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France - Ligue 1
September 25, 2013
• Stade du Hainaut, Valenciennes
Referee: R. Buquet
• Attendance: 19180
E. Cavani 45'+
90' + 3'
FULL-TIME: Valenciennes 0-1 Paris Saint-Germain.
90' + 2'
Ibrahimovic clutching his hamstring after a challenge against Ciss. PSG have successfully run down the clock.
90' + 2'
Even the goalkeeper, Nicolas Penneteau is up! But they cannot make it count! Another chance, though
90' + 1'
The VAFC faithful are roaring their side to the finish line. Long bal hoofed up into the other end, and Chitu wins a corner after blocking a shot against Jallet.
Into the first of three additional minutes. PSG have won a corner.
Nearly for Valenciennes, as Dossevi is denied . Great football from the midfielder, holding off Marquinhos, but slamming his effort wide. It's too close, yet too far for the 19th placed side.
Under five minutes to go at Stade du Hainaut, and Sanchez's men continue to pose threats to the champions, but can they earn a point? Given away by Chitu to Verratti, and PSG break!
SUBSTITUTION - PSG: Third and final change from the champions. Goalscorer Edinson Cavani off for Thiago Motta.
LE TALLEC! What a chance, and it's hit the post! Salvatore Sirigu unable to match the free-kick, and it's a superb strike from the forward, but once more, it's a frustrating outcome for VAFC.
Free-kick to Valenciennes on the edge of the area. Le Tallec standing over this one.
SUBSTITUTION - Valenciennes: Daniel Sanchez throws the dice for the third and final time, as Chitu comes on for the rather inconsistent Ducourtioux.
Aurelian Ionut Chițu
Into the final ten minutes at Stade du Hainaut, as PSG close in on three points. At Stadium Municipal, Toulouse look set to do that too, aiming for their second win in five days. They lead FC Lorient 1-0 through Martin Braithwaite.
Substitute Saliou Ciss provides a superb tackle on Cavani, but Valenciennes not really exerting much urgency. PSG keeping them at arm's length as we near the game's end.
And PSG survive a claim for a penalty. Cavani breaks out wide, but ultimately wins a corner. TV replays show Marquinhos blocked the shot from Verratti, but it did hit his chest.
Yellow Card Adrien Rabiot
And they haven't. The free-kick is blocked on the first attempt, and the hosts could've made a claim for infringement, but Kenny Lala's cross back into the box is poor, as Sirigu reclaims.
YELLOW CARD: Rabiot - with a particularly strong challenge on Doumbia. It's 25 metres out on the edge of the area. They must make this count.
Monaco are also in action, kicking off at 21:00 CET, or 28 minutes to you and me. Falcao starts, as does Andrea Raggi as Claudio Ranieri tinkers with his side slightly.
Latest scores: Guingamp 4-1 Sochaux, as Eric Hely's men remain at the bottom of the table. Ajaccio are 2-1 up v Lyon, Abdou Camara retaking the lead for the Corsicans.
The tide is beginning to turn here, as PSG slowly, but surely as les Parisiens begin to overpower their tiring opponents. Cavani and Ibrahimovic forward, and it's fired narrowly wide.
IBRAHIMOVIC! Good take for Penneteau. Another testing delivery from the wing by Lucas Digne, as Ibrahimovic provides the touch on but it's saved by the goalkeeper.
Yellow Card David Ducourtioux
Anthony Le Tallec
YELLOW CARD - Ducourtioux: The Valenciennes defender is booked for a poor challenge on Verratti. Very late from the VAFC captain, as the hosts continue to search for an equaliser.
SUBSTITUTION - PSG: Adrien Rabiot is on for Ezequiel Lavezzi.
SUBSTITUTION - Valenciennes: Maor Melikson is off for Anthony Le Tallec.
Space opens up in the Valenciennes half as Pastore produces a fine through ball towards Digne, whose delivery is easy for Penneteau.
MELIKSON! Just not happening for the hosts, who continue to edge closer. Fantastic cross in from the wing, as Melikson does well to control, and turn, but forced wide and the shot is blocked in the end. Frustrating.
Half-chance for Valenciennes - as seems to be the case all evening! Sloppy from PSG, as Jallet is beaten to the ball. Dossevi races clear, and sets up Melikson on the left. He turns instead, hoping to cross, but Camara's header away is hooked on by Matuidi following Doumbia's poor control.
Marquinhos is hounded by Opa Nguette, as the young defender is forced to hurriedly clear. Attempts to dribble his way out of his box, but eventually concedes a throw-in.
Disappointing from Cavani, in what could've been 2-0. Superb ball from Jallet, the Uruguayan races clear and is chased down by Penneteau. Shows good control to keep the ball, and find a forward but the cross back in is wayward.
The champions' fearsome attack provide once again as Lavezzi chases a neat ball down the right. Aiming to pull it back towards Cavani, it's too short for the Uruguayan, but dealt with by Rose.
