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France - Ligue 1
August 9, 2013
• Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier
Referee: L. Jaffredo
• Attendance: 27717
R. Cabella 10'
That's it! A draw it is to open the new Ligue 1 season! Thanks for joining me tonight, I'm Mohammed Ali, and I'll see you lot again soon! Bonne nuit!
90' + 3'
FULL-TIME: MONTPELLIER 1-1 PSG
90' + 3'
It's a bacl to the walls job for Montpellier - all 10 players are back, but Cavani concedes a foul on Hilton. Surely that's it.
90' + 3'
RABIOT! HE COULD'VE WON IT! A fine save by Jourdren! From the corner, Cavani and Rabiot combine to head the ball towards goal, but it's leaped on by Jourdren on the line.
90' + 2'
Pastore races into the area, and gets the better of Mezague, but the ball bobbles towards Jourdren, who is then accused of giving away a corner over the line!
90' + 1'
Into the first of three additional minutes at Stade de la Mosson.
No is the answer, as it's well cleared by Cabella at the first attempt, and then he wins the ball off Ongenda who attempts the overlap run.
A speculative ball from Rabiot into the box, intended for Ibrahimovic is headed behind by Hilton. A last chance for Paris Saint-Germain from this corner.
Last few moments in this, as Montano wins a free-kick off Alex. Can Montpellier fashion a winner despite the numerical disadvantage?
SUBSTITUTION - Adrien Rabiot (on) (off) Lucas Moura - the Brazilian has been one of the better PSG players tonight, and is off for the talented youngster who starred at the European Under 19 Championship in Lithuania.
PASTORE! Wide, just wide of Jourdren's right post. He has the chance to redeem himself, but just drags the shot with his right foot, and Montpellier breathe a sigh of relief.
Ongenda dribbles past the challenge of Martin, towards Lucas who sees Cavani make the run in behind Hilton. He's offside, and he's angry with that decision.
Ibrahimovic furious at the delivery, as play is centred towards Ongenda on the left-wing. The youngster gets a bit too excited, and fires over the bar.
Into the last ten minutes of an enthralling Ligue 1 opener between Montpellier and PSG - PSG break through Lucas, has the advantage, which is gained after Ibrahimovic. is fouled.
CABELLA! The midfielder forced to operate on the wing after El Kaoutari's substitution, and he does brilliantly to combine with Jonas Martin, who gives back the one-two, and he tries to chip the ball towards Sirigu, just over the bar.
Yellow card for Javier Pastore for a rather lazy challenge on the Montpellier man - very poor, and it's capped off a woeful night for him.
Yellow Card Javier Pastore
Cabella is once more fouled by Jallet - Montpellier's goalscorer has seen his influence on the wane over the course of this second half.
Cavani does superbly well to hold up the ball and wait for Ibrahimovic to race into the box. He does, and latches onto the header but is reprimanded for a foul on Congre.
SUBSTITUTION - PSG: Hervin Ongenda, the 18 year old sensation comes on for Marco Verratti. A very attacking change, and it seems PSG are going all out here.
Slight delay in play as Jonas Martin goes down injured, holding his knee. Meanwhile, PSG are readying another substitution.
Substitution - Montpellier: Teddy Mezague is on for Souleymane Camara.
EDINSON CAVANI!! What a chance, and it's just wide. Wonderful introduction, and MHSC were caught napping. Cross in from the left, header is towards goal but Tiene retrieves the ball late with a fine block.
RED CARD - Abdelhamid El Kaoutari is shown a second yellow, after a late lunge on Javier Pastore. Not the best thing to do when Cavani comes on.
Yellow/Red Abdelhamid El Kaoutari
CLEARED OFF THE LINE! Free-kick drifted in, and catches Jourdren out but Alex is unable to bundle the ball home, as it's headed away by Congre.
SUBSTIUTION - Ezequiel Lavezzi (off) Edinson Cavani (on) - the €64m signing makes his Ligue 1 debut. PSG''s 401st player to play in L1
Yellow Card Siaka Tiéné
Lucas Moura tricks his way past Siaka Tiene who comfortably gives away possession. Cuts in on his left, and is brought down by the Ivorian. Free-kick just outside the box, 27metres out.
Lucas leaves it for Jallet to collect, and once again, the former PSG captain's delivery is average,and headed away at the first attempt. There's a push in the area, and MHSC have a free-kick.
Jourdren picks up the ball after a failed attack, and meanwhile on the touchline, Edinson Cavani strips off and is ready to come on. C'est imminent!
And that's a fine reception he's receiving at the moment, but he's already gone down injured. Alex clatters into Montano, who is clutching his heel.
