Match Recap: Paris Saint-Germain vs. Malmö FF

Before we start talking about the match last night can we get a round of applause for the social media team at Paris Saint-Germain for this brilliant piece of marketing?

Alright, back to the matter at hand. Paris Saint-Germain opened up their Champions League campaign with a convincing 2-0 victory over Malmö FF at the Parc des Princes. All eyes were on Zlatan Ibrahimovic as he faced off against his boyhood club but it was Angel Di Maria who stole the show.

The Argentine was active from the start and in the fourth minute Marco Verratti played a brilliant ball to him on the right side. Di Maria took a few touches and evaded three Malmö defenders before bending a left-footed shot into the corner of the net for his first goal as a PSG player (and his first goal since January when he was a Manchester United player).

Di Maria continued his stellar play throughout the match with pinpoint accurate passes and an array of moves to turn away from defenders. The 27-year-old was enjoying his time on the pitch and it showed through his play. Supporters might have wanted better finishing from the Argentina international but for a player who’s still new to manager Laurent Blanc’s system I’d say he’s progressing ahead of schedule.

The second goal of the match came in the 61st minute courtesy of Edinson Cavani, who put in a mostly forgettable performance. Maxwell played in a cross that found Ibrahimovic in the box. The big Swede executed a textbook flick that set up Cavani’s header for the goal. El Matador had numerous chances to score but either blasted the ball into the upper deck of the Parc or hit the ball right at the Malmö goalkeeper.

Besides the result and Di Maria’s performance, the other two main talking points from the game have to be Kevin Trapp starting in goal after his howler against Bordeaux last Friday and Ibrahimovic struggling to find his fitness. Zlatan was poised to score and had numerous chances against his hometown team but failed to capitalize. His movement didn’t seem as fluid at all and he was subbed off in the 75th minute for Javier Pastore. It will be interesting to see if Blanc starts the Sweden international on Saturday against Reims or if he shuffles his attack to give Zlatan time to rest. Trapp meanwhile had very little to do (Malmö registered only one shot on goal) and added another clean sheet to his PSG resumé. With some calling for Salvatore Sirigu to reclaim his place in the starting XI, the bode of confidence from Blanc clearly shows who he prefers at the moment.

While the match was somewhat comfortable throughout, the concern for PSG supporters has to be the complacency of the team. The French champions should have steamrolled Malmö 4-0 like Real Madrid did to Shakhtar Donetsk last night. Winning the group has to be a priority to hopefully secure a favorable draw in the knockout stages of the Champions League. PSG and Real Madrid will battle it out for the top spot in the group and it may come down to goal difference to decide the winner, which is why PSG must capitalize on every scoring opportunity against teams like Malmö.

Paris Saint-Germain have three Ligue 1 games before their next Champions League test on September 30, when they travel to the Ukraine to face a quality Shakhtar Donetsk side. They currently sit one point ahead of Rennes in the league and second in their group in the Champions League so the next couple of weeks will be vital for les Parisiens as they look to establish themselves as one of Europe’s elite.

Tags Angel Di Maria Champions League Edinson Cavani Javier Pastore Kevin Trapp Malmo FF Marco Verratti Salvatore Sirigu Zlatan Ibrahimovic
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