Serge Aurier’s brace and Layvin Kurzawa’s free-kick helped Paris Saint-Germain to a 3-1 International Champions Cup victory over Inter, who had a noticeable absentee in the form of Mauro Icardi.
Argentine striker Icardi is reportedly in talks with Serie A rivals Napoli over a switch to Stadio San Paolo as they make contingency plans with Gonzalo Higuain seemingly on his way to Juventus.
In his absence, Stevan Jovetic was partnered with Rodrigo Palacio up front at the Autzen Stadium in Oregon, and it was the former that levelled from the penalty spot after Aurier capitalised on a Samir Handanovic error to open the scoring.
Handanovic failed to cover himself in glory again when Kurzawa put the Ligue 1 champions back in front with a second-half set-piece before Aurier’s second three minutes from time completed the win.
It was a deserved win for PSG and new head coach Unai Emery will certainly take positives from the movement and vibrancy his side showed in attack.
PSG went ahead in the 14th minute when Hatem Ben Arfa – signed on a free transfer this month – saw his tame free-kick spilled by Handanovic and Aurier tapped in the rebound.
Inter enjoyed good moments in possession and Jovetic saw a free-kick well parried by Alphonse Areola, before the striker dragged a 20-yard effort wide of the right-hand post.
Some slack defending from Andrea Ranocchia allowed Maxwell an opportunity, but Handanovic was out quick to tip over the top.
And Inter were level by half-time when Lucas Moura was punished for handball in the area, Jovetic clinically smashing his spot-kick into the top-right corner.
Jovetic tested substitute goalkeeper Kevin Trapp with a stinging 25-yard effort after the break, while at the other end Aurier almost fluked one in from a right-wing centre that hit the crossbar.
PSG did re-take the lead in the 61st minute, though, as Kurzawa’s free-kick found the bottom right-hand corner with Handanovic again perhaps feeling he could have done better.
It should have been all over with 15 minutes remaining when Edinson Cavani turned sharply in the area, but the Uruguay striker was unusually wasteful and curled his shot wide.
But the win was duly wrapped up when Aurier rose highest to head home Alec Georgen’s cross.
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