Mixed start for Parisian revolution
On Saturday night, Paris Saint-Germain kicked off their Ligue 1 campaign for the 2012/13 season. PSG, who just missed out on the league title last season, faced off against FC Lorient, who themselves just managed to beat relegation.
It was the underdogs who must have come away the more satisfied, with a 2-2 draw at the Parisian citadel Parc des Princes.
Paris may not have brought in as many players as this same time last season, but their acquisitions this term have laid down their intent, with the arrival of young Italian international Marco Verratti, South Americans Ezequiel Lavezzi and Thiago Silva and most notably of all, the big Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
‘Ibra’ is the man who has been garnering all the headlines since his move from AC Milan and it was he who scored the two goals for PSG and impressed. He has made a considerable impression so far in short time with the media, which the Qatari owners will be most happy with.
PSG started with an attacking trio of Menez, Ibrahimovic and Lavezzi and they showed real potential. Menez sparked danger throughout, running at the defence and finding himself in dangerous position but was certainly off key when it came to finishing off chances that came his way.
It was the burgeoning partnership of Ibra and Lavezzi that PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti will be most excited about from watching this game unfold.
Ibrahimovic provided the focal point of the attack up front, offering the full range of skills. Whether balls were pumped up field or played along the ground, the Swedish striker was a handful and created real danger to the Lorient defence. Lavezzi buzzed around his strike partner and after only a short time playing together, read his teammate’s intentions incredibly well.
So far this all sounds very positive but the issue with this side was while they look dangerous in attack, the defensive side to the team was almost non-existent. And for all the hype surrounding Ibra and his encouraging opening performance for his new side, it is Thiago Silva that PSG will be most anxious to welcome when he returns with his silver medal from the Olympics.
The major issue with the defence is the midfield, which seemed to disintegrate at points but even then, the centre back partnership between Alex and Sakho seemed to lack in communication, while Maxwell and Jallet acted as auxiliary wingers.
It is hard to judge from one game, but one thing that seems almost beyond doubt is that PSG are going to be an incredibly entertaining side to watch this coming season and while they may still be a way off making a serious dent in the Champions League, they will push sides in that competition.
Ligue 1 should be a realistic prospect once the team gels and they show their defensive responsibilities more respect.