No one knew what to expect from Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday as they returned to Ligue 1 action against FC Lorient. What would be the mindset of the players following the demoralizing 6-1 loss to FC Barcelona just four days prior? Would they be able to forget the Camp Nou nightmare and put in a performance capable of getting a much-needed win? Luckily for Unai Emery, his squad did just enough to secure a 2-1 victory and moved within three points of league leaders AS Monaco.
The win was priority one heading into the match. Anything less would likely end all hopes of passing Monaco in the table and put them in a battle with OGC Nice for second place and an automatic place in next year’s UEFA Champions League–an unthinkable predicament considering the club’s financial muscle.
Edinson Cavani, Javier Pastore, and Christopher Nkunku were the three bright spots for PSG on the night. Cavani thought he scored the first goal of the match in the 28th minute but it was ultimately ruled a Benjamin Jeannot own goal. He later provided the assist for Nkunku’s goal to add to his already impressive season. It’s difficult to imagine where this team would be without El Matador‘s contributions.
Pastore put in a solid shift once again since returning from injury and its starting to become the norm rather than the exception. If Paris are to win the league he’s going to have to stay healthy and continue performing at a high level. The man of the match for me though was Nkunku. The Frenchman was rated 7.3 by WhoScored.com and scored PSG’s second goal shortly after halftime. With Blaise Matuidi, Thiago Motta, and Marco Verratti all missing for various reasons, Nkunku took his opportunity well and certainly earned more playing time as the season comes to an end.
The most disappointing player for PSG has to be Serge Aurier. Thomas Meunier went down late in the second half with an injury but was forced to continue playing for what felt like forever while Aurier took his time getting ready on the touchline. The Ivorian basically had to get dressed on the bench, take off his bracelet, and tie his shoes while Meunier limped on the pitch. There was a brief shot of Emery talking to Aurier and pointing to his eye as if suggesting to the right-back that he should have been watching the match and warming up once he saw Meunier would be unable to continue. Aurier’s season has been an interesting one and while he is highly rated, his antics on and off the pitch could earn him a transfer this summer.
moment culte, en fait aurier avait 0 sappes du match sur lui quand on lui a dit de rentrer pic.twitter.com/akdS6bXjDy
— Philou (@philousports) March 12, 2017
Take a look at some of our favorite images from the match and be sure to check back later this week for our coverage of PSG vs. Olympique Lyonnais.