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March 16, 2014
• 4:00 PM
• Parc des Princes, Paris
Referee: L. Jaffredo
• Attendance: 45614
Z. Ibrahimović 14', 41'
That is it from me, Tom Webber, for this evening. Have a great night.
FULL TIME - PSG 2-0 Saint-Etienne: Ibrahimovic's two goals in the first half did the damage, and despite a better second half from the visitors they weren't able to find a route back into the game. Les Parisiens restore their eight-point advantage over Monaco at the Ligue 1 summit.
90' + 5'
There is the final whistle!
90' + 4'
Yellow Card Yohann Mollo
90' + 3'
HAMOUMA! He lashes a shot at goal from 20 yards but he aims it straight at Sirigu, who punches the effort behind for a corner.
90' + 1'
We are into the first of an additional four minutes.
Verratti puts in a great challenge on Tremoulinas down on the near side to bring a Saint-Etienne attack to a close. Not long left in this one now.
CAVANI!! The forward should have buried that after Maxwell danced his way into the box along the byeline before cutting the ball back. It was a little bit far behind Cavani, though, and he could not wrap his foot around it enough to guide it on target.
IBRAHIMOVIC! He smashes it low towards the keeper's side but it has so much power that he still has to adjust quickly. Ruffier gets down and manages to get in the way of it for a tremendous save.
Yellow Card Loïc Perrin
Perrin puts a clumsy tackle in on Motta as he looked to break into the area and now PSG have a free kick 20 yards from goal.
There is a real lack of creativity in this Saint-Etienne side now. They seem to feel that the task is beyond them and aren't showing enough urgency to try and get back into this.
Another good spell in possession for Saint-Etienne here. They have PSG penned back, but the movement up top just isn't there. Brandao has been practically non-existent in this game, and he is unable to find space in which to receive the ball.
It looks as though the Swede will be able to continue. He just taped up his legs again and now trudges back out onto the field of play.
Not something PSG fans will want to see - Ibrahimovic is on the floor receiving treatement. A collision with Guilavogui sees him come off worse and he now has to hobble to the sidelines. It doesn't appear too serious.
Les Parisiens appear happy to see this one out, with the fight going out of ASSE's play in the last few moments. They are not creating as much now, but they look vulnerable to the counterattack.
Guilavogui has a pop from distance but his effort is blocked by Thiago Silva. There was plenty of power in that effort and the centre-back took it in a sensitive area. Still, he gets to his feet and continues.
Well, it looks as though PSG are going to move back to eight points clear at the Ligue 1 summit. They've been far from convincing in this second half, but ASSE just haven't taken the chances that have come their way. They don't have a clinical Ibrahimovic of their own in attack.
Matuidi releases Ibrahimovic on the counterattack and the Swede carries the ball into the box from the left. Cavani, meanwhile, makes a great run into the middle but he is unable to pick him out and instead rolls the ball into the keeper's arms.
CLOSE! Ibrahimovic again drops off the front to be the architect and he slides a pass out to the overlapping Maxwell. The left-back has been tireless, and he drives a low cross towards Matuidi at the near post but his connection is poor.
WHAT A SAVE! Sirigu again keeps out Saint-Etienne, diving low to get his fingertips to Mollo's driven attempt. It may even have taken a deflection on it's way through, making that save even more impressive.
Lovely football from PSG, as Ibrahimovic sends it out wide to Jallet who then combines excellently with Verratti. The right-back picks out Lucas in the middle but his header goes painfully wide of the goal.
Cabaye has made way with what seems to be an injury to his back. There was no contact there and it seems to be just a twinge as he changes direction.
Are Saint-Etienne going to rue all of these missed chances? Les Verts have been impressive since the restart but have spurned every opportunity that has come their way so far. Meanwhile, replays show Tabanou throwing a tantrum on the sideline after being replaced.
SIRIGU! Erdinc almost returns to haunt his former employers as he volleys Tremoulinas' cross at goal. He aims it too close to Sirigu, though, and the keeper bats the shot away from the target.
WHAT A MISS! Mollo swings the free kick in superbly and it finds Guilavogui in the centre of the six-yard box, but he sends his header over the top of the goal. He was completely unmarked and ought to have scored that.
Yellow Card Yohan Cabaye
Cabaye is booked for a rash challenge on Tremoulinas after a quick free kick caught the hosts out.
