some progressive movement from the hosts ends in such a meek way. Ochoa taking his time from the goal-kick, and the PSG fans vent their fury.
90' + 2'
IBRAHIMOVIC! Oh it's wide. A chance for the ten men to seal a winner, and after Gameiro helps on the loose ball, it's gone just wide. Sirigu thumps the ground in frustration.
90' + 1'
Into the first of FOUR additional minutes in a fiery encounter at the Parc des Princes.
Yellow CardZlatan Ibrahimovic
Carlo Ancelotti spoken to by the referee after Ajaccio are awarded a free-kick. The irony is that he was sent off when the sides last met back in August.
Ibrahimovic's progress is curtailed by an offside flag, with the Swede apparently saying something unpleasant to the assistant referee. He has been booked.
Matuidi still working on the far side as Bouhours clears hurriedly to avoid further progession. Nevertheless Ibrahimovic catches the ball from a throw-in with a fine half-volley but it's gone over the bar.
Adrian Mutu sacrificed for Anthony Lippini as Ajaccio seek to shut up shop for the final five minutes. From a cup exit to a third division side, to holding PSG away - that would cap a rather remarkable week.
Blaise Matuidi appears to be in confrontation with Ajaccio boss Albert Emon with words clearly being said, as Matuidi returns to the pitch in anger. The visitors readying their final substitution.
It's gone from bad to worse, and now - where? Lucas Moura suffers cramp, and is substituted immediately. No goals, but plenty of promise and a brilliant debut for PSG. He will be replaced by Kevin Gameiro.
Should Paris Saint-Germain draw, they will be on 39 points, with Lyon and Marseille a point further behind, albeit a game in hand. Not the best situation for Ancelotti to find himself in.
And the chanting has no impact as Zlatan Ibrahimovic fires all the way over Guillermo Ochoa's bar. A frustrating evening for PSG enters its final 10 minutes.
Lucas wins a free-kick after being tackled down by Pierazzi, and Ajaccio also have a man down, with Maire looking to catch a breath amidst this incessant defending. Free-kick is central, just 30 metres out. Ibra chanting goes up...
Maxwell again attempting to force an attempt down this left flank, springing a pass towards Lavezzi - who in truth, has had a quiet second half so far - but Ajaccio clear their lines once more.
Hamodi Omran comments: Zlatan not playing well until now, he looks much in bad form since Ancelotti is an idiot and gave him a holiday instead of playing against that division 5 team... < But would you risk your best player in the early stages of the Cup? Not many would.
Lucas does well to hold off the left-back but loses his footing midway as Ajaccio come unscathed again at the back. Seconds earlier, Sakho and Alex were involved in an uncertain moment after almost allowing the striker to go clear.
Substitution for Ajaccio - and it's striker Andy Delort who comes on as Ajaccio attempt to take a smash and grab victory at the Parc. And immediately, he is booked, seconds after coming on.
Yellow CardAndy Delort
MATUIDI! And it's the midfielder's turn to be denied a chance to open the scoring. Another fantastic opening for PSG as the ball is scythed across goal towards Matuidi, who slams it over the bar.
MAXWELL! Oh what a chance. It's PSG who are turning on the style here. Getting closer with the Brazilian left back denied by a superb challenge by Poulard. My word, what a defensive performance.
IBRAHIMOVIC! What a chance, and what a save by Ochoa once more. Superb opening by Ibra who attempts to lob the goalkeeper, who races off his line and deflect the ball away. Ibra's rebound is wide, but the fans have started to boo.
Ibrahimovic cuts a frustrated figure on the pitch after seeing an attempt go begging after his team-mates fail to be on the same wavelength following a positive move. The Swede nutmegged Maire, but saw his pass go wayward.
MATUIDI! Another chance goes begging for Paris Saint-Germain. From the corner, Ibrahimovic does well to pick out Matuidi, who sees Andre dive at his feet before firing over the bar. Frustrating evening.
Fantastic chance by Lucas Moura once more, with the Brazilian really coming into his own in this match. Dances past one marker before firing a low effort, it's blocked for a corner.
Chantome plays the ball forward in connection with Ibrahimovic before being dealt a tackle by Samuel Bouhours. PSG cannot afford to get a draw here this evening, being locked on points at the top with Lyon and Marseille.
Matuidi skies over a chance soon after, but Ajaccio have avoided going behind here. They've looked rather lethargic up front in open play, with their best chance coming from a direct Mutu free-kick just before the break.
