Paris Saint-Germain maintain perfect start with win over Ajaccio
Ligue 1 debutant Gazelec Ajaccio provided little opposition for champion Paris Saint-Germain, as Laurent Blanc’s side eased to a 2-0 victory at the Parc de Princes in its first home game of the new season.
Buoyed by parading its latest big-money acquisition Angel di Maria before kick-off, PSG wasted no time in taking an early lead through Blaise Matuidi’s wonderful 11th-minute effort.
Thiago Silva added a second 10 minutes later as PSG, shorn of the injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic, exploited Ajaccio’s lack of top-flight experience in the early stages. Although Edinson Cavani missed several gilt-edged chances to extend PSG’s lead, the visitors were much more resilient in the second period, despite offering little in terms of an attacking threat.
Serge Aurier also squandered a decent opportunity with 10 minutes remaining, heading wide from six yards out, as the scoreline remained the same and PSG followed up its opening day win over Lille last Friday.
Blanc’s men, in the hunt for a fourth consecutive Ligue 1 title, looked determined to showcase its quality from the off, penetrating Ajaccio’s defense with ease in the second minute as Aurier fed Cavani and his shot was well blocked by Roderic Filippi.
That resolve did not last long for Ajaccio â which secured its second straight promotion last season â with Matuidi latching onto Filippi’s poor header before powering into the box to dispatch a thunderous left-footed strike into the roof of the net. Despite continuing to dominate possession, PSG was lucky to escape unscathed when Damjan Djokovic crossed into Gregory Pujol, but the 35-year-old could not direct his glancing header goalward.
And Ajaccio was made to pay when dreadful marking allowed skipper Thiago Silva to charge in from the edge of the area and head home under no pressure from Thiago Motta’s inswinging corner.
PSG took its foot off the gas as the game approached halftime, although youngster Jean Kevin Augustin did go close on his full competitive debut, but the 18-year-old could only direct his header wide from Maxwell’s cross.
The second half continued in similar fashion, with PSG content to play at its own pace. Cavani should have netted his first of the season when Matuidi’s cross found him on the edge of the six-yard box, only for the Uruguayan to mistime his shot, allowing Ajaccio to clear.
Cavani then headed over from Lucas Moura’s pinpoint delivery before David Luiz’s goal-bound header was blocked on the line by Alexandre Coeff. PSG spurned another opening when Aurier headed wide under pressure from Ajaccio goalkeeper Clement Maury, who then made an excellent save to deny Luiz and retain some pride for Thierry Laurey’s outfit.
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