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October 27, 2013
• Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Ètienne
Referee: R. Buquet
• Attendance: 32807
B. Corgnet 18'
R. Hamouma 51'
E. Cavani 68'
B. Matuidi 90'+
90' + 6'
FULL-TIME: Saint-Etienne 2-2 Paris Saint-Germain - heavy boos! But PSG go back to the top of the table!
90' + 5'
The stadium has been heavily deflated here, as the silence grows. PSG, with their ability to grind out results have appeared to pick up a draw and rescue their unbeaten record.
90' + 4'
GOAL! Saint-Etienne 2-2 PSG - MATUIDI HAS EQUALISED! Against his former club, but it's Cavani who celebrates. I doubt he got the final touch, as the ball was lifted into the box, and sailed all the way into the box with Ruffier beaten.
90' + 3'
90' + 3'
90' + 3'
Van der Wiel lifts an audacious ball into the area, deflects ever so slightly as Ibrahimovic attempts to latch onto it. Ruffier picks up the loose ball. Sainte have been utterly resilient here.
90' + 2'
CAVANI! His speculative shot is fired goalwards, but met by another fantastic block from Zouma. Three minutes to go here, as a frustrated Lemoine watches on, heavily bandaged.
90' + 1'
LUCAS! Great chance, and great movement by the winger, who moves centrally and attempts to find Ibrahimovic who was advancing. It goes slightly wide!
Into FIVE minutes of stoppage time. Saint-Etienne are on the brink here!
Tabanou the substitute wins a free-kick for a poor challenge on Van der Wiel. Will waste some precious time, but I'm sure we'll get some considerable additional time here - likely four minutes.
Time ticking - slowly if you're a Sainte fan, faster if you're a Parisien. Van der Wiel links well with Lucas, who provides the pass back. Matuidi tumbles over on the edge of the box, but Hamouma brings the ball away.
GRADEL! What a chance for Saint-Etienne there to seal it. Sirigu doesn't really cover himself in glory there, as the Ivorian fails to hit it on target. Just under four minutes to go.
MOTTA! Over the bar. Just over from the Italy international. Great delivery out wide by Lucas once more, with the midfielder rising highest. Skims the top of the crossbar.
ZOUMA! Critical tackle on Menez to thwart the winger here. Menez was advancing into the box by this point.
Moura continues to pose considerable problems for Ghoulam on the right, but given the late stage of the game, doesn't really have much time to make a sustained impact.
Lucas races down the right hand side bursting past the defender, but Zouma is on hand to clear hurriedly. Into the final ten minutes.
Seems to me that Verratti has been substituted in favour of Rabiot, with the Italy international looking a bit undisciplined at the heart of the midfield.
SUBSTITUTION: Marco Verratti comes off for Adrien Rabiot.
IBRAHIMOVIC! Deflected effort. The Swede continues to make an impact in this second half, striking a shot which diverts past Ruffier. Corner.
Yellow CardLoïc Perrin
YELLOW CARD - Loic Perrin: The Sainte captain is booked for a late challenge on the edge of the area, and needs to watch himself for these final stages.
19 minutes to go, and PSG are knocking at the door here. Cavani has shifted into the centre role, as Menez and Lucas pull the strings on either side.
PSG are looking a better side now in this second half with those changes, but Saint-Etienne are holding their own at the moment as Jeremy Menez is booked.
Yellow CardJérémy Menez
GOAL! PSG reduce the deficit! Saint-Etienne 2-1 PSG! Cavani tucks home after a fine pass from Verratti. Can Sainte hold on here?
CAVANI! Chance for PSG. A lovely ball through from the midfield for Cavani, but it is diverted wide by Zouma who concedes the corner.
SUBSTITUTION - Saint-Etienne: Max Gradel is on for Yohan Mollo.
It appears that Thiago Motta has reverted to a centre-back role, aiding Marquinhos at the back, as PSG continue to pose questions, to no avail. Halfway point of the second half.
SUBSTITUTION: Saint-Etienne: Benjamin Corgnet is replaced by Ismael Diomande as Sainte revert to a defensive formation.