ALEX! WHAT A SAVE BY GUILLERMO OCHOA! Superb header from Brazilian after a fantastic piece of play by Lucas Moura. What an attempt, and what a save by the Mexican goalkeeper, as Ibrahimovic is unable to connect a rebound.
Corner to PSG, as Poulard blocks a prospective attempt from the hosts through Matuidi. Pressure building up on Ajaccio who are unable to clear away the ball at present.
Ibrahimovic forced to drop deep to get more time on the ball, but his pass is once again woeful, forcing Jallet to clean up on the flank to keep possession. Maxwell's throw into the box is deep towards Matuidi, with his cross cleared.
Still PSG 0-0 Ajaccio, and it's been the visitors who have done well so far, with the hosts having to contend with the withdrawals of the two Thiagos - Motta (red card) and Silva (injury). 32 minutes to achieve a goal.
Mamadou Sakho will come on to replace the Brazilian after PSG had been playing for a few minutes with 10 men. Silva trudges off despondently, how much of a blow will this be?
It's gone from bad to worse for PSG as Thiago Silva pulls up after heading away a loose ball. The hamstring's gone, and he signals immediately to be taken off there. Jallet assumes the armband.
Lasne wins a free-kick after a crunching challenge from Maxwell. Free-kick about 25 etres out and in a decent position. Mutu over this, and it's headed away.
Thiago Silva attempts to go for goal from distance, but nevertheless, it's a poor attempt. Cameras cut to Jeremy Menez on the bench who appears to be unhappy at his relegation. Could he provide an attacking impetus?
Awkward moment at the back for Ajaccio to contend with as two defenders going for a loose ball before Maire is forced to kick the ball behind for a corner.
Chantome powers forward and passes to Jallet yet again, whose early cross is easily picked out. Not a great move from PSG, but they've won a corner.
Outswinging corner from Ajaccio after good work from Begeorgi to win the set-piece. Headed away by Alex, but Ajaccio growing in confidence as PSG are forced to head the ball away.
Defensive switch from PSG as Clement Chantome has been thrown on in favour of the disappointing Javier Pastore. For Ajaccio - Fabrice Begeorgi is on for Frederic Sammaritano.
UNDERWAY IN THE SECOND HALF! PSG attacking from right to left here and it appears that Javier Pastore has been substituted. Confirmation on that soon.
Substitutions for both sides at the break, more on that in a second. The second half soon to be underway at the Parc des Princes.
Well, Thiago Motta's red card has certainly changed things. Can Ajaccio hold on in the second half against ten men? Decent game on the face of it, with Ibrahimovic, Lucas Moura and Jallet missing decent chances, with Mutu threatening rarely on the other side. Stay tuned for the second half.
HALF-TIME: PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN 0-0 AC AJACCIO
45' + 3'
MUTU! What a free-kick, and it's fired just wide of the post. Sirigu was chasing that all the way, but that should be the last action of a controversial first half.
45' + 2'
Ibrahimovic arguing with the referee, but that's not going to help. Motta remonstrating also, but he should be off the field. Mutu to take the free-kick, with the incident just outside the area.
45' + 1'
Red CardThiago Motta
45' + 1'
RED CARD - THIAGO MOTTA. What a shocking challenge from the Italy international who sees red rightly for a lunging tackle on Sammaritano. Right on the Achilles, and that could be threatening. Promptly sent off.
45' + 1'
SIRIGU! Great save, punched away by the goalkeeper, but Ajaccio stay in numbers here up front.
Eduardo over this chance in what is the last chance before the interval. Can Ajaccio take a shock lead here? Mutu over this once more, as boos ring out.
Pastore's corner headed away by Pierazzi. This has been the norm in the first half, with many dead ball situations being poorly executed. A minute to go before half-time, as Eduardo wins a free-kick.
Mutu's free-kick is long and towards Sammaritano who attempts to go up for the aerial ball with Sirigu, before being defeated by the goalkeeper.
Lucas' delivery is poor and headed away at the first attempt before Ajaccio attempt to break after Jallet is caught out of position. WIth not any numbers up front, the counter stalls before the visitors win a free-kick.
Yellow CardFrédéric Sammaritano
Frederic Sammaritano booked by the referee for a reckless challenge on Lucas Moura who is given a rude awakening in France with that tackle. Free-kick, and the Brazilian will take.
