PSG back on track with Bordeaux win
By S. Willis
Paris Saint-Germain were in confident mood as they won out 2-0 over Bordeaux, goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Alex - and almost another from debutant Yohan Cabaye - taking them provisionally six points clear of Monaco.
Paris Saint-Germain 2 - 0 Girondins de Bordeaux
Faced with a Bordeaux side defending aggressively in the rainy conditions at the Parc des Princes, it wasn't easy for Laurent Blanc's men to make the break. But the confident interplay of the capital club's attacking elements gradually wore down the visiting defence and PSG bounced back from their draw in Guingamp last week and reasserted their lead atop the Ligue 1 table.
Bordeaux had shown that they could win in tough conditions last week when they prevailed over Saint-Etienne on a heavy pitch, but PSG are something of a different proposition. Thiago Motta once again shone in the centre of the park, allowing fellow midfielders Blaise Matuidi and Javier Pastore to push forward and combine to delightful effect with the front three of Lucas, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani.
However, PSG struggled to convert their dominance - 67 per cent over the 90 minutes - into goals, with Bordeaux doing just enough every time. Both Ibrahimovic and Lucas had shots smothered after neat work from Pastore (18'); Cavani worked a one-two with Pastore before Lucas played the Uruguayan into the area only for his shot to be blocked by Henrique (26'); and Lamine Sané headed Ibrahimovic's effort wide after Lucas had cut back Cavani's cross from the left (29').
Meanwhile Bordeaux managed just two notable efforts up front, Henri Saivet under-hitting an effort that was easily snaffled up by Salvatore Sirigu (16'), and Landry Nguemo's firing wayward shot wide (17'), but Bordeaux wouldn't have been disappointed at heading into the break 0-0 against the league's top attack.
PSG run away with it
But Paris didn't hold back as the game resumed, stripping Bordeaux of the ball with ease and pressing forward relentlessly. Lucas, heavily involved in the first half, proved even more important in the second as PSG made good on their dominance. Played in out wide by a deft Thiago Motta pass, the young Brazilian turned in an inch-perfect cross for Ibrahimovic, who had shed his markers to tap home from point-blank rage for the opener and his 18th of the season (58').
There was something of a black spot for PSG when Cavani pulled up with a suspected hamstring complaint, but his replacement Ezequiel Lavezzi kept up the Uruguayan's good work. Threatening with his pace and touch, Lavezzi also provided a superb chipped through-pass for fellow substitute Yohan Cabaye, but the France midfielder, impressive on his debut for the club, saw his header come back off the post (87').
PSG weren't finished though, and once again it was Brazilian defender Alex - scorer of a late equaliser in last week's draw with Guingamp - who came up with the goods, lashing Thiago Motta's near-post corner across Carrasso and in at the far post to clinch the 2-0 win (88'). The win sees PSG go provisionally six points clear of second-placed Monaco, while Bordeuax remain in provisional seventh place ahead of the rest of the weekend's games.