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Guingamp 0 Paris Saint-Germain 2: Lucas at the double for much-changed champions

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 9 Apr 2016

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A second-half brace from Lucas Moura saw a much-changed Paris Saint-Germain ease to a 2-0 Ligue 1 win at Guingamp. 

Laurent Blanc made nine alterations to his side with a trip to Manchester City in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final on the horizon, but PSG eventually still had too much for their hosts, even without the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Angel Di Maria and Thiago Silva.

Guingamp duo Moustapha Diallo and Mevlut Erdinc both spurned promising opportunities as Guingamp had the better of the first half, but champions PSG raised their game after the break.

Lucas slotted home from the spot in the 56th minute after Christopher Nkunku was fouled by Jeremy Sorbon, before the Brazilian doubled his tally with a smart finish midway through the second half following some good work from Layvin Kurzawa.

The one negative for Blanc is a suspected knee injury sustained by first-choice goalkeeper Kevin Trapp, who was forced off at half-time. It remains to be seen whether the German is fit to play at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday, with the tie finely poised after a 2-2 draw in Paris.

An open start at the Stade du Roudourou yielded chances for both sides, with Blaise Matuidi warming the palms of Guingamp goalkeeper Jonas Lossl with firm strike inside five minutes, before Jimmy Briand had the ball in the net at the other end four minutes later, only to be denied by the offside flag.

Guingamp took heart from that early opportunity, with only some superb last-ditch defending from Marquinhos and Presnel Kimpembe preventing first Diallo and then Briand turning home during a frantic 15th-minute goalmouth scramble.

The hosts continued to press and should have taken the lead shortly after the half-hour mark, but Erdinc could not connect with Jonathan Martins-Pereira’s low cross.

Hervin Ongenda forced a smart save from Rossl with a speculative 30-yard drive just before the break, but the champions otherwise struggled to assert themselves during a bright first half from Guingamp.

PSG’s difficulties were compounded when Trapp had to be replaced by Salvatore Sirigu at the interval, following a collision with Kurzawa and Marcus Coco.

But Lucas intervened nine minutes after the break, when Nkunku was penalised for bringing Sorbon down in the box, allowing the 23-year-old to step up and score the resulting penalty. 

Parity was nearly restored six minutes later as Younousse Sankhare flicked on Martins-Pereira’s cross into the path of Briand, but the Frenchman failed to convert thanks to some good work from Sirigu. 

But Guingamp’s failure to make their pressure pay was once again punished by Lucas 19 minutes from time as the Brazilian burst into the box to latch on to Kurzawa’s square ball before slotting home to seal the three points.

Key Opta stats:
– PSG fielded their youngest starting line-up in Ligue 1 since 1990-91 (average age of 23 years and four months).
– PSG have scored in their last eight away league games, only Marseille are currently on a better run (14 in a row).
– Guingamp have conceded a penalty in each of their last three encounters with PSG in Ligue 1.

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