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March 17, 2013
• Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Ètienne
Referee: A. Gautier
• Attendance: 25036
Alex 37' (own goal)
F. Clerc 72'
J. Pastore 9'
Z. Ibrahimovic 19'
90' + 4'
FULL-TIME: Saint-Etienne 2-2 PSG - and none of the top three have won this weekend. Fantastic entertainment.
90' + 3'
And it's crashed into the wall, but corner to PSG - and he'll take that too!
90' + 2'
David Beckham to take this one, perhaps a second chance at redemption in Saint-Etienne?
90' + 2'
Free-kick to PSG, with Gameiro caught by Moustapha Bayal Sall. Last chance of this brilliant game.
90' + 1'
Into the first of THREE ADDITIONAL MINUTES at the Geoffrey Guichard.
Yellow Card Brandao
Yellow Card Blaise Matuidi
Chance for Saint-Etienne as Brandao physically attempts to plunder home the ball, and earns a yellow card for his tempers with Salvatore Sirigu. It's been an interesting battle
Corner for Saint-Etienne, we're approaching the last minute of normal time as Beckham remonstrates with the referee.
BECKHAM! Could've written the headlines there and then. Curling fantastically towards the far post, but just clears the bar. Very close.
Foul on Ibrahimovic by captain Loic Perrin, and Messrs Ibrahimovic, Beckham and Gameiro come forward. It's Beckham to take.
BODMER! Well saved by Sirigu who does well to get down low, and pretty late to gather the ball. Brandao a total nuisance for the defence this evening, but Saint -Etienne unable to take advantage.
Brandao furious as he dispossesses Thiago Silva and goes for the jugular, before the referee halts his progress and calls for a free-kick. Right call.
HAMOUMA! What a chance from Saint-Etienne who break with fluidity. Aubameyang holds off his marker, to tee up the former Caen star, who just can't get past Alex.
Yellow Card Romain Hamouma
Into the final ten here in Saint-Etienne has Guilavogui and Cohade combine in the midfield. Thiago Silva currently out of position, but it helps PSG to counter, though Gameiro can't get a foot on it.
Corner driven in is not a problem for PSG to deal with, but Hamouma booked for a foul on Pastore. PSG need a goal here, or risk going three games on the road without a win....
Sainte piling on the pressure here, with both wing-backs flying forward in search for that third goal. It's been an absorbing encounter thus far as Jallet concedes a corner.
AUBAMEYANG! Good attempt from the striker, but it's always flying over the bar at that height. Substitution for Saint-Etienne, it's Faouzi Ghoulam on for Jonathan Brison.
Ancelotti is livid with the referee. Antony Gautier comes over to have it out with the technician, and tell the Italian to calm down. It'll make for a rather controversial last quarter of an hour here.
We have a delay here. Seems to be an injury to Thiago Silva, who has taken a whack into the face. PSG are livid that the goal was given, and that a free-kick wasn't given in Silva's favour. Nevertheless, we're level.
Goal François Clerc
GOAL! IT'S 2-2! SAINT-ETIENNE HAVE DONE IT! Superb goal. Francois Clerc's first goal for Sainte is a gem. An absolute gem. Outside of the boot, and a fantastic attempt into the corner. 2-2.
IBRAHIMOVIC! What a howler. That could've - should've - sealed victory for the visitors. Lovely ball by Jallet, whose lofted ball towards the Swede sees the striker take it first time - but he volleys wide.
Corner fails to materialise into something special, as PSG clear their lines hurriedly. What can Sainte conjure up in these final 20 minutes or so?
AUBAMEYANG! Superb shot, and a fine save by Sirigu who turns it around for a corner. Fine movement by the Gabonese star, as he races past his marker, makes a mockery of the acute angle and fires a seemingly unstoppable shot towards goal. Corner it is.
Played in well by Ibrahimovic, but Lavezzi unable to maintain possession as the ball slips under him and out for a throw-in. Sainte losing their dominance as it stands.
Ouch! Romain Hamouma goes down under the challenge of Gregory van der Wiel. Clash of heads that, but Hamouma will be fine. 25 minutes to go, still PSG lead here.
SUBSTITUTION: PSG - Christophe Jallet is on for Clement Chantome. Saint-Etienne: Yohan Mollo off for Romain Hamouma.
PASTORE! A fine chance for PSG too, as Saint-Etienne momentarily collapse at the back. The Argentine takes possession after a poor clearance, and fires his shot well over the bar.
BODMER! Brilliant chance for Saint-Etienne, and it's gone begging too. Beckham gifted the midfielder the opportunity, and after a fine cutback, the PSG loanee fired just wide. Oh dear.
BRANDAO! What a chance, and the header over the bar. The Brazilian has given compatriot Thiago Silva a couple of things to think about this evening, but that was a great opportunity.
Aubameyang powers forward as well as PSG struggle to contain the Les Verts forwards. Corner is headed away, but the hosts still have the ball.