And the answer is no as Maxwell's delivery is over the heads of everyone before being cleared by Ajaccio brilliantly.
Pastore goes down after being hacked down by Poulard on the edge of the area. It's at a similar position to that of the Motta chance minutes ago. Can the hosts work the defence more this tie around?
Eight minutes before half-time, and it is Ajaccio who look the more comfortable of the two teams as Maire continues his fine first half with a well worked slide tackle on Lavezzi.
Ibrahimovic with a dive there, he's gone down threatically, but the referee almost instantly looks the other way. PSG still threatening, but they are unable to unlock a so far watertight Ajaccio defence.
Great movement by Matuidi who holds off his marker Poulard, before ploughing his way through the defence, but cannot force his way past a rather sharp Guillermo Ochoa.
Jallet again threatening down the right flank, and his low cross is deflected on by Saad and into the path of Ochoa with Lucas Moura waiting in the wings.
IBRAHIMOVIC! Oh no. What a howler. To be fair, it was a difficult chance, but given that he already has 18 goals this season in Ligue 1, you would've bet on him opening the scoring. Fantastic pass from Motta in towards Ibrahimovic in acres of space, but it's gone just over the bar.
EDUARDO! Should've passed the ball to Mutu, who is furious on the other side. The Brazilian attempts to get the better of compatriot Alex, with Mutu on the other side waiting for a pass. Instead, the striker goes to challenge Alex, and decidedly loses.
ALEX! Oh, his fine header is blocked by none other than Lavezzi! From the corner, a powerful bullet of a header from Alex appears to go goalwards, but team-mate Lavezzi ensures the ball goes anywhere but the goal with an accidental block.
PENALTY?! NO! Ibrahimovic appeals for a penalty, but Nicolas Rainville waves it away. On second viewing - that was the correct decision by the referee. Ibra's shot bounces up over the chest of Arnaud Maire,but it's no penalty.
Unlucky. Lucas plays a deft ball in towards Ibrahimovic who continues to power his way past the defender, but too much power sees the defender win the tussle.
For all of their attacking qualities, PSG have looked a bit pedestrian in the final third. A fantastic movement between thet two Argentines, Pastore and Lavezzi, but the ball goes frustratingly out of play.
PSG fans in full voice as Carlo Ancelotti's men remain in dominant position on the field. 60% possession attributed to the Parisian side, but the score remains goalless.
Lucas with another fantastic pass towards Jallet on the right, before producing a fine slide tackle to avoid the ball going out of play. If the first 20 or so minutes are anything to go by, Lucas will fit right in at PSG.
Pastore again makes progress forward in the middle of the park, with Matuidi just behind him, but once more the Argentine international is unable to fathom a chance.
Ajaccio are still with the ball up front with PSG not exactly clearing their lines. Saad's ball back in is left by Alex, with the hosts awarded a goal-kick instead.
Ajaccio awarded a free-kick on the left about 30 yards out. Arnaud Maire up, with Yann Poulard standing over the set-piece. It's a poor one, and Thiago Silva is handed with an easy clearance.
Lavezzi worked on the left and does well to power past Maire, but his overpowered cross is well held by Guillermo Ochoa.
Pastore with a fabulous pass towards Jallet on the right, with the left-back not even tracking the number 26. Jallet's pass in is poor, and Ajaccio live to breathe again.
One game in Ligue 1 has already finished tonight. It ended Saint-Etienne 2-2 Toulouse. If PSG win tonight, they go top, three points clear of Lyon and Marseille.
MOTTA! Oh, that was very close. Clever play from Ibrahimovic who appeared to have gone for goal but his disguised pass to Motta in the six yard box was not picked out, with the Italy international firing narrowly wide.
Well, Maxwell wins a free-kick on the edge of the area after Arnaud Maire went in recklessly on the left-back. What a position for PSG to open the scoring, albeit in a rather acute angle. Ibrahimovic is over this....
Lucas evades the challenge of the midfielder before threading a pass out wide to Christophe Jallet. Play is switched to the left-flank, before PSG are forced back by a compact defence.
MUTU! A rare chance for the visitors, and Adrian Mutu fires a shot into the side netting. The Romanian striker found space ahead of Thiago Silva, before working a shot wide.
Nine minutes gone, and the hosts are pretty comfortable on the ball with debutant Lucas Moura already bright up front. Ajaccio however, have been confined to their own half for now.
