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France - Ligue 1
February 23, 2014
• Stadium Municipal, Toulouse
Referee: N. Rainville
• Attendance: 22049
W. Ben Yedder 44', 72'
Z. Ibrahimovic 32', 68', 89'
E. Lavezzi 56'
That's all that we have time for, we hope that you have enjoyed our live coverage of PSG's important and tightly contested 4-2 Ligue 1 victory over Toulouse. I've been Simon Harrison, and I hope to see you all again next time.
Toulouse put in a great first half performance, but Casanova's side couldn't keep up the tempo for the entire match. A defeat is harsh for the home side, who were valiant and had plenty of chances, but they've been penalised by a clinical showing from PSG.
FULL TIME! A Zlatan Ibrahimovic hat-trick allows PSG to move five points clear of Monaco at the top of Ligue 1, in a tale of two scorers at Stadium Municipal. Two goals for Ben Yedder, and three for Ibra, with Lavezzi grabbing a solitary goal for himself too. It ends 4-2 to the visitors.
90' + 3'
PSG look to break upfield, with Ibrahimovic, Thiago Motta and Matuidi racing forward, but the Italian midfielder's through ball in search of the Frenchman is cut out. Toulouse then have a break of their own, with Ben Yedder releasing Braithwaite, but the Dane fires high and wide.
90' + 1'
90' + 1'
Rabiot replaces Lavezzi for stoppage time, as the young midfielder plied his trade on loan for Toulouse last season. We're into the first of three minutes for stoppages.
Penalty save Zacharie Boucher
Missed Penalty Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Goal Zlatan Ibrahimovic
GOOOOOOAL! IBRAHIMOVIC GETS HIS HAT-TRICK! It's now 4-2 to PSG! His third Ligue 1 hat-trick, but Boucher nearly spoiled the party. A cheeky Panenka penalty was stopped by the Toulouse keeper, but Ibra was alert and stabbed home the rebound.
IBRA! PENALTY GIVEN TO PSG! Sylla is penalised for handball, after Ibrahimovic rattled a free-kick strike into the wall! His arms were raised, and the ball struck his tricep! A chance to wrap it up now for PSG!
Toulouse whip in a long-range free-kick, but PSG are able to clear their lines easily, before their own break upfield is stopped in its tracks by Yago. There are some tired legs out their now, leaving definite potential for some gaps to be exploiting in the dying embers of this match-up.
Pastore finds Matuidi bombing forward, due to the Frenchman's relentless stamina, but his cross from the byeline is overhit. Toulouse are sneaking back onto the front foot, and PSG may be forced into a negative substitution before the end of this game.
Eden Ben Basat
Casanova chooses to roll the dice once again, changing his system slightly in the final stages, to try and find that elusive equaliser. The hosts have certainly given the reigning Ligue 1 champions a real test here at Stadium Municipal today, and an equaliser wouldn't be undeserved.
Braithwaite breaks beyond the last man, but is too wide to make a telling impact! PSG manage to load the box with players while the Dane waits for support, nullifying the opportunity for Toulouse to grab a late equaliser.
PSG continue to dominate possession, due to Toulouse's drop in intensity, but the hosts still look dangerous when they are permitted to break. The league leaders haven't been watertight at the back, with Braithwaite and Ben Yedder able to ghost into space throughout.
Less than twenty minutes left on the clock, and PSG certainly aren't out of the woods yet. Since the substitution of Akpa Akpro, Toulouse haven't had the same intensity down the flanks, but the home side are being urged on regardless by the home faithful.
Just as the game looked to be dead on its feet, Ben Yedder has breathed new life into this Toulouse side! Casanova still has a final substitute to use, who could prove to be vital in the outcome of this game - not only having implications for the home side, but also the title race.
Goal Wissam Ben Yedder
GOOOOAL! BEN YEDDER TUCKS HOME TO MAKE IT 3-2! The goalscorer is way, way offside, but the referee looks to have overruled his linesman! The pass may have deflected off Thiago Motta on its way through, which would make the goal legal, so the referee must have seen a touch! Ben Yedder steers home from eight yards, leaving Sirigu helpless.
Well, Blanc's substitution certainly can't be questioned, with Cabaye having an immediate impact on this game with a fantastic free-kick delivery. This game is probably beyond Toulouse now, they've been slowly fizzling out as the second-half has progressed.
Assist Yohan Cabaye
Goal Zlatan Ibrahimovic
GOOOOOAL! IBRAHIMOVIC MAKES IT 3-1 TO PSG! Cabaye whips in an excellent free-kick delivery, which Ibra flicks on, looping the ball inside the far post! That should be the game sealed now, and Boucher had absolutely no chance. Great technique and delivery!
