Match Recap: Montpellier vs. PSG

With three wins in as many games, Paris Saint-Germain are off to their best start to a Ligue 1 campaign since the 2005-06 season and remain top of the table after their 0-1 win over Montpellier HSC at the Stade de la Mosson.

The match was dull at times and certainly shouldn’t be used as an advert for Ligue 1. Paris were without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Angel Di Maria, Marco Verratti, Gregory van der Wiel, and after 10 minutes they saw Javier Pastore limp off with an injury. Lacking many of their attacking options, PSG found a way to battle on the road and come away with three points thanks to Blaise Matuidi and Kevin Trapp in particular.

With the score at 0-0, Trapp, who made his third consecutive start, made an absolute world class save in the 49th minute against Ramy Bensebaini who’s header seemed destined for the back of the German’s goal.

The former Eintracht Frankfurt man made three saves on the night and becomes the first PSG goalkeeper since Bernard Lama in 1996-97 to record three shutouts in the first three games of the season. It’s becoming apparent that the €10 million Paris paid for his services was an absolute steal and could end up being the best bargain purchase of the summer transfer window.

The only goal of the match came from Matuidi in the 60th minute. The 28-year-old found himself on the end of a brilliant pass from Maxwell and blasted it one-time into the back of Jonathan Ligali’s goal.

You have to say, for all the star power PSG have at their disposal, Matuidi might be the most important player in the squad at the moment. Not only is he contributing goals but his work rate on the defensive end is world class. With Ibrahimovic and Di Maria set to come back to the team for the match against Monaco next week, it’s safe to say Laurent Blanc won’t be dropping Matuidi to make room.

The back line of Serge Aurier, David Luiz, Maxwell, and Thiago Silva should be commended for their performances as well. For a defensive unit that conceded 36 goals in 38 Ligue 1 games last season, it’s refreshing to see their commitment to securing clean sheets and helping their young goalkeeper.

While the defense and Matuidi’s stock is rising, Edinson Cavani’s is certainly falling after his last couple of appearances. Filling in for the injured Ibrahimovic in the central attacking role he’s campaigned for since arriving at Paris, Cavani has failed to score against competition you would expect him to. He’s lost all confidence in his ability in what is his most important season at PSG and supporters are starting to turn on El Matador.

I think it’s too early to give up on the Uruguayan and I certainly don’t think PSG should sell him at this point in the transfer window but perhaps a few weeks rest will do him some good. He’s coming off a busy summer playing in the Copa America and his personal life has been tumultuous in recent months. Paris have plenty of attacking options and could afford to give him a break to regain his confidence.

Next Sunday Les Parisiens travel to Monaco for their first real test of the season. I’m looking forward to seeing where Blanc plays Di Maria and if Ibrahimovic will continue his descent into the midfield. It should be an intriguing early season matchup with many talking points. Check back after the game for our match recap and plenty of opinions.

Tags Blaise Matuidi David Luiz Edinson Cavani Kevin Trapp Ligue 1 Maxwell Montpellier Serge Aurier Thiago Silva
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