By I. Holyman
Paris Saint-Germain will be hopeful of returning to winning ways in Ligue 1 Conforama when they face Girondins de Bordeaux on Saturday following their midweek UEFA Champions League romp against Bayern Munich.
Paris Saint-Germain – Girondins de Bordeaux
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The French league leaders showed the measure of their progress since the summer as they took apart Bayern on former boss Carlo Ancelotti’s return to the Parc des Princes.
Goals from Dani Alves, Edison Cavani and Neymar Jr gave PSG a convincing 3-0 win that means they are already well on course to reach the Last 16 just two matches into the group stage.
“We wanted to win to move top of the group, and that’s what we did. It was important for our supporters to enjoy a match like this, against a quality European opponent,” said coach Unai Emery.
WATCH: Montpellier hold PSG at bay
“We adapted very well to Bayern’s tactic of playing very high up the pitch against us. We answered their possession with a very aggressive defence, with [Alphonse] Areola in goal and a disciplined line of four defenders. Our three midfielders got through a mountain of work and, obviously, our three forwards played a magnificent match and made the most of the spaces in behind. Everything worked perfectly tonight.”
“It’s just the start of a great adventure,” said forward Kylian Mbappé, who had a hand in two of his team’s strikes. “We really wanted to pull out a big performance against a formidable opponent. Mission accomplished.
“There was a lot of expectation and we played a really good game. We had a game plan, but against teams of this calibre, you have to be able to adapt. With our squad, we can play a possession-based game, but also win games on the counterattack, like tonight. We will try to maintain this form and keep on winning.”
While they retained their 100% record in European competition in magnificent style, PSG’s perfect start to the Ligue 1 Conforama campaign was halted last weekend by an obdurate Montpellier Hérault SC, who became the first team to keep the capital club’s vaunted attack — minus the absent Neymar — at bay.
Emery: ‘Lot of things to analyse’
“Credit to our opponents, who defended well and closed off the spaces with maximum efficiency. We played the match the way we wanted to, with a high percentage of possession, but we need to push more in order to score goal. We had chances, but it wasn’t enough to win the game,” Emery admitted after seeing his team draw a blank at the Stade de la Mosson et du Mondial 98.
“The first thing is to make sure you don’t concede any goals, which is important, but of course the aim is to win, and today it’s true that a point is not enough. This match leaves us with a lot of things to analyse in order to continue our progression.”
Bordeaux have certainly made forward steps under Jocelyn Gourvennec. They head to the Parc des Princes as the only other unbeaten side along with their Week 8 hosts, and find themselves in third place in the table before the upcoming round of fixtures.
WATCH: Bordeaux take three points against Guingamp
Like PSG, they have won three of their last four league outings, but Les Girondins can claim to have the better form having seen off Gourvennec’s former club, En Avant Guingamp, 3-1 last weekend.
“It was a very open game, because Guingamp played quite high as they tend to do away from home, but they also left a lot of spaces. As we have adept players, we managed to create chances,” said Gourvennec, who saw Malcom and former PSG man Younousse Sankharé — his top scorers with three goals each — both provide an assist.
“We came out on top in key moments, at the start of the game and also by scoring from our penalty. We did the necessary. We stayed focused on our game, didn’t get annoyed, stuck to our game plan. This was without doubt our most complete performance.
“Going to the Parc des Princes undefeated? Above all I am happy to have 15 points. We just need to take inspiration from Lyon and from Montpellier today to go there, play well and take something from the game.”
PSG: to follow
Bordeaux: to follow
>> PRE-MATCH STATS: PSG vs. Bordeaux