Yellow Card Alex
SUBSTITUTION: Fabien Lemoine is off for Mathieu Bodmer, who is on loan at Saint-Etienne from Paris Saint-Germain. How awkward would it be if he were to score?
MOLLO! Fantastic ball from the former Nancy star as it flies over a static Parisian defence and into the path of Aubemayang. Thiago Silva is furious, but the ball luckily takes a favourable bounce towards the goalkeeper. Sigh of relief there.
Mollo with a series of fine stepovers as he skips past Maxwell, who concedes the corner. Headed on by Lemoine, but cleared. Sainte still on the rampage, however.
Mollo and Brison combining well down this left wing as Brandao gets in front of Thiago Silva, but directs the ball well wide of the post.
Chantome powers through the midfield to tee up Ibrahimovic. The Swede has the choice of an overlap provided by van der Wiel, but goes for the cross towards Lavezzi as Bayal Sall heads away.
Guilavogui outmuscled in midfield, as Beckham wins a free-kick for his troubles. The PSG substitutes warming up at the moment, with Jallet and Ongenda going through the paces.
Good ball by Mollo once again as he attempts to find Brandao. He manages to do so successfully, but the Brazilian is unable to turn and fire the ball goalwards.
UNDERWAY in the second half as PSG get us going once more, attacking from left to right.
The sides are back for the second half, what change of approach could we see out there?
HALF-TIME: Saint-Etienne will be enraged with that penalty decision, but they have a foot back into the match courtesy of Alex's own goal. PSG were dominating at the beginning, before tailing off as Sainte grew in strength. Join us again for what promises to be an entertaining second half in 15 mins.
HALF-TIME: Saint-Etienne 1-2 Paris Saint-Germain
An interesting first half in the Rhone region set to come to a close as Maxwell progresses with the ball down the left, but with no team-mate to pick out, that is set to be the last action of the first half.
CLERC! Superb chance for Saint-Etienne, as Clerc races down the right wing, and his cross almost catches out Sirigu, who parries away from goal, allowing Beckham to clear. PSG race forward with the momentum, but Chantome opts for Van der Wiel on the right.
Brandao going forward with gusto again, with his physical strength causing the Parisian back four tons of problems at the minute. A frustrated Ancelotti watches on from the bench.
All Saint-Etienne now, as Mollo races forward attempting to pick out Cohade, with the former Valenciennes star teeing up a shot, which is held by Sirigu.
GAME ON in Stade Geoffrey Guichard, as Aubameyang races forward again, giving Maxwell various headaches. The cross this time is over hit and too long for Mollo to recover.
Own Goal Alex
Ibrahimovic fouled in midfield, and free-kick to PSG is not threatening to the hosts, but they could be met on the break here.
Beckham caught in possession, but Sainte unable to take advantage as the pass forward towards Brandao is short. Ten minutes to go until half-time.
It's not been the game Aubameyang has hoped for, with 16 league goals this season - he was supposed to be at the forefront of Sainte's attacks. Non-existent so far.
Corner to Saint-Etienne - Mollo's outswinging ball headed away easily, and almost sets Lavezzi on his way, before Brison surges forward with a well-timed slide tackle.
Half-chance on the horizon for Saint-Etienne as Clerc rolls the ball on his right, racing through the midfield and splitting the defence open with a fine pass towards Brandao, which was thwarted at the death by Thiago Silva. Cohade's shot blocked at the end.
Corner to PSG, as David Beckham whips in a threatening ball, but it's pretty simple for the Sainte defence to deal with at the moment.
Corner from Saint-Etienne is well delivered, but it ultimately finds its way back to Sirigu. PSG have controlled their opponents thus far, such a professional performance.
BRANDAO! What a chance, and he's wasted it. Superb chipped ball from Lemoine in midfield finds Brandao in acres of space. Takes his time to get it under control, and unable to get a shot before it goes behind for a corner.
David Beckham has surprisingly been quiet in the opening 23 minutes, as Sainte push forward through Lemoine. Clerc making the run, but they're unable to pierce through the defence as Silva guides the ball back to Sirigu.
Saint-Etienne 0-2 PSG here in the weekend's standout tie in Ligue 1. As it stands, PSG sit seven clear of Lyon, and nine ahead of Marseille. Will this be the night the Ligue 1 title is decided? Tweet me @mohammedali_93.
Woah, getting tetchy here. Salvatore Sirigu and Brandao get into a little spat following an unsuccessful attacking opportunity. The referee ticks both players off - no booking, but Sirigu was pretty stupid looking for an altercation.
Redemption for Zlatan. Four months after being sent off for a karate kick on Stephane Ruffier, he beats him from the spot - at the second attempt - to give PSG a sizeable lead here.
Penalty Goal Zlatan Ibrahimovic
GOAL! PSG MAKE IT 2-0! Dramatic few moments here - Zlatan Ibrahimovic had scored the penalty, but the referee ordered the spot-kick to be taken again. BUT NO MISTAKE THIS TIME! Fantastic dink from Zlatan who beats Ruffier.
