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Monaco 0 Paris Saint-Germain 3: Cavani up and running as PSG march on

Edinson Cavani opened his Ligue 1 account for the season as Paris-Saint Germain maintained the perfect start to their title defence with a 3-0 win at Monaco.

Cavani failed to find the target during three outings in his favoured centre-forward role leading into the match and he reverted to a wide attacking brief in the principality as Zlatan Ibrahimovic returned from a knee injury.

But the Uruguay international showed his striking instincts remain strong when he supplied a textbook headed finish 12 minutes into the second half, before latching onto a perfectly weighted pass from Ibrahimovic to double his tally in the 73rd minute.

It meant a first win over Monaco in Ligue 1 since 2007 for PSG, who handed a debut to Angel Di Maria – the Argentina star beginning a fresh chapter in his career as a 65th-minute substitute following an anti-climactic 12 months at Manchester United.

Di Maria caught out the Monaco defence for fellow sub Ezequiel Lavezzi to complete the scoring seven minutes from time.

Laurent Blanc’s men have now won their opening four league games without conceding a goal and, having taken a prized asset from Monaco with their midweek signing of full-back Layvin Kurzawa, their dominance of the early season was rarely under threat from opponents who are already seven points off the pace.

PSG’s returning talisman Ibrahimovic was quickly into the action as he brought down Serge Aurier’s right-wing cross with a superb first touch before fizzing a shot wide.

Recalled Monaco forward Stephan El Shaarawy embarked on a storming run down the PSG right shortly after, although a challenge from Blaise Matuidi did enough to take the sting out of his eventual shot.

Another fine Aurier cross found Cavani to head over and the eventual match-winner became the latest player to test Subasic after Maxwell scuffed Ibrahimovic’s cutback into his path.

Monaco stood firm and enjoyed a spell of pressure of their own as the half wound down, although PSG goalkeeper Kevin Trapp remained untroubled.

Ibrahimovic headed Maxwell’s left-wing cross into Subasic’s arms as the visitors resumed on the front foot, although Trapp was called into action when El Shaarawy whipped goalwards in the 50th minute after good work from Anthony Martial – reportedly a €50million PSG target.

The breakthrough came in the 57th minute as Maxwell and Ibrahimovic combined to release Matuidi down the left and Cavani timed his run perfectly to head emphatically home at the near post.

Di Maria was introduced in place of Lucas Moura and quickly imposed himself on the game, but Cavani could only find Subasic’s midriff from his right-wing delivery.

The home goalkeeper had little chance when Ibrahimovic picked apart his backline and Cavani slotted a low finish before the high line was again exposed by Di Maria, whose fine pass was gleefully slammed home first time by Lavezzi – possibly the forward’s last significant contribution for PSG with a deadline-beating switch to Inter mooted.

Sun 30 Aug, 2015
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