SUBSTITUTION - PSG: Alex comes off for Jeremy Menez, as PSG go towards a 3-4-3 formation it would seem.
SUBSTITUTION - PSG: Lucas Moura is on for Ezequiel Lavezzi.
Brandao chasing a loose ball here, as Saint-Etienne revert to a defensive formation here, with Hamouma and Mollo dropping deeper to assist their side. Substitutions coming.
Past the hour mark, and Saint-Etienne have just ten men on the field, as they seek to preserve their 2-0 lead. Ibrahimovic and Perrin are called by the referee to calm down their teams here. Intriguing last 30 minutes in sight.
Well, that is a very poor decision from the referee, Ruddy Buquet here. Lemoine takes an elbow from Lavezzi here, and is sent off after the tussle. It was accidental, at best. Incredible decision.
RED CARD - Fabien Lemoine has been sent off! What a poor decision from the referee! Lemoine, totally bloodied after an inconspicuous challenge, has been sent off here!
PSG beginning to see more of the ball here as Van der Wiel races down the right, but his cross headed away by the brilliant Loic Perrin, who again gets goalside to deflect the ball away.
The home crowd are positively bouncing here, with the gift of their 2-0 lead here. Les Verts can eclipse Marseille into sixth, who suffered their fifth defeat in all competitions with a 3-2 defeat to Reims yesterday.
MATUIDI! Wide! He was onside there too. Ibrahimovic lifts a delightful ball for Matuidi into the box. He loses a bit of composure and drags wide. Not a great ball to strike that.
What a great few moments for Saint-Etienne. Up 2-0 against PSG, who are heading for their first defeat since early March. Marquinhos has been at fault for both goals there, but the defence has been suspiciously poor.
GOAL! Saint-Etienne 2-0 PSG!! HAMOUMA! And what a woeful piece of defending from the champions there! What a mess! Clerc's speculative delivery is dropped by Sirigu, and takes a ricochet off Marquinhos, before Hamouma diverts into an empty net.
Ibrahimovic is ruled offside. Great delivery in for Ibrahimovic who heads down into the path of Motta, but the referee's whistle curtails that bit of play.
IBRAHIMOVIC! Just wide. A venomous strike from Ibrahimovic, striking down low, with speed as it flashes to the right of Stephane Ruffier. What a chance.
Free-kick in a fantastic position for PSG. Maxwell comes in off the left, floating a ball towards Ibrahimovic who needs to chest it down. Verratti picks up the ball, and goes down under the challenge of Ghoulam. Right outside the box.
Great passage of play from Mollo who bursts down the left, and wins a corner for his efforts. Zouma et al go up for this corner, which is wasted.
UNDERWAY AGAIN in Saint-Etienne: The visitors have a fight on their hands if they want to go 30 games unbeaten, and reclaim top spot from AS Monaco.
The sides are out for the second half here in the Green Cauldron, as they colloquially call it in this part of France. No changes as of yet.
HT: ASSE 1-0 PSG - fantastic first half at the Geoffrey Guichard. A ; powerful 45 minutes from les Verts who have dominated considerably here. Corgnet's powerful strike divides the sides. All to play for.
45' + 1'
HALF-TIME: Saint-Etienne 1-0 Paris Saint-Germain.
Another threatening delivery from the hosts, as Mollo's inswinger causes a bit of confusion from Ibrahimovic and Maxwell who strive to get the ball away. Into one minute of added time.
Hamouma's delivery is poor, as Maxwell holds strong to head the ball away. All the pressure, and possession at this end for the hosts. Towards half-time here.
Throw-in to Saint-Etienne. Ghoulam's free-kick is deflected away, but Clerc's long delivery results into a corner for ASSE.
YELLOW CARD - Maxwell: The Brazilian left-back is booked for his late challenge on Romain Hamouma.
Cavani reprimanded for a handball, as Saint-Etienne continue to frustrate the visitors completely. At the other end, Hamouma has won a free-kick after taking an elbow to the face it seems.
PERRIN!! What a chance, and ASSE might rue the fact they're not 2-0 up over PSG. Another threatening cross from the right, as Perrin gets up high over Cavani and heads wide.