SUBSTITUTION - Emanuel Herrera is subbed off for Victor Hugo Montano who makes his second debut with the club after leaving Rennes on Wednesday. He was top scorer for MHSC in 2010 in their first year back in Ligue 1.
Worth noting that this fixture last season also brought about the same scoreline, with the same players scored! It finished Montpellier 1-1 PSG, and Cabella, Maxwell were the scorers.
Lavezzi's long ball too powerful, too far for Ibrahimovic to give chase. 25 minutes left in this clash. Can Montpellier regain the lead? They're in possession at the moment.
Yellow Card Abdelhamid El Kaoutari
YELLOW CARD - El Kaoutari (Montpellier). The Moroccan international is booked for a late lunge on Ibrahimovic, whom he exchanges a few words of frustration with.
Well it's a goal out of nothing, and a blemish on an otherwise impressive evening for Montpellier's back four. Can PSG surge ahead with this boost now?
Assist Zlatan Ibrahimovic
GOAL! MONTPELLIER 1-1 PSG - Maxwell equalises! Lovely cross from Verratti in midfield, headed on by Ibrahimovic and the defence is nowhere. Maxwell prods in home on the far side unannounced.
Marveaux links well with Jonas Martin, but they can't fashion an opening here, as PSG's defence holds sway for the moment. Approaching the hour, will Cavani make an appearance?
Ezequiel Lavezzi tries to get out of the way of Daniel Congre, wriggling away from the defender - another one who's underperformed tonight. Isolated on many occasions.
Substitution - Anthony Mounier goes off to a standing ovation, and will be replaced by Jonas Martin.
LUCAS MOURA! Just over the crossbar, landed on the top of the woodwork, and Jourdren is well beaten. What a chance, and unlucky that he's missed it.
Silly foul from MHSC captain Vitorino Hilton, who slams into Ibrahimovic on the edge of the area. Chants of Ibra, Ibra, Ibra behind Jourdren's goal.
No Ligue 1 champion has won their opening game of the season in the last three years. PSG keeping that record alive...
HERRERA!! Oh my, just over the bar. Lovely flick-on from Cabella, as Herrera gets the better of Thiago Silva, but the powerful volley is just over the bar, couldn't keep it down.
Earlier, Camara became the second player in the book for a foul on Verratti. In the stands, a pensive Nasser al-Khelaifi watches on.
Jallet, feeds Matuidi on the edge of the area and attempts a one-two with Ibrahimovic which fails to come off. Montpellier on the break, started off by Congre and now led by Camara, who can't make it materialise into something serious.
Yellow Card Souleymane Camara
IBRAHIMOVIC! Oh, that's just wide. Jourdren rooted to the spot, as the free-kick flashes wide of his left post.
Cavani already warming up, as Ibrahimovic takes a free-kick, just 30 metres out. It's in his sights....
Underway in the second half. Paris Saint-Germain are attacking from left to right.
Sam comments: "Montpellier have been really agressive this first half. Too many fouls, not a single booking."
It's been a superb half for Remy Cabella, Benjamin Stambouli and the MHSC defence. Not so for Verratti, Pastore and Ibrahimovic. Join me in 15 for the second half.
Half-time at Stade de la Mosson! And it's a shock score so far. Referee Lionel Jaffredo has been surrounded by angry PSG players including Ibrahimovic
HALF-TIME: Montpellier 1-0 Paris Saint-Germain (Remy Cabella)
Mounier, like Herrera - not the most mobile of attackers, but becoming a nuisance out on the far side. Darts past Jallet, but cannot get past Alex, and subsequently wins a throw-in.
Lovely stat from OptaJean - Jean Fernandez (Nancy and now Montpellier) is the only coach in Ligue 1 to beat PSG more than once in the last two seasons. There's a pattern emerging here....
Souleymane Camara goes down easy, and the referee continues play. PSG failing to even seriously trouble Jourdren so far in this first half. MHSC's defence has been immense.
Less than five minutes to go until the half-time break, and Pastore's lost possession so cheaply in midfield, but they recover to win a corner as Siaka Tiene cuts out Lavezzi on the wing.
CABELLA!! Could've and should've been 2-0 that. PSG hold off the attacking midfielder again, as he dribbles and darts past ith Alex and Verratti ball-watching. Loses his balance, and with the toe-poke, the shot fires wide.
Jallet's long ball in the box finds Ibrahimovic, a tad over-hit, but once more, his control is poor, allowing enough space for Hilton to clear the ball.
The hosts come away with Tiene who bombs forward with pace, but his double cross is quickly dealt with. Lucas breaks, with the Ivorian out of position, but he comes back in time to concede possession.
