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France - Ligue 1
December 11, 2012
• Stade du Hainaut, Valenciennes
Referee: W. Bien
• Attendance: 23021
Z. Ibrahimovic 28', 49', 53'
E. Lavezzi 82'
That's it from me, Mohammed Ali - in what was an easy encounter for PSG, who utterly destroy Valenciennes' proud home record so far this season. Join me again for further Ligue 1 action on Sunday, as Lyon travel to the capital in what will be an early title clash.
90' + 4'
FULL-TIME: Valenciennes 0-4 Paris Saint-Germain.
90' + 3'
Mater drills a pass towards Kadir down the right. Maxwell misses an interception, but it meekly goes out for a goal-kick nonetheless. That should be that, on a happy night for Carlo Ancelotti.
90' + 2'
And despite their thrashing, Valenciennes' fans are taking it all in their stride, with the atmosphere not letting up in the stadium. They remain fifth for now in Ligue 1, in what already is a fruitful opening to the season for them.
90' + 1'
Goal.com's Ewan Macdonald comments: Ibra has been utterly godly today
90' + 1'
Into FOUR additional minutes of play at the Stade du Hainaut.
We're entering the final minute of normal play, and still PSG are continuing to work, work, and work even more. It's been a while since they've played with such fluidity, such poise, and with a smile too. Are they finally clicking into form?
theREALstront96 comments: Ibra was the signing of the summer... not Cazorla.
The result must hold Carlo Ancelotti's side in good stead ahead of a Ligue 1 showdown against rivals, and league leaders Olympique Lyonnais on Sunday. That should be a massive battle with two sides in form.
Angoua's night of misery continues as he gives possession away, somewhat cheaply as Verratti - whose passing has made the difference, attempts to pick out Ibrahimovic, who cannot work the goalkeeper this time.
Anthony Le Tallec
Five minutes left to go at the Stade du Hainaut, as PSG 4-0 up, attempt to get a fifth. Verratti attempts to get control of a loose ball, but Penneteau races off his line to get the ball away.
And they're not done yet! Not by a long shot as Matuidi bombs down the left, again in space - the Valenciennes defenders have largely given up by this point. Into Jallet, who attempts the audacious - but the finish, largely predictable, goes over the bar.
Assist Marco Verratti
Goal Ezequiel Lavezzi
AND THERE'S THE FOURTH! Beautiful goal. Lavezzi shrugs off the power of Angoua and races forward. Just him and the goalkeeper, and it's so cheeky, the finish - under Penneteau to secure a ruthless victory.
Two great chances for PSG in under a minute as Lavezzi picks out Ibrahimovic again, and the cross - perhaps deliberately - is overhit, as Chantome picks up the ball in space.
Nervy moment for les Parisiens at the back as Thiago Silva passes back to the safety of Sirigu, whilst under pressure from an attacker. Sirigu slips when clearing, but gets enough distance on it.
Yellow Card Ezequiel Lavezzi
And it's Dossevi is off, being replaced by Aboubakar. Meanwhile, we have that free-kick, taken by Kadir. About 25 metres out. Can the Algerian work Salvatore Sirigu? No is the answer.
Free-kick awarded to Valenciennes, after Lavezzi clatters into Mathieu Dossevi. A pretty silly free-kick to give away, especially when you're 3-0 up. The hosts are readying their substitution too.
Clement Chantome is on for Jeremy Menez, who is probably being saved for the game against Lyon at the weekend. Final substitution from the visitors.
MATUIDI! HITS THE POST! Great effort from the midfielder, who ought to cap off an assured game with a goal, Ghosts into the box and goes for the near post, only for the ball to smash off the woodwork.
Fantastic movement from PSG once more, as Lavezzi picks out Ibrahimovic with a fine pass. Cross in from the treble star, and it's deflected behind by Angoua.
Valenciennes aim to reduce the deficit. No incision from the hosts, as Dossevi attempts to rashly fire at will against Sirigu. The result? Ball bounces hopelessly wide.
Entering the final stretch in what has been an easy game for Les Parisiens so far. What do you make of it? Leave your comments in the chatbox to your right, and also rate this match using the stars at the top of the page, and leave a comment.
MENEZ! Oh dear, OH DEAR! Ibrahimovic really should've taken that by himself. In acres of space, he bombs down the right, in an easy 1 v 1 situation. Unselfishly picks out Menez, who fires inexplicably, MILES over the bar. Should've been 4-0. Should've been Ibra.
Lavezzi has been particularly active on the wing, he has really come on leaps and bounds for the capital side in stark contrast to when he first started back in August. Genuinely displaying the flashes of brilliance he showed so consistently with Napoli in 2011-12.
