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France - Ligue 1
April 23, 2014
• Parc des Princes, Paris
Referee: M. Lesage
• Attendance: 44992
B. Matuidi 89'
FT: PSG 1-0 ETG - Matuidi's late intervention puts Blanc's men on the brink. They'll be French champions once more if they can beat relegation-threatened Sochaux on Sunday afternoon.
90' + 3'
FULL-TIME: Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 Evian Thonon Gaillard.
90' + 2'
PSG visit Sochaux on Sunday afternoon. A win there will ensure a fourth league title for les Parisiens in their 40-odd year history. And a first back-to-back title win since Lyon in 2008.
90' + 1'
Pascal Dupraz looks on unperturbed, but the Evian players look particularly deflated after a late kick in the teeth. The late goal is a trait that PSG have mastered over the course of a season, and it puts them on the brink of the title.
And we're into stoppage time. THREE minutes added on.
Goal Blaise Matuidi
GOAL! PSG 1-0 Evian - MATUIDI! And there it is! The goal we've been waiting for. Heartbreak for Evian, who have been defending gallantly. Kone fails to track the run of Matuidi, who slides the ball in under Hansen from an acute angle.
Digne embarks on a mazy run forward, but finds no way through on a crowded left flank. Berigaud attempts a meek counter-attack, but PSG quickly recover.
Yellow Card Yohan Cabaye
Over at Stadium Municipal, Toulouse are holding Lyon to a 0-0 draw, with less than five minutes to go in that one. A draw would put OL just three points ahead of Marseille for the final Europa League spot, with both sides playing each other next week.
Five minutes to go at an increasingly hostile Parc des Princes, as Evian move towards the brink of securing an unlikely unbeaten double over Paris Saint-Germain.
And the free-kick is promptly wasted, fired by Cavani into the wall, and eventually cleared away. But the Savoyard outfit continue to be penned back in their half.
Yellow Card Olivier Sorlin
YELLOW CARD - Olivier Sorlin. Fine play from Thiago Silva, who drives forward at the Evian defence. Sorlin is forced to limit the Brazilian's advances, and gives away a free-kick just outside the box. Seems to have taken one for the team.
MATUIDI! The goalscoring chance has come, and gone. What a howler from the midfielder. Mensah fails to clear a dangerous cross adequately, and Matuidi, in the centre with the goalkeeper already committing, has curled it wide.
Yellow Card Blaise Matuidi
SUBSTITUTION - PSG: Last roll of the dice for Laurent Blanc. Javier Pastore is replaced Jeremy Menez.
YELLOW CARD - Blaise Matuidi: The PSG substitute is booked by the referee.
Evian remain pinned back in their own half, and it is surprising to see PSG, with all of their attacking talents, look so stumped against ten men. It has happened before. They lost 1-2 to nine-man Rennes in the winter of 2012.
Frustration setting in once again. Cavani delivers the ball into the box, but Mensah does superbly well to divert the ball behind for a corner.
It's just not going in for PSG. Two chances for the hosts, as Evian continue to defend gallantly. Cabaye strikes over the bar, before Lucas Moura sees an effort wide of Hansen's goal.
Strong opening from N'Sikulu who immediately imposes his pace on the opposition. Evades the sliding challenge of Cabaye, before barging over Thiago Silva, but the referee flags him up on the foul.
SUBSTITUTION - Evian: Eric Tie Bi is replaced by Clarck N'Sikulu.
Eric Tie Bi
SUBSTITUTION - Paris Saint-Germain: Blaise Matuidi replaces Marco Verratti.
DIGNE! Ferocious effort, but into the side-netting. Lovely build-up play from Lavezzi, who brings the ball down and picks out Digne arriving on the left, but he is unsuccessful.
Cavani dribbles his way into the penalty box, and sends a low shot towards the centre, before Lavezzi diverts it narrowly wide of Hansen's goal. The Argentine was offside, nonetheless.
LAVEZZI! From distance, he curls an effort towards the top corner, but it its well tipped over by Jesper Hansen. The goalkeeper has stopped everything that has come his way. Can this run go on?
And substitute Kone already is made to work at the back for Evian, being forced into a sprawling diving header to divert the ball away from the box. PSG being kept at arm's length once more.
SUBSTITUTION - Evian: Cedric Barbosa is sacrificed in place of Djakaridja Kone.
Lucas Moura picks up the ball on the edge of the area, and almost pulls the trigger, but his shot is superbly blocked behind for a corner. Evian now bringing on a substitute.
Paris Saint-Germain now applying the pressure, as they take on an Evian side who now have to attempt to survive with ten men. Pascal Dupraz is yet to make a change to counter the sending off.
Yellow/Red Kassim Abdallah
RED CARD: Ah, it is unnecessary from former Marseille defender Kassim Abdallah, who picks up his second booking in minutes after a late challenge. He's left his side with a lot to do for the final half-hour.