Sammaritano aiming to get past the challenge of Pastore, but the Corsicans are forced all the way back with Maire. A win here for the visitors would be their first at the Parc since 2006.
Christophe Jallet's pace on the right is causing Ajaccio one or two problems already, as his cross is again threatening, but picked out in defence.
Lavezzi takes control of a loose ball and races through a couple of defenders, before being checked. He stays on his feet and continues his darting run before his pass being helped on by Lucas, but unable to cleanly connect with Ibrahimovic.
Pastore attempts to surge out of a packed midfield, aiming to construct a flowing passing move with Motta, but Lasne's intervention sees the ball played all the way back to Guillermo Ochoa.
Motta sprays a pass towards Maxwell on the left, but PSG already very comfortable on the ball as they gently knock it around the park. Amazing atmosphere at the Parc this evening, not an empty seat in sight!
Ajaccio - who are under-strength due to the Africa Cup of Nations are quickly undone as Maxwell breaks on the left. Lucas involved in the build-up, but Jallet's long cross in is headed away.
Tonight's referee Nicolas Rainville takes the whistle, and the match has begun! PSG attacking from left to right.
The teams are out at the Parc des Princes, and it's a raucous atmosphere in the capital. There is tangible excitement at how new boy Lucas Moura will turn out.
TEAM NEWS: Lucas Moura starts for PSG in his league debut, as was confirmed by Ancelotti last night. Mamadou Sakho is benched in favour of Alex, with Ezequiel Lavezzi preferred to Blaise Matuidi. Ajaccio meanwhile have five key players out due to Africa Cup of Nations duty, with Arnaud Maire in the side ahead of Anthony Lippini.
PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN: Sirigu - Jallet, Alex, T.Silva, Maxwell - Matuidi, Motta, Pastore, Lucas Moura, Lavezzi; Ibrahimovic
AC AJACCIO : Ochoa; Poulard, Maire, Bouhours, Saad; Andre, Pierazzi; Lasne, Sammaritano, Mutu; Eduardo
CONFIRMED TEAM NEWS:
A few statistics to whet your appetite before kick-off: Carlo Ancelotti's men have so far scored nine goals in two matches in 2013. The Corsican club have won just once away to the Parc des Princes - a 4-2 victory in 2006.Adrian Mutu remains 14 goals behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic (PSG) in the top scorer standings, despite promising to beat his tally. A defeat to PSG on Friday night will see Ajaccio lose three league games in a row for the first time since November 2011.
Nevertheless, Ajaccio can take heart from their Matchday Two heroics which saw them clinch a spirited 0-0 draw with PSG back in August. A watertight defence and a red card handed to Ezequiel Lavezzi earned the Corsicans a point. L'ACA however, have not won in Paris since 2006.
Ajaccio, however, are sliding towards the relegation zone. Coach Alex Dupont was fired before the break, with former Marseille boss Albert Emon named the new boss at the Corsican club. Emon will have to reverse the side's recent slump, which has culminated in a shock penalty defeat to third-tier Rouen in the Coupe de France.
Furthermore, there also has been some transfer activity in the French capital. New €45m signing Lucas Moura has been confirmed to start an official game and is set to make his home and league debut this evening, whereas Guillaume Hoarau has departed to Chinese outfit Dalian Aerbin. With the added brilliance of Moura, Ancelotti will be hoping that the Brazilian can add that extra quality as his side seek a first league title since 1994.
2013. Three teams vying for the Ligue 1 title, and PSG sit at the top of the pile, which also includes rivals Olympique Lyonnais and arch-enemies Olympique de Marseille on 38 points. Carlo Ancelotti's men came through December virtually unscathed, and put aside their recent winter troubles to win seven games on the trot - including 5-1 and 4-3 wins over Qatari club Lekhwiya and amateurs Arras in a friendly and Coupe de France fixture respectively.
First of all, let me introduce myself. I'm Mohammed Ali, and I'll be guiding you through today's events for the next two hours. Don't forget send your comments to the Goal.com matchcentre once the match is underway. Predictions, opinions and all. I'll be waiting for them.
Good evening and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE! text commentary from Ligue 1. It's back from the winter break. A new year has started, and tonight will see Paris Saint-Germain aim to continue their recent good form with a home game against AC Ajaccio. It's live from the Parc des Princes, and team news is on the way.
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