Another fine Montpellier defensive moment - they're aware and focused about the job at hand as Stambouli perfectly anticpates the ball from the free-kick, and promptly heads away.
YELLOW: Marco Verratti - and the young Italian opens his account for the season! Could've been booked three times already, but this time for persistent fouling, holding back Mounier.
Yellow Card Marco Verratti
Another chance goes begging for PSG, as Lucas slips in a fine through ball towards Lavezzi, who lets it slide for a bit before whipping another cross in. Ibra brings it down, but only for the defender to clear.
Over the half-hour mark and it's Montpellier 1-0 Paris Saint-Germain to kick-off a new Ligue 1 season on Goal. Meanwhile, on the pitch, Montpellier move forward in numbers, but Mounier falters with a dummy.
IBRAHIMOVIC! Well, when he's in the zone, he really can strike from anywhere. Gets the ball just outside the area and powerfully sends a low shot towards Jourdren who is awkwardly placed, but manages to turn the ball around.
And the corner is brilliantly held by Jourdren under the challenge of Thiago Silva, but PSG continue to improve.
LUCAS! Just wide, but it's deflected behind for a corner. A long ball into the area causes havoc, with Ibrahimovic heading into the path of the Brazilian, who strikes wide after an intervention from Congre.
Pretty edgy start, as the foul numbers continue to rise - interestingly, PSG lead the possession stats by a sizeable amount, but they have a free-kick here.
Verratti concedes a free-kick, trampling on Cabella, but MHSC can't work the set-piece situation, as Herrera rolls the ball out of play with a mis-timed touch.
Slight PSG discontent that they are not getting anything from referee Lionel Jaffredo here, as another decision is dismissed. Montpellier have started brilliantly under Jean Fernandez, winning nearly all of their friendlies.
From the corner, PSG concede possession through Pastore, who allows MHSC to break with some intricate passing moves concerning Cabella, Stambouli and Camara. Matuidi eventually retrieves.
The Verratti-Ibrahimovic partnership was well apparent last season, and it almost worked here! Verratti with a long delicate chip towards Ibra, but it's well cut out by Daniel Congre.
Ibrahimovic appeals for a penalty, arguing that the ball hit a hand, but Camara comes away with the break, but unable to outmuscle Blaise Matuidi.
PSG have a free-kick in a dangerous position here. Joris Marveaux is reprimanded for a free-kick conceded on Lucas Moura. Lavezzi to tae, but it's roundly headed away.
Mounier! Ah, just lacked that little bit of awareness around him. Poor attempt. Did well to dribble past and maintain possession, but forced to hold the ball waiting for options to become available. When they did, his through ball caught the wrong man.
Maxwell concedes a free-kick for a tackle on El Kaoutari. MHSC in the driving seat, forcing PSG into mistakes. They're sitting deep too, in the hope of catching their opponents on a counter.
Pastore loses the ball in the midfield again, as Mounier races back on the counter and tussles with Verratti on the ball. Mounier stumbles, but the Argentine recovers to reclaim the ball.
Cabella the goalscorer evades his opponent with a fine bit of trickery, sees Herrera ahead of him, but unfortunately the through ball is just too short as Thiago Silva picks up possession.
Nerves for the Parisien side perhaps? Christophe Jallet races off the right wing, aims an effort - and......well, he's fired that well over the bar.
And Montpellier surge forward for a second - Herrera under the challenge of Jallet tries a shot, but it's blocked once more - lack of pace and power, but he's proving a nuisance.
Laurent Blanc already feeling the heat? Zlatan Ibrahimovic is furious with the referee at the non-award of a free-kick. It was the Swede who lost possession.
The first goal of the Ligue 1 season - Remy Cabella!! Jean Fernandez on the touchline with a furious fist shake to show his approval.
Goal Rémy Cabella
GOAAL!! MONTPELLIER 1-0 PSG! And the stadium has gone absolutely wild! Zlatan Ibrahimovic is fouled in midfield, and he stumbles and loses possession. MHSC race forward. Emanuel Herrera's shot is blocked, but Cabella is on hand to lift the ball past Sirigu. AMAZING.
Pastore finding it a bit difficult, unable to show his creativity at this early stage as MHSC continue to stifle their opponents offensively. Bit of nerves perhaps?
Ouch! Anthony Mounier almost takes out Sirigu with a slide tackle. Pretty close from the forward, but Sirigu hurriedly clears the ball away.
LAVEZZI! Saved by the goalkeeper. Fine delivery from Pastore from a free-kick out left, but his compatriot's header is too close to the goalkeeper.
Referee Lionel Jaffredo made to work early on, as he awards yet another set-piece after Pastore is felled by a late challenge from Joris Marveaux.