PSG need to get back on the front foot here. If they keep up their poor start to the half they could well ship a goal soon, and then momentum would really be with the visitors.
Ibrahimovic cushions down a long ball with his head and angles it into the path of Lavezzi, but he is unable to take enough pace off of the ball so that his team-mate can reach it ahead of Ruffier.
SIRIGU! The keeper makes another good stop to keep out ASSE. This time it is Sall with the effort, but he fails to guide his shot past the Italian after picking up the ball, unmarked, at the back of the box. The keeper did well to parry it out of danger too.
A lovely move from PSG as Ibrahimovic and Cavani move towards the opposition goal, before the former slides a pass up to Lavezzi. The Argentine searches out the far corner but he is unable to direct his shot on target.
SO CLOSE! Saint-Etienne almost pull one back but Sirigu does excellently to keep out Mollo's shot. Corgnet follows up and strikes the loose ball but he sends his shot into the side netting. Great start to the half for the visitors.
We are back underway!
Welcome back, the second half will be underway shortly.
HALF TIME - PSG 2-0 Saint-Etienne: Two goals from Ibrahimovic - the first of which came in controversial circumstances after the referee seemingly ignored his assistant's flag for offside - give les Parisiens the lead at the break. It has been a masterclass from the Swede, and lets hope for more of the same in the second half. Stay tuned.
45' + 1'
The half-time whistle goes!
Just one minute of added time to be played.
CAVANIIIII... over the top! Not a great effort from the Uruguayan, as he fires the free kick over the middle of the roof of the goal.
Maybe a chance for him to get his third here? Sall fouls Lavezzi just outside the box and he may fancy this one. There are a few bodies standing over it, though.
Assist Edinson Cavani
Goal Zlatan Ibrahimovic
GOOOOOOOAL! What a finish from Ibrahimovic! Cavani's cross picks out the Swede in the centre and flings a foot up to flick it over Ruffier and into the back of the net. That is his second of the night.
Ruffier will be delighted to hear the referee's whistle at the end of this half. PSG are peppering his goal with shots but the latest effort from Ibrahimovic flies harmlessly over the top.
Cabaye gets down to the byeline and rifles a cross into the box. However, no one makes a run to get on the end of it at the near post and so Ruffier is able to collect it with ease.
SO CLOSE! Ibrahimovic almost nets an absolute stunner as he bends a shot from 25 yards out, looking for the top corner on the far side. He shapes it beautifully but it lacks the dip to bring it back on target and Ruffier can watch it drop just over the bar.
GOOD SAVE! PSG are really stepping up the pressure now! Cabaye looses a shot from 30 yards which bounces towards the bottom corner. Ruffier flies across to his right and gets a touch to turn it around the post. That would have been some goal.
CAVANI!! He should score! Ibrahimovic flights a sumptuous pass over to Cavani on the far side of the box and he attempts to take it on first time. His connection isn't great, though, and he fires wide of the far post.
STAT: Ibrahimovic leads both the Ligue 1 scoring and assist charts so far this season. The Swede has now netted 24 times this campaign, whilst also supplying 11 assists.
WHAT A MISS! You would bet on Ibrahimovic tucking that away, but somehow he fails to connect with Lavezzi's cross and skews a shot from close range wide of the post.
A good spell for the visitors fail to come to anything after a succession of corners. Signs that they cannot be counted out of this one just yet.
JUST WIDE! Ibrahimovic lashes an effort on goal from the free kick but it whistles just outside of Ruffier's post. It was a cracking effort!
Cabaye has just walked off after receiving treatment for that blow. There was blood on his shirt and it looked like he took a cut to the chin. He'll have to get that changed.
Yellow Card Brandao
Brandao picks up a booking after Brandao puts his arm into Cabaye's throat. The Brazilian seems to think he was protecting the ball, but that was perhaps malicious.
Lavezzi stretches his legs and looks to race down to the byeline on the near side. Guilavogui comes across and uses his body well, but the referee judges he unfairly used his superior strength and fouled the Argentine.
What a challenge! Sall times his tackle superbly, wiping out Maxwell and taking all of the ball. There are claims for a penalty from the stands, but that was the perfect challenge.
