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France - Ligue 1
December 18, 2011
• Parc des Princes, Paris
Referee: C. Turpin
• Attendance: 45195
Well that's it from me - Mohammed Ali- this evening. Thank you for joining Goal.com for this LIVE commentary. One more matchday in Ligue 1 before the winter break on Tuesday and Wednesday so keep it here for coverage of that and everything football across the globe in the coming days. Enjoy your evening, and a very Merry Christmas. Good night.
A largely uninspiring game has exploded into life late on with that double save from Sirigu keeping PSG in it. Boos at full-time, probably aimed towards Antoine Koumbouare.
And that's that in Paris. PSG 0-0 Lille OSC. Brilliant save from Salvatore Sirigu to salvage a point as les Parisiens move joint top of Ligue 1.
90' + 3'
SIRIGU!! WONDERFUL DOUBLE SAVE! Lille take a free-kick quickly, and it catches out the entire PSG defence. A wonderful save from the Italian as his side fail to clear. Jelen tries another effort, and as it curls goalwards, it is again fantastically saved.
90' + 2'
Both sides making a late claim to seal all three points, and again defences are largely holding sway.
90' + 1'
Into the three added minutes at the Parc des Princes.
Hazard flashes a shot towards Sirigu's goal, but it strikes Camara's arm. Might not have been a penalty, but some fans sound convinced.
Meanwhile, Lille make a final subsitution. Moussa Sow is replaced by Polish striker Ireneusz Jelen.
BODMER! Almost there. Almost. A teasing delivery from Jallet meets the head of the midfielder but it is unsuccessful. Minutes to go.
Both sides look devoid of any attacking creativity as we enter the final stages of this somewhat turgid Ligue 1 encounter. Montpellier and Lyon would be delighted with the result as the top of the table makes for interesting reading before the Christmas break.
Time running out for either side to steal a winner as Pastore looks on dejectedly. He has told the press that he wants to move to a bigger club, and that he doesn't feel as free as he would've liked.
Substitution for Lille: The solid and excellent Florent Balmont makes away for Benoit Pedretti.
MENEZ! He's at it again. Searing pace on the flanks, but the cut-back is poor. Doesn't manage to find a team-mate, and it's headed away. PSG should be utilising these sort of chances. Won't come often again.
Those subsitutions were met with boos from the home faithful, might I add. Not sure for who it was though.
And just like in Le Classique, the two best players are sacrificed. Pastore makes way for Sylvain Armand. Whilst Gameiro is replaced for Guillaume Hoarau who makes his first Ligue 1 apperance since matchday two.
BERIA! That wasn't a bad effort at all. From distance, the left-back smashes an effort which fizzes wide.
Antoine Koumbouare looks to be readying a double substiution. Meanwhile, Momo Sissoko attempts a counter, but runs the ball out of play disappointingly.
Wondeful intervention by Christophe Jallet. Payet delivers in a delightful ball towards Eden Hazard, but the instincts of Jallet has denied the Belgian.
GUEYE! Something from nothing. The midfielder fired a stinging 25 metre effort goalwards, and Sirigu was forced to stretch for that.
The two sides have the second and third best attacking statistics in Ligue 1 respectively, only Montpellier have scored more. And yet, it's 0-0. Entering the final quarter of an hour in Paris.
MENEZ!! Really should've been 1-0 there. A lovely breakaway from the hosts thanks to Jallet's intervention. Pastore cuts open the visitors' defence, and springs a pass towards Menez. The ex-Roma man looked likely to score, but instead cut back, with the ball cleared.
Debuchy makes headway on the right-flank, but again the delivery leaves a lot to be desired. Doesn't reach the desired target as possession changes hands again.
Yellow Card Jérémy Menez
Corner to PSG. Inswinging delivery, and it's headed towards Mickael Landreau. Mavuba in some pain, after a collision with Menez who earns a yellow card.
A poor ball from Christophe Jallet, and PSG's four on one advantage is wiped out. Jallet had the options, but opted for a lofted ball which was calmly dealt with by Chedjou.
Decent delivery from the dynamic Debuchy. In towards Sow, but Sirigu claims the loose ball first. Subsitution, Joe Cole is off for Dimitri Payet.
Bisevac writhes in pain following a strong challenge from Florent Balmont. The Serbian is up now, and takes to the pitch. 25 minutes to go.
Mohamed Sissoko becomes the third player in the book after a crunching tackle on Joe Cole. Free-kick to the visitors, and it's poor. Chedjou tries a cross in. Wayward and over-hit, and it's out for a throw-in.
Yellow Card Mohamed Lamine Sissoko
Penalty? Not a chance. A lovely ball towards the right of the penalty area for Kevin Gameiro sees the PSG striker upended by Marko Basa. Referee thinks otherwise.
GOOD SAVE SIRIGU! From the corner, it meets a Lille head and the Italian goalkeeper is forced to fist away from the goalline again! Wonderful delivery from Balmont, he has been consistent in this game.