Ibrahimovic gets on the end of the corner delivery, which was conceded from his own ambitious free-kick effort, but his header drifts wide of the back post. PSG look to ring the changes, bringing on new boy Pastore in place of Verratti.
WHAT A STRIKE! Ibrahimovic rockets a long-range free-kick towards goal from about 30 yards out, and Boucher has to leap into the air to palm the Swede's effort over the crossbar! That was some effort, and the Toulouse keeper had to be at his athletic best to turn it away from goal.
GREAT SAVE BY SIRIGU! Aurier steams in at the back post to meet a brilliant cross, towering above his man before hurtling a header towards goal. Sirigu does excellently to dig out the effort from under his crossbar! Toulouse aren't out of this yet!
CHANTOME! The former PSG man is fed the ball down the right flank, after receiving the ball from goalscorer Ben Yedder, and fires a powerful effort towards the near post - which Sirigu is more than equal to.
After a lengthy delay due to injury, the home crowd are getting a little bit restless. The relentless intensity of Toulouse's pressing has subsided, with the visitors dominating the game instead. Aurier and Akpa Akpro are being forced into more defensive duties, with the 3-5-2 looking more like a 5-3-2 due to the sustained PSG pressure.
Their goal in the first half may not have been entirely deserved on the balance of play, but Blanc's side have been much-improved after the half-time break. A great finish from Lavezzi has put the league leaders in a strong second-half position, with PSG stroking the ball around confidently now.
Assist Blaise Matuidi
Goal Ezequiel Lavezzi
GOOOOOOOOAL! PSG REGAIN THE LEAD AFTER A GREAT LAVEZZI FINISH! The Argentine receives possession with his back to goal in the penalty area, before swivelling and firing the ball beyond Boucher and into the bottom right corner!
Akpa Akpro and Yago combine brilliantly yet again to marshal Lucas wide, before robbing the Brazilian of possession brutally. He's not had the most effective game, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see Menez introduced in his place. Toulouse's two Ivorian wing-backs then combine, but Maxwell does well to get inbetween Aurier to shepherd the ball out of play for a goal-kick.
Lucas whips in a deep corner delivery, but Boucher is again quick off his line to command his area, much to the joy of the home fans. The second-half is certainly more open than the first, with PSG prepared to push Matuidi upfield more often.
Thankfully for the away side, Thiago Motta is okay to continue, and waits on the sidelines for the referee to allow him back onto the field of play. The free-kick for Toulouse is eventually taken, but the delivery bounces around the penalty area, deflecting off a defending player, but evading anyone in a purple and white shirt.
Thiago Motta flies in with a poor challenge on Chantome, raising his boot extremely high, and the Italian midfielder has already been booked. Despite throwing himself into the tackle, Motta has remained down and looks to be in some pain following an awkward landing. This isn't what Blanc wants to see, his midfielder is key to the system.
We're back underway in the second half! Casanova will be hoping that his side can carry on in the same vein, as PSG only enjoyed dominance for a period of around 15 minutes in the opening 45 minutes. Plenty is at stake for Les Parisiens, and they need to find a second gear quickly.
Be sure to rejoin us in ten minutes for all of the second half action, with Monaco supporters watching on hopefully! As it stands, PSG would only be able to extend their lead atop Ligue 1 to three points, an easily closeable gap for the chasing pack.
That goal is no less than the hosts deserved from the opening half, following an intense pressing start to the game, and missing a glorious chance due to the wastefulness of Braithwaite. Thiago Silva has also missed a great chance, turning an Ibra cross around the post from a few yards out, with a tie at the break the fair outcome.
HALF TIME! Toulouse have managed to scrape their just desserts from the opening 45 minutes, with Ben Yedder's late equaliser salvaging the first half for Casanova's side. Ibrahimovic gave the league leaders the advantage with a coolly taken penalty, but Les Parisiens have been pegged back in some style!
Yellow Card Wissam Ben Yedder
Assist Etienne Didot
Goal Wissam Ben Yedder
GOOOOOAL! WHAT A FINISH FROM BEN YEDDER! The Toulouse striker thrashes in a wonderful volley at the back post, after a brilliant back post delivery picking out the Frenchman in plenty of space. He cracks the cross into the roof of the net beautifully!
THIAGO SILVA! WHAT A MISS! Great work from Ibrahimovic down the left hand side, before the Swedish striker picks out an excellent cross, zipping the ball across the six-yard box. His Brazilian teammate is present at the back post, but shins wide from a few yards out!
