Paris Saint-Germain continued their good UEFA Champions League form with a 3-0 win over FC Basel at the Parc des Princes.
The French champions secured another three points with the win and kept pace against their English counterparts Arsenal in Group A. The scoreline may be flattering but in truth, the reigning Swiss champions gave Paris a very good game and proved to be difficult to break down. Throughout the start of the game, PSG looked flat and were easily contained by a resillient defense that looked almost unbeatable. Thankfully for Unai Emery and company, defensive errors cost Basel and handed a lackluster PSG the three points. Supporters will go home happy with the win but they should be worried about the overall performance of the team. Here is my “Good & Bad” from PSG vs. FC Basel.
Paris Saint-Germain’s Front Three
In a night when almost all of the players in Emery’s squad lacked grip and wit, PSG’s front three are the only ones that can keep their heads held high. The unit worked hard throughout the match and their composure in front of goal was a joy to watch.
- Lucas: The Brazilian’s pace and constant runs were rewarded with a goal in the 61st minute after Marek Suchy poorly cleared a ball into the forward’s feet. Whoscored.com gave the Brazilian an 8.2 match rating, making him the second best player on the pitch.
- Angel Di Maria: The former Manchester United winger finally scored his first goal of the season—a goal that would settle PSG fans after a very poor start—and for the first time he looked confortable, concentrated, and composed throughout the contest. His performance and goal earning him and 7.7 rating by whoscored.com.
- Edinson Cavani: The Uruguay international started the match looking a bit shaky and received no service at all from his teammates. It didn’t take him long to return to his old habits when he stole the ball from a falling Eder Balanta in the 61st minute only to pass it softly to Tomas Vaclik’s in an attempt to score. Nevertheless, PSG’s number 9 continue to get in the right places on the pitch and eventually got a goal from a penalty he drew at the death of the match. His goal and assist earned him an 8.6 and a man of the match performance according to whoscored.com.
I’ve written articles for over a year now and this is the first time I have included the former AC Milan man into this side of the column.
Maybe “O’ Monstro” has set his standards too high for us fans in these last couple of seasons through some stellar performances but today, he probably had one of the worst games of his career. The Brazil international started his nightmare recital in the fifth minute when he failed to head a ball sent into the box. His mistake allowed Birkir Bjarnason to head back the ball into the path of Michael Lang, who in turn hit the crossbar.
His antics would continue and in the eleventh minute, after Seidou Doumbia caught the skipper out of possession and brushed off his pathetic challenge to set up Matias Delgado for a one-on-one with Alphonse Areola, who made a brilliant save to keep Basel off the scoresheet. Again and again, Silva’s mistakes were saved by either Areola or the crossbar. This was a truly uncharacteristic performance by Silva and hopefully it was one we won’t see for quite awhile as more talented teams won’t be so kind to only hit the woodwork.
Photograph by FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images