PENALTY CLAIM?! Ibrahimovic feeds Cavani with an excellent pass but the ball gets caught under the Uruguayan's feet. He does well to spin away from Perrin, though, before flinging himself to ground. There was not much contact there, but the referee was never going to give that one.
Finally, play gets back underway. I'm sure that won't be the last we've heard of that though.
The Saint-Etienne players are furious. The assistant referee did raise his flag when Matuidi received the ball inside the area. The referee does not change his opinion despite the appeals, though he has had a bit of a disaster.
Assist Blaise Matuidi
Goal Zlatan Ibrahimovic
GOOOOOOOAAL! IBRAHIMOVIC! The towering Swede nets his 24th goal of the season, but it's not one of his prettiest. Matuidi's ricocheted shot falls kindly for Ibrahimovic who stabs a shot into the bottom corner.
GREAT SAVE!! Tremoulinas is again the source of danger as he breezes past Jallet on his way in from the left. He offloads the ball to Tabanou, who turns and lets fly with an excellent effort from 25 yards. To keep it out, Sirigu launches himself to his left and parries the attempt with a strong pair of hands.
Lavezzi clips a pass over the top for the overlapping Matuidi, but the former Saint-Etienne player is unable to find a route around Zouma in order to get on the end of it.
Tremoulinas has been very energetic so far and he almost breaks into the box following a give-and-go with Mollo. His first touch lets him down, though, and Sirigu is able to clear the ball to safety with a big kick.
Not a great tempo to the start of the game here, but there is no need for the hosts to be urgent at this stage. If they can keep the ball as well as they have so far then the chances will surely come soon enough.
That's lovely from Tremoulinas! The left-back subtly knocks the ball between his marker's legs but the return pass from his team-mate is lacking similar quality and is overhit.
Zouma has started well down on the near side. The young defender has made a couple of well-judged challenges and also put in a couple of early blocks. The latest one stopping Lavezzi's attempted cross from getting into the centre of the area.
As you would expect PSG have settled straight onto the ball and are knocking it about nicely at the moment. Saint-Etienne's wingers are dropping behind the ball when out of position to help blunt the hosts' attack.
We are underway in Paris!
The teams are making their way out onto the pitch now, so kick off will be upon us shortly.
Les Parisiens have not taken all three points from any of their previous three Ligue 1 meetings with ASSE. In fact, the last four meetings between these teams in all competitions have been draws.
PSG are undefeated in their last 26 home matches in Ligue 1, a run which stretches back to November 2012. In that month, ASSE picked up a 2-1 win at the Parc a feat which Rennes matched a fortnight later. No team has won a league game here since, though.
For the visitors, Florentin Pogba is out with a hamstring injury and Romain Hamouma is only fit enough for the bench. Former PSG player Jeremy Clement starts in midfield, while another ex-Parisien, Melvut Erdinc, is on the bench.
Blaise Matuidi and Thiago Motta come back into the PSG midfield after being rested for the 2-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League in midweek. Maxwell and Alex also come into the side, with Lucas Digne and Marquinhos moving to the bench.
Saint-Etienne substitutes: Moulin, Clerc, Brison, Lemoine, Hamouma, Cohade, Erdinc.
Saint-Etienne (4-3-3): Ruffier; Zouma, Sall, Perrin, Tremoulinas; Corgnet, Clement, Guilavogui; Mollo, Brandao, Tabanou.
PSG substitutes: Douchez, Marquinhos, Digne, Verratti, Pastore, Menez, Lucas.
PSG (4-3-3): Sirigu; Jallet, Alex, Thiago Silva, Maxwell; Cabaye, Motta, Matuidi; Cavani, Ibrahimovic, Lavezzi.
The teams have been announced, so lets see how the two sides will shape up.
Laurent Blanc has seen his side's advantage at the top of the league temporarily cut to five points following Monaco's 3-2 win over Lyon earlier today. Les Parisiens therefore must win in order to regain their eight-point lead, but face an opponent who may be buoyed by that result. Defeat for Remi Garde's men mean Saint-Etienne can now further secure their place in fourth, and even close in on third-placed Lille.
We are underway in Paris!
Hello and welcome to tonight's LIVE play-by-play commentary on the Ligue 1 meeting between Paris Saint-Germain and Saint-Etienne. The Parc des Princes is the destination tonight, for a fixture which has been closely contested in recent times. My name is Tom Webber and I will be guiding you through everything as it unfolds.
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