BRANDAO! Saint-Etienne press forward, as Thiago Motta is played out of position. Clerc drives in a low cross, with his delivery too much for Brandao to tuck it away. Ultimately, it's a corner for the hosts.
Yellow CardFabien Lemoine
YELLOW CARD - Lemoine: The midfielder gets his name taken after a deliberate taking down of Ezequiel Lavezzi, whose trickery was too much for him. Free-kick PSG.
Good defending once more from Saint-Etienne as Van der Wiel's cross ploughs through the defence, but Perrin's header lands into the arms of Stephane Ruffier.
IBRAHIMOVIC! Wide. Poor free-kick there. Attempts to slice it past Ruffier, but it's dragged a considerable distance. Ruffier unhappy with his defence though.
Free-kick to PSG, at a decent distance - that is, for Ibrahimovic, a good 30 metres out. Howls from the hosts' fans, as they are aware of the Swede's competence from set-pieces.
Last time Paris Saint-Germain lost in any competition - March 2013, against Stade de Reims. A full seven and a half months ago!
It's a poor one from the left-back, who opts to strike low and is cleared by Matuidi at the first time of asking. PSG have completed 202 passes to Saint-Etienne's 76!
Good from Ghoulam, who realises that he's not going to get past van der Wiel, and intelligently wins the free-kick. Decent chance for les Verts, with Ghoulam over it.
LEMOINE! OFF THE BAR! What a strike, and again the hosts come close to doubling their lead. The midfielder controls the ball well and volleys towards goal, as it cannons off the bar. Sirigu did get his fingertips to it!
YELLOW CARD - Alex: The Brazilian centre-back is booked for a late challenge, and is surprised by the referee's decision. Both centre-backs have fared poorly so far.
BRANDAO! A GREAT CHANCE! It's again on the left wing that Sainte pose tons of problems as Ghoulam breaks free, provides the low cross for Brandao who takes the touch and fires agonisingly wide. Should've been 2-0!
Clerc pressing forward on the right hand side, as Saint-Etienne burst forward at a high pace, as Brandao chases down the loose ball, beaten to it by Salvatore Sirigu.
Saint-Etienne are continuing to press at the other end, as Mollo comes in off the right to find Brandao, but Alex bursts forward to break up play. At the other end, Ibrahimovic is thwarted by Loic Perrin once more!
Van der Wiel advancing from the right after getting past Faouzi Ghoulam, but his shot is straight at Ruffier, who produces the easiest of saves.
Verratti is fouled under the challenge of Corgnet, and he remonstrates with the player and the referee, as Buquet attempts to keep a lid on things. Free-kick PSG.
Poor from PSG, as their midfield gets caught up with some short passing moves, then getting the ball stuck under the feet of Verratti, as Corgnet takes full advantage.
Referee Buquet has a job to do here, delaying the game to go over and speak to a furious Christophe Galtier. But Saint-Etienne are unperturbed here, as they continue to pose problems.
MATUIDI! Flashes wide. Decent delivery from Motta, towards Alex, and into the path of the former Etienne midfielder. Gets a powerful left foot on the end of it, and smashes wide, via a deflection.
Slight delay i the taking of the corner here as Lavezzi is given a talking to by the referee.
Great goal for the hosts, who are buoyed by a superb crowd inside the Geoffrey Guichard. PSG rally, as Matuidi challenges Ruffier, with Zouma getting up there too. It deflects for a corner.
GOAL! Saint-Etienne 1-0 PSG! CORGNET! What a strike. What a moment! The hosts open the scoring after a poor mistake from Marquinhos. Lack of concentration allows Hamouma to steal in, to set up Corgnet who thunders past Sirigu.
Marquinhos struggles to hold the ball under pressure from Brandao, and clears the ball out for a throw-in. The 19-year-old has been called up by Brazil.
CORGNET! Great little run forward from the attacking midfielder, but his right footed effort results in a dragged strike, wide of Sirigu's goal.
Good defending from Perrin once more, as Lavezzi tries to get a foothold into the area, with the captain highlighting great strength and composure to divert the ball away.
