Sunday, April 5, 2009

Rouge et Bleu defeat Nice 2-1

Following the difficult loss to Toulouse, Paris Saint-Germain returned to winning form with a curmudgeonly 2-1 victory over Nice at Parc des Princes. With the victory les Rouge et Bleu only trail Olympique Lyonnais by four points with eight remaining Ligue 1 matches.

Stricken with a rash of absences Paul Le Guen juggled his back line to include veteran stalwarts Ceará and Sammy Traoré with youngsters Larrys Mabiala and Tripy Makonda. For both, it was their first starting assignment for the Parisians and a particularly special for young Tripy who grew up within a short distance of Parc des Princes and entered the youth program at the age of eleven.

With less than an auspicious beginning les Niçois came within a whisper of scoring before twenty minutes as defending on set pieces reared its ugly head once again. A David Hellebuyck corner caught the Parisians out of position with captain Olivier Echouafni headed the ball off the woodwork. However a few minutes later heroics were in-store for the recently capped Les Bleus man Guillaume Hoarau as headed in a jump ball resulting from Ludovic Giuly shot that deflected off the Nice defenders shin. However the Côte d'Azur drew the match level nine minutes before the break as their brilliant young striker Loïc Rémy as got on the end of a dreadfully under-weighted back pass by Péguy Luyindula, circumvented Mickaël Landreau before slotting the ball in. However six minutes after the break Paris Saint-Germain captured the winning goal and in somewhat of a poetic outcome of a match with many younger players starring, it was veteran Sammy Traoré to provide the final touch. To the right of the 'keeper, Stéphane Sessegnon swung in a corner with the thirty-three year old defender heading in with power giving les Rouge et Bleu the 2-1 victory!

Paris Saint-Germain returns to play next Thursday as Dynamo Kyiv visits Parc des Princes in UEFA Cup action.