Monday, August 20, 2018

Caen 0 Paris Saint-Germain 0: Stalemate closes Emery tenure as Caen survive

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 19 May 2018

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Paris Saint-Germain closed their title-winning campaign and the Unai Emery era with a 0-0 draw at Caen that preserved their hosts’ Ligue 1 status.

Emery makes way for Thomas Tuchel with a domestic treble to his name but there were few of the thrills his team have provided throughout the season after he named an experimental line-up.

Timothy Weah, son for former PSG and AC Milan star and current Liberian president George, was handed a first Ligue 1 start and turned in a lively performance, although a lack of fluency in an unfamiliar PSG attack hindered the 18-year-old.

Caen enjoyed a smattering of chances – most notably for Romain Genevois and Ivan Santini late in the first half and Ronny Rodelin inside the final 10 minutes – but generally demonstrated why they have been the most shot shy team in Ligue 1 this season, with only 27 goals.

Patrice Garande’s team will at least get the chance to improve that return next time around, with the point good enough to condemn Toulouse to the relegation play-off despite a 2-1 win over Guingamp.

Javier Pastore should have converted Weah’s cutback in the fourth minute following a poor clearance from Caen goalkeeper Brice Samba.

Caen almost took a fluke lead when an over-hit cross from left-back Adama Mbengue hit the top of the crossbar.

In the 13th minute, Christopher Nkunku should have given PSG the lead but fired Thomas Meunier’s cross too close to Samba.

PSG’s experimental line-up resulted in an open game, with home forward Santini smashing a loose ball in the box wide before veteran holding midfielder Thiago Motta – named captain on his farewell appearance for the champions – forced Samba into action with a low drive.

Alphonse Areola saved a powerfully struck effort from Caen right-back Genevois in the 43rd minute and was out quickly to deny Santini on the stroke of half-time.

An uneventful start to the second half suited Caen in terms of their survival requirements, although Toulouse surging into a 2-0 lead increased the pressure on Garande’s side.

Rodelin’s ambitious and wayward long-ranger suggested news might have reached the pitch, although PSG were doing little to threaten.

Motta powered a header wide as he sought to make a forgettable game one to remember personally in the 71st minute.

Rodelin showed fine technique to swivel and fire goalwards, but Areola – called up to France’s World Cup squad this week – dealt with the shot in unfussy fashion to preserve his 17th clean sheet of the Ligue 1 season.

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