Ligue 1's top match of the weekend ended scoreless in the capital, a fixture in which brawn rather triumphed over brainWhat promised to be an explosive Ligue 1 clash between Paris Saint-Germain and Lille at the Parc des Princes proved to be something of a disappointment, as a physical encounter ended 0-0, with neither side creating much in the way of scoring opportunities.
Kevin Gameiro had the best opening of the match, but after being released by an exquisite Javier Pastore pass, the former Lorient man blasted his shot a foot wide of the post.
The first half, though played at a high tempo, had little to commend it as brute force in the centre of the field eclipsed the technical potential of both sides. Florent Balmont had Lille’s most meaningful shot of the opening period, though it went comfortably wide, while Mickael Landreau was not troubled aside from a Nene corner that nearly found its way directly in at his near post.
After the interval, more spaces started to appear, and the attacking players began to have more of an influence. A fluid break from the home side concluded with Pastore drilling wide of target from the edge of the box, and quickly play swung to the opposite end of the field, when Joe Cole was denied by a posse of defenders eager to block his shot.
Finally, Landreau would have some real work to do as he fielded a Nene free kick, but again Lille would respond, though Salvatore Sirigu punched clear Mathieu Debuchy’s header fairly comfortably.
It was PSG who were looking the likelier side to open the scoring, though frequently they would make poor decisions around the box. On several occasions, the hosts would break at the visitors in numbers but would either try a tricky pass or would take on an extra defender, inevitably squandering the opening.
Lille were bossing plenty of the ball, but they regularly broke against a solid wall of navy-clad defenders on the edge of the home box. Idrissa Gueye went for a spectacular drive from range, but Sirugu athletically turned the effort away.
Stoppage time nearly brought a winning goal for the guests, but wonderful goalkeeping from Sirigu twice denied substitute Ireneusz Jelen.
The result leaves PSG level on point with Montpellier at the summit of the league and Lille just two marks behind, alongside with Lyon.