PSG defeated Saint-Etienne by three un-replied goals in a Friday French Lique 1 fixture played inside the Parc des Princes.
PSG were the dominant side in the first half, with Saint Etienne only able to attack their opponent few times in the closing minutes of the first half.
The visiting team elected to sit deep in their half and defend , a strategy that made it extremely difficult for PSG to make inroads into their eighteen yard box despite having majority of the ball possession.
Neymar was deployed to operate deep inside the mid-field from where he assayed to thread passes to his team mates upfront, but Saint-Etienne’s defenders gave him very close and vigilant marking that nullified his threat in the opening half of the match.
One of Neymar’s passes in the nineteenth minute of the match was picked with the chest by Edison Cavani who in anticipation of the pass had made a run for it, but the Uruguayan striker was pulled down just outside the eighteen yard box – an offense for which the referee erroneously awarded a penalty kick to the home team, which Cavani scored.
In spite of Saint-Etienne’s defensive strategy, they were very dangerous the few times they launched their attack mostly from the right flank.
Bryan Dabo had a chance to score in the twenty fifth minute of the game from a one-on-one situation with PSG’s goal keeper, but the curling shot he aimed a the far corner of the goalpost was saved by goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.
The second half saw the home side creating more goal-scoring opportunities.And they scored their second goal of the match six minutes after the resumption of the game. In the build-up to the goal, Marquinhos headed a Neymar’s free kick to an on-rushing Motta, who fired the ball into the goalpost from the eighteen yard box.
In the sixty sixth minute of the match, Angel Di Maria’s free kick from outside the eighteen yard box missed the goalpost narrowly as it bounced off the post.
Saint-Etienne had a chance to score in the seventy second minute of the game, but Alphonse Areola out-stretched leg deflected Jonathan Bamaba’s effort from inside the eighteen yard box out of danger.
Neymar , given the license to roam in the mid-field , was a catalyst to his side’s attacking play with his dribbling runs in-between opponent’s defenders and his incisive passes to his team mates in more vantage positions in the opponent’s half of the pitch. One of his free kicks from outside the eighteen yard box was almost kicked into Saint-Etienne’s goalpost by Loic Perrin but Alphonse Areola came to the rescue – he punched the goal-bound ball out of play.
PSG’s second half substitute, Giovani Lo Celso, hit a thunderous shot towards Saint-Etienne’s goalpost but Stephane Ruffier made a brillian save of the goal-bound shot.
Neymar’s exceptional vision and passing ability played a contributory role in PSG’s third goal. The Brazilian threaded a pass to Julian Draxler at the edge of the opponent’s eight yard box, and Draxler raced with the ball into the eighteen yard box and sent an inch-perfect pass to an on-rushing Edison inside the six yard, the Uruguay international stylishly tucked the ball into the net for his second goal of the match and his side’s third and final goal of the encounter.
With today’s victory, PSG recorded their fourtb consecutive win since the season started; and considering the quality of the players they paraded today and those who only made the bench, it would be very difficult for any team in Ligue 1 that can beat the Parisan club this term.