Yellow Card M. Bayal
YELLOW CARD for Stephane Ruffier who takes down Ezequiel Lavezzi in the box. Zlatan Ibrahimovic to take the penalty.
Yellow Card Stéphane Ruffier
PENALTY TO PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN!
Statistic quarter here: Pastore's goal was the first Saint-Etienne have conceded in the first fifteen minutes this term.
The hosts are yet to get going here, a really lethargic opening with no attacking intensity. Remember, Sainte have scored in their last nine games, Aubameyang has nine in those, and they are also unbeaten in that time.
Aubameyang concedes the ball into Van der Wiel as PSG keep possession easily at the moment. Matuidi almost caught on the ball, but back to the safety of Sirigu for the visitors.
Aubameyang quiet as Cohade tries to resuscitate the hosts. Dreadful defending it was from Bayal Sall for the goal, and it's PSG who look comfortable here.
Well, what ramifications will that have for Ligue 1? PSG win here, and they sit seven clear of Lyon, nine clear of Marseille - fantastic margin with eight games to go after this one. Big goal from Pastore, his third of the season
Goal Javier Pastore
Ibrahimovic drops into the middle to dictate play, feeding Matuidi. The Frenchman opts to pass towards Maxwell than go for the shot, but a late interception sees Sainte recover the ball.
Lovely ball over the top from Thiago Silva as he lofts the ball over the defence exquisitely into the path of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but the Swede is marginally offside. Great thinking though.
Still pretty open as PSG begin to find their feet at the Stade Geoffrey Guichard, with Matuidi suffering a knock. He'll be fine though.
Penalty? No. Referee Anthony Gautier waves play on as Sainte pile on the pressure. Brandao is tripped by Thiago Silva, but the referee tells them to get on with it, before winning a corner. Yohan Mollo to take.
Beckham feeds in Pastore, but the move fizzles out rather quickly. The ex-England captain is making his first start in Europe in 3 years, with this stadium the scene of one of his most famous moments
Early pressure from Saint-Etienne who pass the ball around with ease, before it runs out of play. Interesting to see their approach play this evening, boasting considerable talent on the wings.
KICK OFF! Fantastic atmosphere inside the Stade Geoffrey Guichard, as Saint-Etienne get us started, attacking from left to right.
TEAM NEWS Beckham replaces the injured Lucas Moura and Jeremy Menez, with the latter failing to pass a fitness test. Clement Chantome also joins Blaise Matuidi in midfield, with Kevin Gameiro missing out. Brandao returns from injury to make the starting eleven, allowing Aubameyang to start in his favoured position off the right, with Joshua Guilavogui and Renaud Cohande handed the nod in midfield.
SAINT-ETIENNE: Ruffier; Clerc, Perrin, Sall, Brison; Lemoine, Guilavogui, Cohade; Aubameyang, Brandao, Mollo
PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN: Sirigu; van der Wiel, Alex, Silva, Maxwell; Chantome, Beckham, Matuidi, Pastore; Ibrahimovic, Lavezzi
CONFIRMED TEAM LINE-UPS:
Team News: David Beckham makes his first league start in France; first in Europe for 3 years. The 37-year-old returns to the stadium where he was sent off against Argentina at World Cup 1998.
But subsequent away defeats to Reims and Sochaux on the road, as well as a super-narrow win over Nancy last weekend mean PSG aren't guaranteed of victory. Saint-Etienne are unbeaten in nine games this season, with star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring nine goals in his last eight. Pressure?
And Ancelotti's side have reason to celebrate. Not only after drawing FC Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final on Friday, both of their title rivals slipped up for the second consecutive week again. Marseille and Lyon played out a dour 0-0 draw last weekend before Marseille were held again by Ajaccio, and Lyon thumped 4-1 by SC Bastia. PSG could move seven clear tonight.
Paris Saint-Germain's away day misery could return tonight as Saint-Etienne aim to complete the Parisian hat-trick, having already beaten Carlo Ancelotti's side twice this season. A 2-1 win at the Parc des Princes in November (the game where Zlatan Ibrahimovic saw red for a shocking challenge on goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier) followed by a 5-3 penalty shootout victory after a 0-0 draw in the Coupe de la Ligue. A victory here for the visitors would take them a big step closer to that first title since 1994.
I'm Mohammed Ali, and I'll be guiding you through today's events for the next two hours. Don't forget to use Twitter to send us your predictions, musings and comments and tell me what you think throughout the 90 minutes - the handle is @mohammedali_93. Also, don't forget to interact with the Goal.com MatchCentre, on the box to your right.
Good evening and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE! text commentary from Ligue 1. Round 29 sees Paris Saint-Germain tackle fourth-placed Saint-Etienne at Stade Geoffrey Guichard in what is sure to be a cracking encounter. Stick around.
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