The Good & Bad: PSG vs. AS Saint-Etienne

Paris Saint-Germain cruised to a comfortable 4-1 victory over AS Saint-Etienne at the Parc des Princes Sunday evening and extended their lead to seven points at the top of the Ligue 1 table.

Entering the match, PSG were under heavy fire from the media for their lack of scoring against Real Madrid just a few nights prior in the Champions League. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was the main focus of that attention and some even called for him to be benched. That all quickly went away as Edinson Cavani, Lucas Moura, and Ibrahimovic all found the back of the net against Saint-Etienne. It wasn’t just the goals that had the Parc buzzing, the dazzling display of quick attacking football was a joy to watch and it bodes well with an away trip to the Bernabeu looming. I’m still wondering though if this match was a one-hit wonder or the start of a fantastic run of form. Here is my “Good & Bad” from PSG vs. Saint-Etienne:

The Good

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani

Both strikers managed to combine in a lethal way. It wasn’t just their technical ability that impressed me, Zlatan ran his legs off and showcased his quality with a goal and an assist. It was the sort of overall performance many supporters wish the big Swede would deliver more often. Cavani, who many supporters believed was falling out of form after his start of season, got on the scoresheet and recorded an assist as well. It’s hard to ask any more from your two top strikers but the question remains, will they be able to replicate this performance against Europe’s elite teams?

Layvin Kurzawa

The left back hasn’t quite impressed the PSG faithful since arriving from AC Monaco. After his slip against Stade de Reims that gifted them a goal, the €25 million price Paris paid for him seemed to be too much. Yet on Sunday evening he proved everyone wrong with excellent defending. Most importantly though, he contributed heavily in the attack on the left side of the pitch. He put in dangerous crosses and his speed and vision helped him connect with a Marco Verratti pass and score the opening goal. The performance was so good in fact that Laurent Blanc might be wondering which left back is a better choice at the moment. Maxwell isn’t getting any younger and Kurzawa’s speed provided cover when Cavani moved to the center of the pitch while still possessing the ability to track back for his defensive duties.

Angel Di Maria and Lucas

Both wingers put up great attacking performances with Lucas getting a goal after coming in as a substitute in the 70th minute. His performance overall was very effective and he once again proved dangerous when he forced a brilliant Stéphane Ruffier save. Di Maria was back to his usual bag of tricks in the French capital with sublime through balls and dangerous runs in the final third. Saint-Etienne had no answers for either one and without Ruffier making some great saves the scoreline could have been even more in PSG’s favor.

Kevin Trapp

The German keeper only failed to keep a clean sheet because of an unlucky own goal by Verratti that gave ASSE a lifeline. Les Verts came close to making it 3-2 in the 80th minute when Robert Berić received the ball in the six yard box and fired a shot on goal. Trapp was perfectly positioned on the play and was able to make the save with his feet. At the moment, you have to say the €10 million PSG paid Eintracht Frankfurt for his services was an absolute steal.

The Bad

Thiago Motta

Even though the Italian came close to scoring with a header that went just wide off a corner and played a few good passes, his defensive responsibilities were not met for most of the game. Maybe his age is starting to show but whatever it is, he’ll need to get back in form as he is vital to PSG’s success in the Champions League.

Gregory Van der Wiel

The right back did not give a bad performance but Serge Aurier shouldn’t be concerned about losing his starting spot. This is the one position for PSG where the competition for the starting job is the weakest. It might not be a bad idea for Blanc to give the Dutchman more playing time in league games so he can challenge Aurier. Either that or play Marquinhos at right back so that Aurier doesn’t become complacent.

Tags Angel Di Maria AS Saint-Etienne Edinson Cavani Gregory van der Wiel Kevin Trapp Ligue 1 Lucas Moura Thiago Motta Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Follow Us