Ohh an absolutely fantastic flowing move from Rudi Garcia's men. Every man in the midfield involved as Balmont flashes a cross towards the box and its turned behind by Milan Bisevac. Almost an own goal, but it is a corner.
BALMONT! Les Dogues hit their hosts on the counter, as the midfielder skips past the challenge of Sissoko and fires a low teasing effort just wide of Sirigu's post.
Yellow Card Idrissa Gueye
It's over the wall, but well saved by Mickael Landreau.
Free-kick to PSG. Another mazy run by Menez threw the middle holds the visitors to ransom. Pastore wants the ball, but Menez is fouled by Gueye before he gets it. 23 metres out.....
Franck Beria takes possession of the ball, chests it, before firing a shot which rises over Sirigu's goal. Nene had the left-back in his sights, so not much of a threat in that case.
NENE! Poor decision, and poor shot in the circumstances. Wonderful ball towards Gameiro initially, and it is taken by the Brazilian. What he should've done is slip the ball back to the Frenchman, but decidees to shot, and it flies wide.
Menez jinks his way past the challenge of Mathieu Debuchy and tries to cut a low ball back towards the box. Gameiro and Pastore had drifted towards the far post, leaving Mavuba to easily clear the threat.
ALMOST 1-0! Wonderful ball from Hazard who feeds in Joe Cole. The Englishman slips it to Sow who moves past one defender, before being blocked by Jallet. The ball is not cleared, and Cole tries his luck before Jallet comes to the rescue again!
PASTORE!! Fed through with a lovely through ball, and the Argentine is found in space. Lashes a low shot towards the goal, and saved. Better from El Flaco.
Second half has started to mirror that of the first half as PSG look to break the visitors on the counter.
The teams are out for the second period. Hope to see some goals.
HALF-TIME: PSG 0-0 Lille. Join me in 15 minutes for the second half from the Parc des Princes in Paris. Continue sending your tweets and predictions via Twitter to @mohammedali_93.
We are underway for the second 45 minutes in Paris.
45' + 2'
Balmont feeds Debuchy, who strikes well wide from distance. That proves to be the last action of the first half.
45' + 1'
CEARA! Fired wide by the Brazilian, as he attempts to drag PSG into the lead. A huge midfield tussle during the first 45 minutes. Very few attacking chances.
Two minutes added on towards the end of a disappointing first half here at the Parc des Princes.
Corner, taken by Hazard. It's low and teasing, but well dealt with by the hosts.
The game turns physical with more and more fouls stunting the attacking flow of the game. Debuchy is now fouled, as the referee waves play on. Seconds later, Menez goes down.
The referee Clement Turpin pauses the game to talk to Antoine Koumbouare who is livid. Last time these two met, Koumbouare was sent to the stands.
It's been a first half of few attacking opportunities as Javier Pastore tracks back to tackle Eden Hazard. Brought out a huge cheer from the home faithful. Yes, Pastore did dispossess Hazard.
Nene hits it from 20 metres out, but it slams against the wall, and Ceara's effort also lands in Landreau's arms.
PSG have awoken. Menez and Pastore link up with the former moving centrally towards a congested defence and wins a free-kick. Dangerous this one.
Meanwhile, you can continue sending your messages in via Twitter to @mohammedali_93 and I'll put some of them up here.
The good news is Debuchy has regained consciousness, and is already raring to go back onto the field. Miraculous recovery it seems.
Laurent Bonnart is warming up on the bench as Debuchy is seen to by the physios. Concern here for the French international.
Ohh that doesn't look good at all. A clash of heads, and it seems that Mathieu Debuchy looks to have been knocked out cold. His eyes are closed as Ceara writhes on the floor.
Free-kick for Lille. 35 metres out. Mavuba crosses it in towards the far post as Sissoko heades clear.
Nene drifts a lovely ball onto the wing as Pastore gives chase. He is hindered by Marko Basa who sees the ball out. Goal kick.
Nene is tripped by Debuchy, he's been the star performer in Paris this season,and also scored in the 4-2 win over Bilbao in midweek. Unluckily, PSG were eliminated.
15 years since Les Dogues won in the capital. Can they buck the trend tonight? Sirigu slides out of his goal to thwart Moussa Sow.
Balmont is fouled, and it's a free-kick for the visitors. Bodmer with a high foot there.
A heavily weighted ball from Cole towards Sow fails to reach its target as Sirigu pounces on the loose ball. Twenty minutes gone, its still pretty open this.
NENE! A cheeky corner form the Brazilian and instead of finding a man, ihe goes straight for goal, leaving Landreau to punch away from the goal-line.
Rudi Garcia's men are proving their worth on the right flank where much of the attacking threat is coming from. The corner is poor from Hazard as the hosts try to fashion chances from the counter.