Elsewhere in France, Nice have taken a 1-0 lead against high-flying Rennes with Dario Cvitanich getting the goal. Here, Pujol replaces Danic, who is applauded off. Marco Verratti is also on for PSG.
Danic requires medical attention, and is in visible pain here. He's in a serious sate, as he tearfully departs on a stretcher. No challenge from Jallet, as he attempted to dispossess the former PSG captain.
A Valenciennes player is down as Ibrahimovic remonstrates with the referee. Carlo Ancelotti looks on, arguably delighted with his hat-trick hero. It's Danic who is down for the hosts.
Brilliant run by Menez who darts in from the right, and weaves past one, two, three defenders before falling at the fourth hurdle. The host have just not been upto it tonight.
Lavezzi skips down the midfield, getting fully past Mater who stands off the Argentinian. The low cross in is cleared by the returning Bong.
Appears that a flare has gone off in the far corner, with smoke threatening to spill over into the pitch. Nevertheless, play has continued for now, as Valenciennes aim to counter.
DOSSEVI! A rare chance from the hosts, as the winger strikes across goal towards Sirigu, who has enjoyed a pretty quiet evening thus far.
Yellow Card Brou Benjamin Angoua
IBRAHIMOVIC! Pushed away by Penneteau from the free-kick, and Pastore's header nestles in the goalkeeper's arms. It's just not been his night, admittedly.
Poor yellow card from the referee, as Angoula gets booked for an altercation with Lavezzi. The Argentine expected a booking there, but it's gone to his rival. Free-kick PSG.
It's been plain sailing for PSG against a side who before tonight, have conceded just four goals at home, and unbeaten at this stadium since PSG's last visit in May. Unbelievable stuff.
Assist Jérémy Menez
Goal Zlatan Ibrahimovic
GOAL! ZLATAN GETS HIS TREBLE! Wow, it's so easy for Paris Saint-Germain at the moment. Defence is torn to shreds as Menez races in from the left and tees up the Swede who taps in for the third time this evening. He hasn't broken a sweat!
Another Sanchez slip, allowing PSG to break for a third time. Matuidi picks out Jallet, who attempts to get the ball to Ibrahimovic, on a hat-trick. Defence holds firm this time.
Goal Zlatan Ibrahimovic
That goal marks Zlatan Ibrahimovic's 16th league goal of the season, and only one behind what 2011 champions Lille have managed collectively. His goal instincts have been brilliant.
PSG have not won their last two away games in all competitions. They were defeated in Nice last weekend, and in Saint-Etienne for the Coupe de la Ligue. Can they extend their lead, here?
GOOAL! 2-0! Zlatan Ibrahimovic doubles PSG's lead at the Stade du Hainaut! Again, it's mirrored by the first as he taps in from close range, but all the plaudits must go to Pastore once more. Great shot, powerful enough for the goalkeeper to spill, and it's Zlatan the Poacher at the ready!
An elbow from Le Tallec onto Thiago Silva, although somewhat accidental. Both players seem to be OK, as they emerge from the heap. Nevertheless, play continues.
A rather more subdued start to second half proceedings, especially when compared to the first half. Isimat-Mirin looking composed at the back as he seeks out a team-mate.
UNDERWAY IN THE SECOND HALF! Can Valenciennes salvage their unbeaten home record?
A brilliant first-half from the Stade du Hainaut, as PSG take a 1-0 lead into the interval. Superb defending, especially from Thiago Silva have given Carlo Ancelotti's men the advantage with Valenciennes threatening on occasions. All to play for.
45' + 1'
HALF-TIME: VALENCIENNES 0-1 PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN
Poor from Menez, has been average this evening. Lovely flick-on from Ibrahimovic into the 25-year-old, who drives across the field towards Lavezzi, but the pass had too much pace, and that's surely the end of the first half.
Alex's night is over. The Brazilian appeared to have done his hamstring, as he limps off down the tunnel. He is replaced by Mamadou Sakho as PSG re-start play.
Danic takes the corner, cleared by the defender, and it's deflected straight onto Menez, who races onto the loose ball in acres of space. Ibrahimovic is ahead of him, with the winger playing the early pass which is just too short.
It's Valenciennes who break, as Dossevi makes progress on the right. Once more, the delivery of the ball has not been brilliant, as it's over-hit again. Alex clears behind to be on the safe side.
IBRAHIMOVIC! Oh, it's offside. Again, the high-line proves PSG's undoing as Ibrahimovic just goes a moment too early. Poor slip by Sanchez, allowing Pastore to take advantage. Threading the pass to Ibrahimovic, he goes into the box before being denied by the flag.
