It was yet another uninspiring performance from Paris Saint-Germain Saturday night in Corsica against SC Bastia. I was pleased to see the club come away with the three points given the numerous injuries and the performance of some of the players exceeded expectations. However, with Wednesday’s clash with Spanish giants Real Madrid looming, there is plenty that still worries me. Here is my “Good & Bad” from Bastia:
Serge Aurier and Thiago Silva
The Ivorian and Brazilian demonstrated once again why they are vital to Laurent Blanc’s plans this season. Silva cut off Bastia’s attacks at will and Aurier put in work both on the defensive and offensive side of the pitch. There are very few right-backs in world football at the moment playing better than Aurier and you could argue he’s been the best player for Paris Saint-Germain this season.
The Argentinian was the only creative force in the midfield and even though his main contribution was a pass to an offside Edinson Cavani (which ended up in a goal), he demonstrated what he is capable of and why he should start every game.
The winger has been relegated to the bench since Angel Di Maria’s arrival and his performances when given a chance hasn’t been all that convincing. Against Bastia however, we saw a player putting in a good performance and his partnership with Aurier was lethal. His positive play in attack definitely bodes well for future fixtures should Di Maria go down with an injury.
Starting his first match of the Ligue 1 season, Salvatore Sirigu had every opportunity to take advantage of Kevin Trapp’s injury. The Italian keeper did stop a dangerous Gilles Cioni cross after defensive mistakes from Maxwell and Marquinhos but he also made a eye-opening error when Floyd Ayité dispossessed Marquinhos after a bad pass from the keeper. Heading into the match against Real Madrid, you have to say the goalkeeper is a cause for concern.
The Parisian midfield clearly missed Blaise Matuidi and Thiago Motta (who entered the game in the 61st minute) today as Benjamin Stambouli and Adrien Rabiot only managed to break attacks with fouls. Both Frenchmen were guilty of poor passing and little to no vision.
Probably the least concern of all but until Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s brace in the second half, he was practically absent from the match and failed to fulfill his role as playmaker in the middle of the pitch. Cavani on the other hand did contribute with some dangerous shots on target but he was far from the world class talent PSG supporters have come to expect.