Lovely movement around the box from the visitors, and Florent Balmont finds some space on the edge before unleashing a stinging 25 metre drive which is tipped over by Sirigu.
Joe Cole with the outswinging delivery, but it's headed away by Bodmer. Jallet instigates a counter attack, but it fizzes out as Gameiro is penalised for a foul.
A lovely ball in toward Debuchy is well cut out by the defender. Balmont again tries to get one into the area, but Marcos Ceara clears that for a corner....
Oohh that was wonderful play by the hosts. Nene cuts in from the left with a deft touch, and a lovely link-up with Javier Pastore is a touch too heavy as it trickles towards Landreau - himself an ex-PSG boy.
Yellow Card Zoumana Camara
And we've got our first booking of the game. Camara, who has been under pressure already, has his name taken after a lunge on Sow.
Well that was underwhelming. Menez embarks on a wonderful run, skipping past the challenge of Gueye before tripping over his own feet.
Gameiro is tackled well on the right wing as Chedjou holds his own. Referee brings play back as Moussa Sow is tripped by Bisevac. Electric atmosphere here.
Interesting stat for you Ligue 1 fans. Joe Cole has yet to taste defeat in Lille colours. 13 matches unbeaten when in the side.
SIRIGU! Almost a fatal mistake there from the former Palermo custodian. A poor ball back from the defence puts the Italian in a bit of bother, and when under pressure from Sow chops the ball over his head before patting nervously away.
Mathieu Debuchy, a good crosser of the ball sends in a delivery which causes some confusion in the PSG box as Joe Cole and Zoumana Camara chase a loose ball.
PSG immediately forging ahead as Nene and Mohamed Sissoko make headway in the Lille half early on.
AND WE ARE OFF! Referee Clement Turpin gets us underway.
Well would you believe it? Santa Claus will take the kick-off here in Paris, along with a few lucky children it seems. Certain football luminaries in attendance here, but will David Beckham?
And the teams are out here, to tumultous applause. Paris in their traditional red and navy blue home jersey, Lille in their change strip of white.
Crowd building nicely in Paris. Kick-off minutes away.
TEAM NEWS: Camara replaces Mamadou Sakho who is out with a minor injury for the Parisiens, as Diego Lugano is dropped in favour of Milan Bisevac. For the visitors, Liverpool loanee Joe Cole is preferred in favour of Dimitri Payet as Idrissa Gueye is handed a start ahead of Benoit Pedretti.
LILLE: (4-3-3) Landreau; Beria, Chedjou, Basa, Debuchy; Gueye, Mavuba, Balmont; Cole, Sow, Hazard;
CONFIRMED TEAM LINEUPS: PSG (4-2-3-1) Sirigu; Ceara, Camara, Bisevac,Jallet, Sissoko, Bodmer, Menez, Pastore, Nene, Gameiro;
It's a huge game for Antoine Koumbouare who is feeling the heat at the Parc des Princes after suffering the ignominy of Europa League elimination in midweek. With David Beckham expected in the French capital, Koumbouare probably does need an early festive cheer ahead of the winter break.
Elsewhere in Ligue 1 yesterday, six red cards were brandished in seven games, with one in particular causing controversy at Stade Francis Le Ble as Auxerre's Kamel Chafni furiously accused an assistant referee of a racist slur, pending an LFP investigation. The highlight proved to be Marseille's comeback win over nine-man FC Lorient as they move to within nine points of the top.
What of their current league standings I hear you ask? PSG are second in the table, a point adrift of Montpellier who drew yesterday. A win here would see les Parisiens move to the summit. Lille are fourth, but could also move level with Montpellier at the top should they emerge victorious in the French capital tonight.
For Rudi Garcia and his les Dogues charges, this fixture holds plenty of memories in 2011. In May, a 2-2 draw in the league secured Lille their first title in more than half a century in a game where Antoine Koumbouare was sent to the stands, and Guillaume Hoarau sent off. A week before, les Parisiens were undone by a late Ludovic Obraniak goal as Lille won the Coupe de France in Paris.
Well this fixture brings the spotlight squarely on two bright talents of the European game. Javier Pastore and Eden Hazard may have many admirers across the continent, and tonight they face off for the very first time in the league. Both players have six goals with the Lille man creating five assists compared to 'El Flaco's' two. Who will come out on top this evening?
Yes it's a huge game this evening, and one which may just have a bearing on where the Ligue 1 trophy might end up in May. It's the Champions of France against the side who are widely tipped to claim their crown at the end of the season. I'm Mohammed Ali, and I'll be guiding you through proceedings tonight. You can send me your comments, predictions and opinions via Twitter to @mohammedali_93 as always. Confirmed team-lineups to follow shortly.
Good evening, and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE commentary this fine Sunday evening. It might be a week before Christmas, but we do have a cracking game for you this evening. The titluar clash from Ligue 1, it's Paris Saint Germain v LOSC Lille Metropole from the Parc des Princes. You lucky people, you.
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