Saturday, October 21, 2017

Paris Saint-Germain 5 Toulouse 0: Champions dish out thrashing after Madrid frustration

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 7 Nov 2015

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Paris Saint-Germain resumed their Ligue 1 dominance after Tuesday’s continental setback, opening up a 13-point lead at the top with a 5-0 win over Toulouse at Parc des Princes.

A 1-0 defeat at Real Madrid left Laurent Blanc’s men with work to do to reach the Champions League knockout rounds, but they were comfortable throughout Saturday’s encounter on home soil.

Toulouse entered the match without a win in 11 league games and looked every inch the underdogs as PSG stormed into a two-goal lead before the 20th minute.

Angel Di Maria’s 40-yard free-kick sailed all the way in before shambolic defending from the visitors presented Zlatan Ibrahimovic with a simple goal.

Second-half substitute Lucas Moura wrapped up the result shortly after replacing Edinson Cavani – who struggled to impact the game from the left wing and reacted petulantly to being withdrawn.

Ibrahimovic and Ezequiel Lavezzi struck late on as the unbeaten champions ‘ procession to a fourth consecutive crown goes on.

PSG dominated Madrid for little reward in midweek but, the star of that loss, Di Maria finally enjoyed a stroke of luck as his sixth-minute free-kick curled beyond Toulouse goalkeeper Ali Ahamada, who was pinned to his line due to the presence of Thiago Motta attempting to get a head on the delivery.

The hosts were swarming forward and Di Maria could only scuff at the keeper after Ibrahimovic teed him up amid hesitant defending.

And another blunder at the back gifted PSG their second as Marcel Tisserand intercepted Ibrahimovic’s knock-down in the area, only to nod the ball straight back to the Sweden star – who finished simply from inside the six-yard box.

PSG survived an indirect free-kick inside their own area after Kevin Trapp handled Gregory van der Wiel’s backpass, but it was as good as Toulouse could muster going forward, with Ibrahimovic and Di Maria blasting off-target as Blanc’s side failed to turn their total domination into a bigger advantage.

A visibly frustrated Cavani saw a 20-yard curler repelled by Ahamada before Toulouse ought to have scored as David Luiz’s dithering allowed Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro to steal possession in the penalty area, but his centre was just out of strike partner Martin Braithwaite’s reach and PSG were given a let-off.

Cavani skewed a left-footed shot wide and had a stony-faced reaction to being replaced by Lucas just after the hour mark, but the Brazilian justified Blanc’s decision after three minutes on the pitch, popping up at the back post to guide Van der Wiel measured cross beyond Ahamada with his head.

Lucas was again influential as PSG made it four, driving through the heart of the Toulouse defence before firing a shot that Ahamada could only parry into the path of Ibrahimovic to tap home his ninth Ligue 1 goal of the season.

Jean-Armel Kana-Biyik rounded off a woeful defensive display from the visitors with another horrendous error, storming forward to clear Ibrahimovic’s chipped pass, but missing the ball completely as Lavezzi nipped in behind to finish calmly.

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