RED CARD - Evian TG: Kassim Abdallah has been SENT OFF!
THIAGO SILVA! PSG continue to spurn the chances! Lavezzi with a dangerous free-kick, whipped towards the far post and Thiago Silva fails to apply the final touch. Woeful.
SUBSTITUTION - PSG: Lucas Moura comes on for Adrien Rabiot.
LAVEZZI! There was the chance for the Parisiens! Rabiot does well to make an innocuous run to the by-line. He centres it for Lavezzi, who sends it wide of goal.
SUBSTITUTION - Evian: Nico Benezet is replaced by Marco Ruben
Cabaye embarks on a risky pass, and it backfires as Kevin Berigaud intercepts in the middle of the pitch. Supported by Barbosa, but eventually, the PSG midfielder atones for his mistake.
Yellow Card Kassim Abdallah
Things getting a little heated after Van der Wiel is on the receiving end of a tackle, but the referee only offers a free-kick. Still no closer to the opening goal at the Parc des Princes.
YELLOW CARD: Kassim Abdallah - the former Marseille defender is the second man in the book after an untimely push on Ezequiel Lavezzi.
It remains 0-0 at Stadium Municipal where Toulouse are locked in a stalemate with Lyon. On Sunday, Ligue 1 saw 26 goals in the 5 games that kicked off at 17:00. Since, there have been none.
Yellow Card Marco Verratti
YELLOW CARD: Marco Verratti - Verratti is booked for a rash challenge on Nico Benezet. It is his tenth of the Ligue 1 season, and he'll be suspended for the next game.
Paris Saint-Germain averaged about 71% possession in the first half, but it was the visitors who enjoyed the best chances. Back on the field Digne is barged out of the way by Lavezzi, but sadly, neither get to the loose ball before it goes out for a throw-in.
UNDERWAY IN PARIS for the second half. Evian are 45 minutes away from an unlikely point at the Parc des Princes.
The sides are out for the second half, and there have been no changes.
HT: PSG 0-0 ETG - PSG may still be suffering from a Coupe de la Ligue hangover, but it's been a desperately poor half by all accounts. Evian have come closest through Daniel Wass twice, but it remains goalless at the interval at the Parc des Princes.
45' + 1'
HALF-TIME: Paris Saint-Germain 0-0 Evian Thonon Gaillard.
One minute added on at the end of the first half.
Cabaye has a pop from distance, but it flies wide of Hansen's goal. Wrong decision from the midfielder, who had options literally left, right and centre.
Edinson Cavani standing over the free-kick, but it cannons off the wall and hoofed away by Eric Tie Bi. It allows coach Pascal Dupraz a wry smile - his side have defended superbly in this first half.
Verratti dispossessed, and Olivier Sorlin does superbly well to execute a fine slide tackle for Evian, who give the ball away within seconds. Cambon meanwhile gives away a free-kick in a dangerous position, after a foul on Javier Pastore.
Pastore gives the ball away cheaply, and Evian are quick to counter. Benezet picks out Berigaud on the left, as the visitors consolidate possession. Barbosa's effort in the box is intercepted by Thiago Silva.
Lot of pushing involved, and the referee is keen to crack down on it, especially where the overhead pass is concerned. Another one from Verratti who sends Lavezzi through, but the most innocuous contact on Mensah, and the referee awards a free-kick to Evian.
Frustration getting to PSG's front two - Ezequiel Lavezzi and Edinson Cavani. Lavezzi gives his marker the runaround, turning to create space and pick out Cavani arriving to his left, but the pass is over-hit.
PSG with numerous men behind the ball, as Evian fail to impose themselves in the final third. Wass driving forward in what appears to be in a free role, but Kevin Berigaud appears to be isolated up front.
RABIOT! From distance, the young midfielder engineers himself a bit of space, before striking with his left foot. Always rising, as the ball clears Jesper Hansen's goal.
The crowd attempt to waken their team with their usual reverberating chants, but les Parisiens haven't yet recovered from their malaise. Verratti causing problems with his overhead through balls, but Cavani reprimanded for a foul on Mensah.
Half an hour gone in the Parc des Princes, and not a lot has happened by way of goalscoring action. PSG have started lethargically and are being marshaled well by their less esteemed opponents. Evian, however, have come closest - twice!
Free-kick, about 30 metres out for les Parisiens in a central position. Yohan Cabaye is over it, but the former Newcastle midfielder slams it into the wall instead.
Lovely ball from Verratti, who picks out Digne arriving on the near side. The young left-back cannot shake off Kassim Abdallah however, as the ball goes out for a corner.
And the boos continue as Lavezzi continues to be delayed. Cambon has received his medical bandage, wrapped around his bloodied head and returns. Lavezzi takes the corner, but that is blocked at the first attempt.
Slight delay in play as Cedric Cambon has a clash of heads with Eric Tie Bi, and the player is ordered to go off. What's worse, is that the referee has delayed the taking of the corner, until the player has received his treatment and returned to the pitch!