The hosts still pressing furiously in search of an equaliser, but their defence looks a bit shaky. Doubia powers past Pastore, with options either side of him. But the pass forward is atrocious.
Good pass from Ibrahimovic, towards Lavezzi, who makes the forward run just behind the defender. Hit with a bit too much pace, and it just evades the Argentine.
Paris Saint-Germain would go top of the table with victory tonight, though AS Monaco kick off against Bastia in about an hour.
ROSE! GOAL LINE CLEARANCE FROM VERRATTI! Explosive start to the second half from the hosts. A cross deep from Lala is forced behind by Marquinhos. From the corner, Rose's powerful header is cleared hurriedly off the line. Sirigu beaten!
SUBSTITUTION - PSG: Zoumana Camara comes on for Alex, and there is concern for the Brazilian, perhaps a thigh injury.
UNDERWAY in the second half. PSG attack from right to left in this second period.
The teams are out for the second half, and there has been a change. More on that in a second.
Half-time all around France: HT: Ajaccio 1-0 Lyon, Bordeaux 0-0 Reims, Guingamp 3-0 Sochaux, Nantes 1-0 Nice, Toulouse 0-0 Lorient, Valenciennes 0-1 PSG.
How cruel for the hosts? After a positive first half, right at the end, PSG go ahead against the run of play through Edinson Cavani. How can Daniel Sanchez rally his side? We'll see, join me again in 15 minutes.
HALF-TIME: Valenciennes FC 0-1 Paris Saint-Germain (Cavani 45 2')
45' + 3'
And that was virtually the last kick of the half.
45' + 2'
Assist Zlatan Ibrahimovic
45' + 2'
Goal Edinson Cavani
GOAL!!! Valenciennes 0-1 PSG - CAVANI!!! Oh, the hosts couldn't hold on. Just that one bit of magic to settle the first half, as Ibrahimvoic turns a slipping Ducourtioux and feeds Cavani, who provides the clinical finish.
Into the first of THREE additional minutes here at Stade du Hainaut.
SUBSTITUTION - Valenciennes: Saliou Ciss comes on for the injured Rudy Mater, who has been a threat tonight.
Elsewhere tonight, Sochaux's shocking start to the season continues at the Roudourou as Guingamp race into a 3-0 lead. Here, Rudy Mater looks set to be substituted after failing to continue.
Yellow Card Lucas Digne
Verratti's yellow card means he will unlikely face Olympique de Marseille in next week's super Classique. He has picked up three bookings in less than 10 games, though the LFP will consider the short turnaround between games at tomorrow's discplinary meeting.
YELLOW CARD - Digne: PSG's indiscipline continues, as they take out their frustration on the players! Digne goes foot first onto Mater - both challenging aerially - and the right back is in some pain. Ouch!
PSG have a knack of taking the lead even if playing poorly, as has been the case against Nantes and Guingamp this season, but right now, they're not finding a way to breach VAFC's defence.
MARQUINHOS! Great delivery from Lavezzi, as the 19-year-old rises highest over the defender, but diverts his header ever so slightly past the goalkeeper.
Yellow Card Marco Verratti
The ball is in, but it's ruled out. Dossevi with a cross into the area, but the ball was already out of play, as Ducourtioux fires fortuitously into an empty net.
Ibrahimovic gives Ruddy Buquet a talking to, not the other way around as you'd might expect! The Swede is undeniably frustrated at the ease that PSG are giving away free-kicks.
YELLOW CARD - Verratti: The Italian is reprimanded for a challenge on Dossevi in the middle of the pitch. PSG very sloppy defensively, giving the ball away on several occasions. Verratti is clearly unhappy.
Lala and Melikson combine passes coming off the wing, but Verratti again with a superb tackle to deny Valenciennes going forward. No fluency in either side's play.
Melikson returns after landing awkwardly on his arm. Coming upto the half-hour make, and there's still no breakthrough. But it's no doubt that PSG are on the back foot at the minute.
Nice are 1-0 down to FC Nantes, with Filip Djordjevic getting the goal. Here in Valenciennes, Mater delivers a great clearance to deny Ibrahimovic, though Israeli striker Melikson is injured after being taken out by the Swede.
Well worth noting PSG's disciplinary issues in matches involving Valenciennes. In May, Thiago Silva was shown a straight red card for manhandling referee Alex Castro. Then-sporting director Leonardo was banned for nine months for doing the same thing at full-time. He would then resign.
Yellow Card Ezequiel Lavezzi
YELLOW CARD: Ezequiel Lavezzi - the Argentine is booked for lashing out at referee Ruddy Buquet, who penalised him for infringing the goalkeeper from the set-piece. Pretty harsh that.
PSG now stepping up their efforts. Lavezzi setting through a brilliant through ball for Digne, whose first time cross almost catches out goalkeeper Penneteau. Kenny Lala is forced to head behind. Positioning there awkward from Penneteau.
