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Ligue 1 wrap: PSG held in Moura debut

Lucas Moura’s Paris Saint-Germain debut ended in a frustrating 0-0 draw at home to Ajaccio in Ligue 1 on Friday.

Brazilian star Moura acquitted himself well on his Parc des Princes bow, but the main talking points were a first-half red card for Thiago Motta, which left his side down to 10 men for the second period, and an injury to centre-back Thiago Silva.

Depleted due to injuries and with players away on international duty, Ajaccio set up in a defensive fashion, as expected.

And although the visitors came under intense pressure, PSG were generally well restricted by a packed Ajaccio defence.

Motta nearly earned PSG an early lead when he caught the visitors napping from a Zlatan Ibrahimovic free-kick, but sent his shot wide of the post.

Blaise Matuidi was then the first of several home players to be denied by visiting goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.

Matuidi was PSG’s driving force throughout the contest, but after bulldozing his way through the Corsican defence, Mexico international Ochoa was on hand to preserve the deadlock.

Ajaccio were largely anonymous as an attacking force, until Frederic Sammaritano was crudely fouled by Motta on the stroke of half-time, earning the midfielder a red card.

The dynamic of the game changed for a period following the dismissal, as Ajaccio looked more confident, but ultimately their backs-to-the-wall approach returned as PSG sought a winning goal.

Alex was a real threat aerially for Carlo Ancelotti’s men, yet Ochoa produced an incredible save to deny the Brazilian after a wicked Moura cross, before Matuidi fired the rebound wastefully over.

Former Sao Paulo man Moura impressed the home fans immensely, but he could not cap his debut with a goal, despite fashioning space for a shot after beating several defenders. His effort was ultimately deflected wide.

Ochoa meanwhile continued to be the hero for the visitors, blocking well from Zlatan Ibrahimovic after the Swede escaped the clutches of the visiting defence.

Under the guidance of new coach Albert Emon, it was a fine response from Ajaccio after being dumped out of the Coupe de France last weekend by lowly Rouen.

PSG meanwhile face the prospect of dropping to third in the league if Lyon and Marseille win their fixtures this weekend.

In the other match on Friday, Saint-Etienne came from behind to draw 2-2 at home to Toulouse.

Fri 11 Jan, 2013
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