LAVEZZI! Wonderful save from Hansen. Verratti does superbly to win back the ball in a dangerous area, and waits a fraction of a second to ensure Lavezzi is onside before making the through pass. Onto Lavezzi, whose low shot is blocked by the goalkeeper.
In tonight's other game, it remains Toulouse 0-0 Lyon. Right-back Serge Aurier makes his 100th Ligue 1 appearance for Le Tefece, and is awarded the captain's armband for the game.
PSG often take their time to assert themselves in matches, but Laurent Blanc's men do appear lethargic and laboured on the evidence of the opening 20 minutes at the Parc des Princes. Have rarely ventured forward.
Free-kick to Evian in a dangerous position. Threatening ball in from Benezet on the right, towards the centre, but play is called back after an unnecessary foul from Cedric Cambon on Adrien Rabiot.
Good movement from Cavani as he gives Cambon the slip and advances to latch onto another over the top pass from the left. Hansen has read the move well, and intercepts accordingly.
Benezet does well to hold on the ball and invite more of his team-mates to race forward. Lovely link-up play between Wass and Abdallah on the right, but the latter's prospective cross is well saved by Sirigu.
Evian have started the stronger in this re-arranged Ligue 1 fixture. The visitors have already hit the crossbar, and seeing much more of the ball in the final third.
WASS! He's up there again. Van der Wiel fails to deal with a prospective cross, and the ball in from the far side is met by the midfielder, who glances one goalwards, bringing out a good diving save from Sirigu.
Cavani's touches letting him down in the opening stages. PSG finding success with the long ball, as Verratti pings one over the top for Cavani, who initially seems to have controlled it well, before Hansen claims.
Half-chance for PSG going forward as Pastore attempts to cut in from the left, but he is crowded out by Mensah. PSG just keeping the ball in their own half, and attempting to draw out the opponents.
Evian have started this encounter well, as they look to trouble PSG out on the wings. Nico Benezet tries an effort from distance, hitting it on his right foot. Not enough power, and Sirigu makes the save.
WASS! What a strike. Unlucky that free-kick didn't go in! The Danish international has a free-kick opportunity from quite some distance, but he hits it unbelievably well. It crashes off the crossbar and on the line.
Cabaye, in the midfield role this evening, dinks a lofted ball over the defence and sends Cavani into a fine position, but a woeful touch from the Uruguayan sees the ball fly out of play!
Cavani races down the near side, aided by Digne as PSG look to venture into the Evian box for the first time, but Mensah and Abdallah combine to nullify the PSG threat.
A relatively sparse crowd at the Parc des Princes, as Sabaly drives the visitors forward (he is on loan from Paris). Digne is upended by Benezet seconds later.
UNDERWAY IN PARIS!! Evian get us going, attacking from left to right in this first half. Can the Savoyard outfit pick up a shock league double?
There is also one other game, kicking off in a few moments. Toulouse FC take on Olympique Lyonnais at Stadium Municipal. Updates from there as well. But at the Parc des Princes, we are ready to kick-off.
EVIAN: Hansen - Sabaly, Cambon, Mensah, Abdallah - Tie Bi, Sorlin - Wass, Benezet, Barbosa - Berigaud
PSG: Sirigu - van der Wiel, Silva, Marquinhos, Digne - Cabaye, Verratti, Rabiot - Pastore, Lavezzi, Cavani
CONFIRMED TEAM NEWS:
The pressure is on for Evian, who with tonight's game in hand, only sit five points clear of the drop zone. Sochaux, who are on a good run of form but lie in 18th, take on PSG this weekend at Stade Auguste Bonal.
Evian nonetheless, have been comprehensively beaten twice at the Parc des Princes, but wily coach Pascal Dupraz has previously called on the help of Chelsea's Jose Mourinho, as he seeks to become the first team to put the league double over Laurent Blanc's men.
Standing in their way are relegation candidates Evian, who have been a thorn in the side of les Parisiens in recent times. It was Evian who, until two weeks ago were just one of three teams who had bested PSG, winning 2-1 in the reverse game in December. It was Evian also, who knocked PSG out of the French Cup in the semi-finals last year, denying Carlo Ancelotti a cup double.
The success, thanks to two goals from Edinson Cavani at the Stade de France on Saturday represents also, the first domestic cup win in four years. There'll be further success later this week for PSG, if they win tonight, putting them on the brink of successfully defending their Ligue 1 title.
There has been light at the end of the tunnel for PSG, who recovered from their double setback against Chelsea and Olympique Lyonnais, by winning the Coupe de la Ligue on Saturday night against Remi Garde's men. It represents the second success this season after the Trophee des Champions win in Gabon in August.
Good evening, and welcome to live coverage of the re-arranged Ligue 1 fixture between Paris Saint-Germain and Evian Thonon Gaillard from the Parc des Princes. I'm Mohammed Ali, and I'll be bringing you the action.
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