PSG have gone top of Ligue 1 for the first time this season after a fine triumph over the erstwhile leadersParis Saint-Germain scored arguably their most impressive result of the season to date on Saturday night as they gained a 3-0 away victory over Montpellier, who lead Ligue 1 going into the weekend.
Having survived a stern examination in the opening minutes of the match, PSG broke clear of their opponents prior to half-time with Kevin Gameiro and Javier Pastore both notching classy goals.
In the early stages, however, it seemed that the Montpellier’s attacking vigour and movement might be too much for their guests. Younes Belhanda, who showed flashes of skill but certainly not his best level, poked an early effort wide and would send an ambitious volley over, while Olivier Giroud’s aerial power proved a real threat.
Gameiro was PSG’s main threat in these early stages, with his intelligent movement threatening to break the Montpellier’s offside trap. Though flagged wrongly offside twice, he prodded a difficult chance from a tight angle wide before finally sweeping the ball home from a shapely Nene cross.
Two minutes before the break, Pastore really kicked the hosts in the guts. Siaka Tiene’s lovely crossfield pass picked out the Argentine in the box, and from a difficult angle, the Argentine showed why he’s Ligue 1’s most expensive ever player with a technically excellent volley back across goal into the opposite corner.
Giroud should have reduced the deficit in first half stoppage time but shot over, summing up an evening the was below-par in front of goal for the former Tours man, even if he was a handful otherwise. Early in the second period, the striker had a headed chance from a Jamel Saihi cross, but Salvatore Sirigu fielded the effort.
PSG were comfortable in the second period without being spectacular. Blaise Matuidi’s measure long range shot forced Geoffrey Jourdren to turn the ball over, but there appeared little prospect of a third goal before a dreadful error from the home shot-stopper.
A long ball forward seemed to pose little threat, but it somehow bounced over the keeper’s head, allowing the on-rushing Pastore to slot home from a testing angle.
There was more frustration for the hosts in the last minute of the game, when Giroud had a superb overhead kick wrongly disallowed for offside.
Victory by a three-goal margin certainly flatters PSG to some extent, as Montpellier were a genuine force in this match, but the class with which they claimed this win will make their rivals take notice.