Lavezzi closed down by Lemoine after some good passing moves from les Parisiens. Saint-Etienne keeping the visitors at arm's length for the moment, as PSG struggle.
Interesting battles forming over that left flank. Cavani and Van der Wiel interlinking superbly, but the same can be said for Hamouma and Ghoulam thus far. Opening up too.
BRANDAO! What a chance for Saint-Etienne! Great movement off the left there for the hosts. Left-back Ghoulam tees up Hamouma whose low cross finds Brandao, who in turn gets right under that and fires over the bar.
In the opening nine minutes, Paris Saint-Germain have managed 55 passes, to Saint-Etienne's 17. Cavani races forward on the edge of the area, but Loic Perrin turns across to hoof the ball away.
YELLOW CARD - Brandao: Interesting booking here, as the Brazilian striker is booked, for being the instigator of that incident, which turns out to be an elbow on Thiago Motta!
There's an off-the-ball incident here, as two players from each side are on the ground. It appears Corgnet and Van der Wiel were involved in a challenge, but that doesn't seem to be the main cause of the problem.
Free-kick to PSG, as Ibrahimovic catches Ghoulam and earns a dressing down from Ruddy Buquet. Late challenge, and catches the left-back. On second viewing, doesn't seem to be much in that, really.
Moment of worry for Saint-Etienne as Lavezzi gears up Ibrahimovic, who lifts the ball over Zouma for Cavani to try and work some magic. The ball though, takes a negative spin, bringing it away from the Uruguayan and out.
Saint-Etienne are the record winners of Ligue 1, winning the Championnat ten times, to Paris Saint-Germain's three. Back on the field, Salvatore Sirigu races forward to claim possession.
Lemoine appears to be OK, as Saint-Eienne sportingly hand the ball back to the visiors, who sart once more from the back. Fine ball forward for Van der Wiel to give chase.
Rather sloppy start from both sides as they struggle to keep possession in he opening skirmishes. Marco Verratti slides in on Fabien Lemoine, who stays on the ground.
KICK OFF! Saint-Etienne get us going attacking from left to right as they bid to go a commendable 30 games unbeaten. Can they do it? We'll find out!
The atmosphere is building at the imposing Stade Geoffrey Guichard in the Rhone Valley. One of the most atmospheric stadiums in Ligue 1. Kick-off imminent!
No surprises here with the line-ups, as both sides go for their strongest possible sides, though Christophe Galtier names Mevlut Erding on the bench, as Brandao heads the XI. Tonight's referee is Ruddy Buquet.
AS SAINT-ETIENNE: Ruffier - Zouma, Ghulam, Perrin (c) Cleric - Clement Corgnet, Mollo, Lemoine - Hamouma, Brandao.Subs: Moulin, Sall, Cohade, Tabanou, Diomande, Gradel, Erding.
PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN: Sirigu - Marquinhos, Alex, Maxwell, Van der Wiel - Thiago Motta, Matuidi, Verratti - Cavani, Lavezzi, Ibrahimovic (c).Subs: Douchez, Camara, Digne, Menez, Rabiot, Lucas, Ongenda.
CONFIRMED TEAM NEWS:
Last season, Saint-Etienne beat PSG 2-1 at the Parc des Princes, after Ibrahimovic's red card, following that on with progression in the Coupe de la Ligue and a home draw. Can they stretch that run this evening?
Saint-Etienne meanwhile can leapfrog Marseille into the top six after recovering from a poor run of form lately, with a 3-2 win over FC Lorient. But les Verts are a formidable side at home, and were unbeaten in all three of their meetings v PSG last season.
Laurent Blanc's men can go back to the top of the table after being temporarily unseated by Monaco, who beat Olympique Lyonnais 2-1 this afternoon. PSG can also cap off a whirlwind week which saw Zlatan Ibrahimovic hit four in the 5-0 rout of Anderlecht.
Good evening and welcome to live commentary of the Ligue 1 fixture between Saint-Etienne and Paris Saint-Germain at Stade Geoffrey Guichard. I'm Mohammed Ali and I'll be guiding you through tonight's game.
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