Ducourtioux gets in the mix of things along with Thiago Silva as they jump for an aerial ball, and as ever, the Brazilian comes out on top. Valenciennes just cannot get back into this game.
Awkward piece of defending from the hosts, as they struggle to maintain a vastly-improved PSG attack. Pastore is involved once more, with Angoua clearing only a few feet away, leaving Sanchez to clear up the mess.
Having another look at that Kadir incident, it was no foul at all. Motta didn't even touch the player with the referee coming to the right decision.
Barrage of boos from the Valenciennes faithful as Foued Kadir drops down on the edge of the box after being brought down by Thiago Motta. Referee waves play on, and Jallet pings a superb cross-field pass towards Menez, who cannot get past Mater.
Le Tallec has been rather isolated up front, meaning Valenciennes have to take advantage through the enterprising channels afforded by Danic and Dossevi. Christophe Jallet and Maxwell have just not been in the game thus far.
Ducourtioux steps off Menez easily, as the winger races forward through the middle. Easily takes advantage of a poor defensive shape to tee-up Ibrahimovic, who locates Matuidi. The angle is tight, and the ball is eventually cleared by the oncoming Angoula. So easy there.
As it stands, PSG would cut Lyon's lead by two with Remi Garde's men facing bottom side Nancy tomorrow at the Stade Gerland. All eyes on Sunday for the top two's clash in the capital.
Whilst Ancelotti gives a little fist pump on the touchline, the visitors also have a free-kick. Ibrahimovic takes, and another low stinging effort proves no problem for Penneteau.
Assist Ezequiel Lavezzi
Goal Zlatan Ibrahimovic
GOOAAL!! PSG TAKE THE LEAD! Against the run of play, but PSG won't care. Pastore was electric in the build-up, as he carves out the opening. Deflects off the defender, but Lavezzi is on hand to drive the ball back in the box, with Ibrahimovic tapping-in past Penneteau. Looks up for the offside flag, but there isn't one. VAFC 0-1 PSG.
The Swede further extends his lead at the top of the scoring charts. It's his 15th league goal in 14 league games, and 17th in all for the season. Not bad at all.
DANIC! Close, but it wasn't the right option available. The midfielder opts for a pop at goal, and drives in a low effort which slams into the side netting, as Daniel Sanchez looks on from the touchline in disgust.
Poor challenge from Motta on Dossevi, as the Italy international doesn't get any of the ball. Free-kick to Valenciennes just outside the area, to be taken by Gael Danic.
Worth noting that Paris Saint-Germain's midfielders have had a quite game so far, and given the end-to-end nature of the game, they have not asserted their authority in the match as of yet. Thiago Motta, only recently returned from injury is having a quiet game, notably.
Great movement by Gael Danic. Talented player that he is (with the most assists in Ligue 1 to date), he produces some skill to evade Javier Pastore, and tee up Gaetan Bong, who cannot quite keep the ball in.
Rudy Mater produces a lofted cross from the right, aiming for lone striker Anthony le Tallec, but it's well headed away by Thiago Silva. VAFC need to be just that little more precise in their forays.
Now it's Paris Saint-Germain who are flexing their muscles in attack. Great play from Pastore, who tees up compatriot Ezequiel Lavezzi, but the former Napoli star curls his effort inches wide. Decent shot.
Dossevi is becoming more and more lively on this right flank as Maxwell struggles to stem the flow. He opts to locate Anthony le Tallec, but Thiago Silva is on hand to clear the danger.
Fabulous skill by Mathieu Dossevi who lifts the ball over the defender with one sleek touch, and attempts to control it again, but his progress in the penalty box is undone as Thiago Silva heroically deflects the ball away, with help from Maxwell.
Very end-to-end encounter here at the Stade du Hainaut as Ducourtioux makes headway down the right flank. Somehow, his cross is poorly over-hit, as it goes out for a goal-kick.
Ohh, Ibrahimovic is offside. Was certainly through on goal, as he attempted to control Lavezzi's great pass. Defence was horribly open but the hosts have survived thanks to the offside flag.
Menez attempts to latch onto another threaded through ball from Matuidi, and he is denied by the great defending of Gaetan Bong, who reads the game well there.
ISIMAT-MIRIN! Brilliant header, not sure how much he meant that, but it's deceived the defence and requires Sirigu to punch the ball away off his line. The corner from Danic was threatening enough, but PSG's defence was very static there. Two great chances have gone begging for the hosts.
Ibrahimovic with the free-kick nonetheless, and it's a poor one, as it drags harmlessly away from Nicolas Penneteau's left post. Not his best, admittedly.
Ibrahimovic grapples with Nicolas Isimat-Mirin with both pulling their opponents' shirt. The referee attempts to calm things down amid a barrage of boos, as both players are lectured, and depart on a rather awkward handshake.
