PSG earn welcome win
A solitary Peguy Luyindula goal saw off Saint-Etienne late on Sunday evening, the Parisians surviving a first-half onslaught to steal all three points with a 1-0 victory.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Saint-Etienne lost their home unbeaten record as PSG performed the perfect smash and grab operation at a freezing Stade Geoffroy-Guichard. Peguy Luyindula headed home the game's only goal within six minutes of the restart after Paul Le Guen's men suffered greatly in a first-half which could have seen them concede four or five.
Inspired by a rampant David Gigliotti, Saint-Etienne did everything but score in the first 45 minutes. The home side's 22-year-old striker hit the ground running and could have opened the scoring after just 180 seconds. Good goalkeeping though from Mickael Landreau kept the scoreline at 0-0.
Seven minutes later and Gigliotti hit the post with a tremendous shot. At teh other end, PSG's chances were few and far between and the capital club's only real effort of note was when Luyindula failed to skip past Jérémie Janot in the 32nd minute.
Les Verts managed to hit the post a second time shortly after when a free-kick from Dernis sailed straight through the bewildered visiting defence and cannoned off the upright. Araujo Ilan missed with a spectacular scissor-kick from the rebound as once more the Geoffroy-Guichard were left with their heads in their hands.
And there was still time for a final Saint-Etienne chance in the dying minutes of the first-half as Gigliotti shot into Landreau who promptly spilled and yet recovered brilliantly to thwart Ilan.
The second period began in the same vein but within six minutes of the restart PSG ripped the script apart. Released down the right, Ceará sent over an inch perfect cross for a leaping Luyindula to power a header in off the post for the opener.
The goal changed the entire complexion of the game as PSG grew in confidence and started causing Saint-Etienne problems. In fact, les Verts crumpled as the visitors sensed an unexpected victory. Luyindula had a chance to put the game beyond doubt in the 72nd minute with David Ngog offered a further opportunity, which he missed, five minutes from time.
A frantic Saint-Etienne threw everything forward as the clock ran down but it was a futile exercise as PSG defended valiantly until the end to take home the full three points.
The surprise win lifts PSG out of the relegation zone and into 16th place, two points above the bottom three. Saint-Etienne, meanwhile, drop to tenth, eight points off third.