Thiago Motta whips in a corner which fails to beat the first man, before Van der Wiel's delivery on the rebound is also poor. The visitors are pressing forward, looking for their second goal of the first half which would make the second half a much easier proposition.
Lucas just hasn't had a good first half, now being robbed of the ball by a combination of Akpa Akpro and Yago. The former Sao Paulo midfielder's body language doesn't suggest he's too happy, with the Brazil international strolling around the field casually.
AURIER! The Toulouse captain rises well to beat Maxwell to a back post cross, but nods the ball into the ground, allowing for it to bounce up comfortably into Sirigu's grasp. PSG break, with Matuidi being fed in down the left channel, but Boucher and the post are equal to the Frenchman's low near post drive.
Didot whips in a dipping corner delivery, but PSG are able to clear easily. Lucas picks up the pieces and looks to break, but Yago comes through the back of his marker to concede a foul. Blanc's side have a foothold in this game now, Toulouse aren't winning every second ball with the same urgency as earlier.
Ten minutes until the break, and all of Toulouse's good early work has been completely undone by that Ibrahimovic penalty. The visitors had barely threatened before the former Barcelona striker converted, but find themselves ahead. Aurier picks up a yellow card for dissent, personifying Toulouse's frustrations.
Yellow Card Serge Aurier
LUCAS! What a chance to make it two goals in as many minutes! Veskovac does just enough to put the Brazilian midfielder off, following a defence-splitting pass from Ibrahimovic put his teammate through on goal. It perhaps took a slight bobble, making it difficult for Lucas to control, but PSG need a two-goal cushion!
Goal Zlatan Ibrahimovic
GOOOOOAL! IBRAHIMOVIC SCORES TO MAKE IT 1-0! That's his 20th goal of the season, and how cool it was! He rolls the ball down the centre, sending Boucher the wrong way, and the league leaders are ahead at Stadium Municipal!
Yellow Card Uroš Spajić
PENALTY TO PSG! Spajic brings down Lavezzi in the penalty area, giving the league leaders the chance to take an undeserved first half lead.. Ibrahimovic to take!
The home side are continuing to not give PSG a moment's piece on the ball, and you can sense the frustration from the visitors. Lucas and Lavezzi have barely touched the ball, with the Brazilian in particular looking out of sorts.
VERRATTI! The diminutive midfielder somehow rises above Chantome to rocket a close-range header over the bar! It was only from eight yards out, but the Italy international just couldn't keep his effort down. Golden chance for PSG, but you have to question how one of the smallest men on the field won that in the air!
WHAT A MISS! WHAT AN AWFUL MISS FROM BRAITHWAITE! An Akpa-Akpro cross is deflected towards the back post by a PSG leg, allowing for Aurier to crack an effort off the post with Sirigu beaten. The rebound falls to Braithwaite, a few yards off the line, but he can only get weak contact on the ball from the ground, allowing for the PSG keeper to pounce on the effort before it trickles over the line!
Yellow Card Thiago Motta
Thiago Motta unsurprisingly picks up the first booking of the game, stopping a dangerous Toulouse attack with cynical intentions. The PSG bench appears to also be rattled, with the side's assistant manager and coaches in visible discussion with the fourth official. The hosts continue to frustrate.
Akpa-Akpro bombs on down the left flank, before whipping in a cross to the back post, but Sirugu is able to claim easily. The Italian goalkeeper distributes quickly, but throws the ball directly out of play. Toulouse take the throw-in, feeding the ball to Braithwaite who dips an effort towards goal, but it's easy for Sirigu to smother.
Excellent defending from Yago! The centre-half robs Ibrahimovic of the ball in the penalty area, pushing him out wide before using his power to shunt the Swede off the ball. Toulouse have looked very solid in the opening stages, but PSG have quality players to make something out of nothing, meaning that Casanova's men need to capitalise on early success.
Following a midweek game against Bayer Leverkusen, which went excellently for the Ligue 1 leaders, there might be a slight hint of fatigue in Laurent Blanc's side's legs. Verratti clips a lofted ball to the edge of the penalty area, reading an intelligent run from Matuidi, but Boucher is quick off his line to claim the pass.
Aurier lands awkwardly after clashing with Matuidi, but the 21-year-old is quickly back to his feet. That looked fairly nasty, and the PSG midfielder is also left worse for wear, holding his head following the collision. Both will be fine to continue.
Maxwell breaks down the left hand side for the first time during the game, but runs the ball clumsily out of play, despite protesting his innocence. PSG aren't having this game their own way, with Toulouse's wing-backs really causing some problems in terms of pressing and overloading.
