Four in a row sends PSG second
Paris Saint-Germain registered their fourth Ligue 1 victory in a row to move outright second in the standings, one point behind Lyon, ahead of the champions match at home to Le Havre on Sunday.
Saturday February 14, 2009
Paris Saint-Germain / AS Saint-Etienne : 2 - 1
The last time Paris Saint-Germain won four matches in a row was during Vahid Halilhodzic's reign in the 2003-04 season when the capital club string together five consecutive wins on their way to a second-placed finish behind Lyon.
Paul Le Guen's side started brightly with the in-form Peguy Luyindula firing over Jérémy Janot's goal as early as the third minute when expertly found by Marcos Cearà's cross from the right.
The opening goal finally arrived in the 25th minute when Mamadou Sakho, just 24 hours after celebrating his 19th birthday, headed home his first ever Ligue 1 goal after Janot could only parry Zoumana Camara's header from a Jérôme Rothen corner.
The lead seemed to spark Les Verts into life and Dmitri Payet drew the two sides level nine minutes later. Paulo Machado burst into the area after a spell of Saint-Etienne possession and unleashed a thunderous shot which rebounded off Mickaël Landreau's crossbar and the former Nantes winger was on hand to turn the ball into an empty net.
Saint-Etienne were to be level for all of three minutes. Ludovic Giuly combined with the mercurial Benin international Stéphane Sessegnon and crossed to the back post where midfielder Jérémy Clément rose to head home his first Ligue 1 goal since equalising against... Saint-Etienne in the penultimate game of last season.
With a last-32 UEFA Cup home tie against German side Wolfsburg next Wednesday, side sat back after the break looking to defend their one-goal advantage. But despite enjoying the lion's share of possession, Saint-Etienne failed to trouble Landreau, playing his 100th consecutive Ligue 1 match for PSG, and it was the home side that could have increased their lead through Luyindula and Giuly in the dying stages.
Bordeaux, dropping two points at home to Grenoble sees Paris move into outright second place behind leaders Lyon with 45 points, provisionally one point adrift of the champions.