DUCOURTIOUX! Oh, what an effort, and a brilliant save by Sirigu to match it. The midfielder cuts in on his left and fires low at the Italian goalkeeper, who palms it away for a corner. Best move of the match yet.
Ibrahimovic shrugs off the bitterly cold weather and gets himself warmed up with a tame low effort which Penneteau has saved well. The Swede did well to get the better of Angoula there.
Bit of a nervous moment here for PSG. Le Tallec chases a loose ball and accidentally bundles over Thiago Silva. The former AC Milan man appears to have done his groin, but continues for the moment.
Menez has been pretty lively in the opening stages here, as Valenciennes struggle to show their dominant home form. Remember, they beat Marseille 4-1 here at the end of September.
SANCHEZ! Brilliant strike, and only just wide. The South American midfielder carves out space about 25 yards out of goal, and fires a low pinging effort which flies just wide of Sirigu's goal.
Ancelotti will be delighted by his side's ferocious start. Remember, Valenciennes took a 2-0 lead over PSG in this fixture last season after just 11 minutes. Daniel Sanchez's men haven't raced out of the blocks yet.
PASTORE! Well, it's all happening already. Penneteau races clear off his line as Menez latches onto a through ball. It falls to Pastore who attempts an audacious shot from outside the area, and it's comically bundled away by the goalkeeper.
And already a half-chance by Javier Pastore who races down the right flank, and with space, his cross is cleared by Gael Danic. A frantic start by the visitors.
WE ARE UNDERWAY AT STADE DU HAINAUT! Valenciennes get us going, attacking from right to left.
Tonight's referee is Wilfried Bien. The atmosphere is building at the Stade du Hainaut. A win for Valenciennes, and they move LEVEL with PSG on points.
PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN XI: Sirigu - Jallet, Alex, T.Silva, Maxwell - Matuidi, Motta, Pastore, Lavezzi - Ménez, Ibrahimovic
VALENCIENNES XI: Penneteau - Mater, Isimat-Mirin, Angoua, Bong - Ducourtioux, Sanchez - Dossevi, Kadir, Danic - Le Tallec
CONFIRMED TEAM NEWS:
Meanwhile, 53-year-old Ancelotti insists his side are ready for their make-or-break week: "The team is ready for these two matches. We showed a good reaction following our defeat at Nice with back-to-back home wins against Porto and Evian. The signals are positive right now. It'll certainly be difficult against Valenciennes and Lyon, but we're in good shape right now."
Daniel Sanchez has spoken of his hope in getting a positive result: "It's a small club against a very big one, because even big clubs are not on their level. We're going to have to be at 200 per cent, and show a lot of enthusiasm and generosity. In addition to the technical and tactical aspects, we'll have to let ourselves go."
Ancelotti will sure keep one eye on Sunday's blockbuster against leaders Lyon, and should Remi Garde's men slip up this week and on Sunday at the Parc des Princes, we could have a very similar scenario to last Christmas where PSG were top of Ligue 1 as well, though that cost Antoine Kombouare his job as the Qatari revolution kicked in.
Meanwhile, Daniel Sanchez's men boast a formidable home record at their new stadium. Out of eight home games, the side have five wins and three draws, and could deal Ancelotti a huge blow this evening with victory. They drew 1-1 with bottom side Nancy at the weekend, and with the club sitting in a very pretty fifth place, they will want to improve on their rather positive league standing.
Nevertheless, Carlo Ancelotti's men have roared back into form. After a shock 2-1 reverse to Nice in their last away game, the capital club thrashed Evian 4-0 to move to within five points of leaders Olympique Lyonnais, and level on points with Olympique de Marseille. With an extra round of games this week heading into the festive season, the structure of Ligue 1 could very well change before 2012 is brought to a close.
Paris Saint-Germain are aiming to build on their recent good form as they travel to a stadium in which their title hopes faced a very serious test (they went on to lose the title, anyway to Montpellier.) This fixture last season saw Valenciennes take a 2-0 lead after 11 minutes before a shellshocked PSG roared back to 4-2, with the game eventually finishing 4-3. Can we see another seven-goal thriller tonight? Only time will tell.
First of all, let me introduce myself. I'm Mohammed Ali, and I'll be guiding you through today's events for the next two hours. Don't forget send your comments to the Goal.com matchcentre chatbox to your right. Predictions, opinions, whatever. To. Your. Right.
Good evening and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE! text commentary from Ligue 1. Tonight's encounter sees Paris Saint-Germain travel to the Stade du Hainaut to face in-form Valenciennes in a special round of matches in Ligue 1, stay tuned. Confirmed team news shortly.
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