Braithwait and Ben Yedder are keen to press and harry as much as possible in the opening quarter of an hour, and the hosts are certainly making things difficult for Les Parisiens. From the high-octane start, you wouldn't guess that Toulouse haven't won at their own ground since November of last year.
Toulouse continue to dominate the early stages, with their system allowing them to push their wing-backs high, and accommodating high pressing. The early energy from Casanova's side hasn't allowed PSG to settle, and it's not been uncommon for the visitors to hoof long due to intense pressure.
THIAGO SILVA! The Brazilian centre-half rises well in the penalty area, beating Didot in the air, but his header can't be turned home by Ibrahimovic. The Swedish international tries to stretch to head the looping ball home, but couldn't divert it goalwards.
Aurier is having real joy down the right hand side in the early stages, with Maxwell struggling to deal with the pace and power of his marker. PSG haven't started this game like league leaders, and are having to play as more of a stretched 4-5-1, than a 4-3-3 with a narrow midfield three.
Toulouse are really exploiting the width given to them in their 3-5-2 system, and PSG haven't been able to get a foothold in the game. Akpa-Akpro robs Ibrahimovic of possession on the left hand side of the hosts' defence, and the crowd roars in appreciation. Chantome brings down Verratti with a late challenge, but the referee waves play on.
The hosts have started brightly, with Chantome popping up in the penalty area, but the loanee is unable to either feed the ball short to Braithwaite, or fire an effort towards goal himself. Van der Wiel gets across well to dispossess the former PSG midfielder.
The home side are wearing their customary purple and white kits, forcing PSG into their white away strip for today's action. PSG earn themselves an early corner, which is easily claimed by Boucher, before Aurier curls an ambitious shot over Sirigu's crossbar.
We are underway in the first half, with referee Nicolas Rainville sounding his whistle to get the ball rolling. PSG have named a very strong starting eleven here this afternoon, so all those connected with the club shall be hoping for a strong start to proceedings, especially with the reigning Ligue 1 champions' 4-0 Champions League victory over Bayer Leverkusen still fresh in the mind.
Five minutes until kick-off, so be sure to stick around for all of today's early Ligue 1 action, as PSG look to extend their lead over Monaco at the summit of the table. Les Parisiens have a game in hand on their title rivals, so taking three points against a side who have struggled at home all season is a must.
Though home advantage is normally a positive thing, Toulouse have been disproving this statement for much of the Ligue 1 season. Failing to pick up a victory at Stadium Municipal since November, the hosts have been in terrible form on their own patch for months. Their last victory was impressive, as it came against Lorient on the road, but today represents a far firmer test.
PSG substitutes: Douchez, Cabaye, Marquinhos, Menez, Digne, Rabiot, Pastore.
PSG starting line-up: Sirigu; Van der Wiel, Alex, Thiago Silva, Maxwell; Matuidi, Thiago Motta, Verratti; Lucas, Ibrahimovic, Lavezzi.
Toulouse substitutes: Sylla, Ben Basat, Zebina, Furman, Sirieix, Trejo, Ahamada.
Toulouse starting line-up: Boucher; Veskovac, Yago, Spajic; Aurier, Didot, Aguilar, Chantome, Akpa-Akpro; Braithwaite, Ben Yedder.
TEAM NEWS: Laurent Blanc names a very strong starting eleven, though Cavani, Camara and Jallet are still unavailable for selection through injury. Maxwell starts at left-back, with a midfield three of Verratti, Thiago Motta and Matuidi. Ibrahimovic leads the line, with PSG benefitting from a lack of absentees following their excellent win over Bayer Leverkusen midweek.
TEAM NEWS: Plenty of injury absentees for the home side, with Sana, Soukouna, Roman, Moubandje, Ninkov and Regattin on the treatment table for Casanova's side. Chantome is available to face his former club, after his suspension was pushed back until after today's game. Veskovac retains his place in the starting line-up after impressing during his debut performance last time out.
I'm Simon Harrison, and I will be leading you through all of the action, as a Toulouse side with only one win out of their last five games, face a PSG outfit who are in steamrolling form. A draw to second-placed Monaco has been the only occasion when Les Parisiens haven't picked up maximum points in their last five matches, marking the visitors as firm favourites this afternoon.
Hello and welcome to Ligue 1's early kick-off, with Toulouse hosting league leaders Paris Saint-Germain at Stadium Municipal, as Laurent Blanc's side look to extend their lead at the top of the table. The home side are currently sat precariously in the top half, with a win today merely pushing them further away from 22nd-placed Valenciennes, as three points won't be enough to lift Alain Casanova's side above ninth-placed Bastia without a two-goal swing.
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