Tiene it was with the foul, but the free-kick is poor anyway, drifted in towards Alex who cannot connect with the ball well.
Verratti provides the ball in midfield with a wonderful dart past his opponent and picks up towards Lucas Moura who is clattered frombehind. Free-kick PSG.
Distant punch from Sirigu, who is forced to watch that all the way. Neither side can keep with the pace of the possession as of yet, with neither side retaining the ball.
First free-kick of the game, and hence the season. Marco Verratti fouls Cabella, as MHSC pick up a free-kick just outside the area.
Good start from the visitors as Marco Verratti feeds Ezequiel Lavezzi, but the Argentine's long ball up towards an isolated Ibrahimovic rolls towards Geoffrey Jourdren.
THE 2013-14 LIGUE 1 SEASON IS UNDERWAY!! Montpellier get us going at Stade de la Mosson, attacking from right to left. Bon match!
UEFA president Michel Platini is spotted in the stands next to the president of the Ligue de Football Professionel (LFP) Frederic Thiriez. We have a full house here tonight, upto 33,000 fans expected on a fine summer's evening in Montpellier.
MONTPELLIER HSC: Jourdren, Congre; El Kaoutari, Hilton, Tiene, Marveaux, Stambouli, Camara, Cabella, Mounier, Herrera. SUBS: Pionnier, Mezague, Deplagne, Jonas Martin, Dabo, Sanson, Montano
PARIS SG: Sirigu; Jallet, Alex, Thiago Silva, Maxwell; Verratti, Matuidi; Lucas Moura, Pastore; Ibrahimovic, Lavezzi. SUBS: Douchez, Sakho, Digne, Ongenda, van der Wiel, Rabiot, Cavani
BREAKING: Edinson Cavani is named on the bench for Paris Saint-Germain:
An uninspiring transfer campaign has also followed, with MHSC turning to former striker Victor Hugo Montano to lead the line, alongside Emanuel Herrera. Can the former champions still spring a shock, 15 months after pipping PSG to a shock first title?
Montpellier meanwhile have been in freefall following their stunning exploits in 2012. Gone are the days of Olivier Giroud and Younes Belhanda, and Louis Nicollin has turned to former Nancy coach (later fired, club relegated) Jean Fernandez to lead the side. Mid-table mediocrity is the target this year.
Back to proceedings at La Mosson in the match between the 2012 and 2013 champions, and Laurent Blanc believes PSG can improve after winning the Trophee des Champions last weekend in Gabon: "This season, every side will be super-motivated when it comes time to play against PSG, this [the Trophee des Champions] was a good example of what we can expect this season,"
Elsewhere, giants Olympique de Marseille hope to crash the party, and hope that they can punish those who've already branded them as no-hopers in the title race. Still the biggest club in the country, they were the surprise package last year finishing second with limited resources. Their transfer window has been rather intelligent, buying the best in France - Dimitri Payet has come from Lille, Giannelli Imbula refused Chelsea and PSG to sign, whilst Benjamin Mendy and Saber Khlifa are also through the door at Stade Velodrome. It promises to be rather exciting for sure!
And truth be told, can anyone else stop the Parisiens from claiming a fourth championship? Ligue 1 sees the return of former heavyweights, now bankrolled by Russian billionaire Dimitry Rybolovlev - with AS Monaco tipped by many to chase the capital club to the title with the stunning acquisitions of Radamel Falcao, James Rodriguez, Joao Moutinho and others. Claudio Ranieri's men are one of three promoted sides along with EA Guingamp and FC Nantes - who, trust me, boast one of the most respected and boisterous fanbases in France!
Well, Paris Saint-Germain return to defend their title won for the first time since 1994, but with a different manager. Carlo Ancelotti left for Real Madrid, but former France coach Laurent Blanc filled the void as he seeks a first title since winning with Bordeaux in 2009. Little else has changed for les Parisiens, who embarked on a typically powerful transfer window with the record signing of Edinson Cavani - adding talented teenagers Marquinhos and U20 World Champion Lucas Digne to their ranks.
I'm Mohammed Ali, and I'm here once again to bring you all the coverage from the south coast of France, as we gear up to another fantastic and thrilling Le Championnat campaign. Like last season, don't forget to get involved with the Goal.com match centre, leave your comments and predictions and lose yourself in the debate.
Good evening and welcome to Goal's first live text commentary of the 2013-14 Ligue 1 season! It's great to be back, proper top-flight football resumes! And tonight, we have a storming clash to get us going for the next ten months. Reigning champions Paris Saint-Germain take on the side they claimed the title - Montpellier, and it's LIVE from the Stade de la Mosson. Stay tuned.
Bonsoir, Ligue 1 is back!
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