It's all been the hosts in the last few minutes, as Rudy Mater cuts in from the right, and laces an accurate shot which is comfortable enough for Sirigu to contend with. The hosts look really up for this!
Valenciennes playing with great promise - belying their form. Yamissi perseveres under the challenge of Matuidi, but the ball eventually comes in from the wing. Headed on by Dossevi, but it's just wide.
We've had the first goals of tonight's Ligue 1 matches - at the Roudourou, Guingamp take a 2-0 lead against bottom side Sochaux through Claudio Beauvue and Christophe Mandanne. In Corsica, Ajaccio are 1-0 up v Lyon. Here in the north, it's 0-0 between Valenciennes and Paris Saint-Germain.
Free-kick to Valenciennes, right outside the penalty box after Dossevi takes a tumble coming in off the right. Taken in by Melikson, but Doumbia can't make a good connection with the ball.
Well, that was poor. Yamissi takes the set-piece, but drags his effort low into the ground, and it's a simple take for Salvatore Sirigu.
Free-kick in a promising position for Valenciennes after Doumbia is challenged unfairly by Javier Pastore. It's in a really decent position, but can the hosts make it count?
Good movement from les Parisiens, as Pastore and Lavezzi interlink superbly, but with Ibrahimovic lurking, Valenciennes hurriedly clear the ball through Gary Kagelmacher.
Ducourtioux making good progress in midfield, linking well with Yamissi, but the former cannot release Melikson out wide, with a rather wayward pass. Not doing well in terms of possession.
Second offside of the game against Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who again beats his marker with ease, albeit a bit too quickly. The PSG captain for the night professed his happiness with the champions in a special interview last night, confirming that he'll see out his career with les Parisiens.
Tongo Doumbia surges forwrd with a speculative shot, which is well blocked by Alex, but PSG attack ferociously at the other end. Ball in from the left flank, not exactly perfect, but Cavani gets a head to it, and it's saved well.
There are six other games in Ligue 1 tonight in a special midweek round of games including Lyon's trip to Ajaccio and Toulouse v Lorient. We'll keep you posted of any developments.
Ibrahimovic with a nice flick on, before moments later, he attempts to latch onto a superb lofted ball from the midfield. Narrowly offside, but he beat Rose with ease there.
The hosts stepping up their efforts, and some intelligent play from their forwards as Maor Melikson is forced wide, but Enza Yamissi fails to provide the danger ball into the box, headed away in time.
Valenciennes have a sniff at the PSG goal, as Opa Nguette gets a low shot away - blocked - before Kenny Lala gives chase alongside Chistophe Jallet but les Parisiens get the ball away in time.
Just four minutes gone, and PSG have already scuppered two really good strikes. We could, in effect, be on the way to another 0-4 scoreline in this fixture tonight.
PSG are already all over the hosts, as Pastore is fed through out on the wing, under the challenge of Mater, but he is held off a little, losing a bit of composure, and fires over the bar.
LAVEZZI! Great chance already from les Parisiens as Ibrahimovic threads through the Argentine, who strikes narrowly over the bar.
KICK OFF! Ruddy Buquet gets the game started, as Valenciennes attack from right to left. Let's hope for a great game.
The teams are out at the Stade du Hainaut to rapturous applause in the fading autumn sun. Kick off imminent.
TEAM NEWS: Couple of changes from the French champions, with Alex replacing the injured Thiago Silva. Lucas Digne and Javier Pastore return.
Valenciennes: Penneteau - Lala, Rose, Kagelmacher, Mater - Enza Yamissi, Ducourtioux, Doumbia - Dossevi, Nguette, Melikson PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN: Sirigu - Jallet; Marquinhos; Alex; Digne - Verratti, Matuidi, Pastore - Cavani, Ibrahimovic, Lavezzi
CONFIRMED TEAM NEWS
Valenciennes though are on a downward spiral sitting in 19th position. Since winning their first game of the season, they've lost the following five. Daniel Sanchez's men did however hold PSG to a draw in May, prolonging Ancelotti and his wait for the title.
Paris Saint-Germain will be hoping to replicate their sparkling form at this stadium - last year, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who signed a contract extension last night, professing that he'll see out his career in the capital - scored a stunning hat-trick to complete a 4-0 win.
Laurent Blanc's Paris Saint-Germain only have had a 72-hour turnaround since their tumultous 1-1 draw against heavyweights AS Monaco at the Parc des Princes on Sunday, but they'll be hoping to return to the top of the table - albeit briefly - ahead of Monaco's fixture v Bastia at 21:00 CET.
Good evening and welcome to live commentary of the Ligue 1 clash between Valenciennes and Paris Saint-Germain at Stade du Hainaut. I'm Mohammed Ali, and I'll be taking you through proceedings in this midweek game.
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