PSG v Monaco D-3: Capital club on a roll
Paris Saint-Germain could hardly have wished for a better ahead of Sunday's clash with Monaco, turning in their best performance of the season so far at Bordeaux before tasting Champions League success in Greece on Tuesday.
After starting the season with consecutive draws, Paris Saint-Germain got to back to winning ways in Nantes in Week 3 and have been steadily progressing since. Sunday's win in Bordeaux saw them produce the attacking fireworks that many have been expecting following the influx of a host of big names - despite having only just reassembled their squad following the international break - just as their crunch clash with Monaco looms.
Blanc: 'They played really, really well'
"Unfortunately I wasn't able to prepare properly with my players," Blanc, whose side equaled their biggest-ever win away to Bordeaux - his former club last - last weekend, told the Ligue 1 Show on BeIN Sport. "They returned at the last minute from international duty in places like Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. They hardly trained before the game. In fact, right now I'm wondering what purpose a coach actually serves, because we hardly prepared this game and yet they played really, really well. I was very happy, but it begs the question: what is a coach actually here for?"
If Blanc has been in lighthearted mood this week, it's not without reason. After seeing Brazilian midfielder Lucas Moura finally score his first Ligue 1 goal to clinch a 2-0 success, PSG won for a fourth match running on Tuesday night, dispatching Olympiakos 4-1 in the Champions League.
More of the same, please...
"We're going to do everything we can to keep this run going," said midfielder Blaise Matuidi, whose side weathered the storm of Olympiacos' scintillating first-half performance before scoring three goals in the second half to go top Champions League Group C. "It's true that against sides that try to play a bit, it's a little easier for us to play our game and create chances. So it was good to score in the first half because that opened up a little more space for us."
One slight concern for Blanc is the scoring form of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Last season's 30-goal top scorer has struck just one in the first five games and missed a penalty against Olympiacos on Tuesday. The Swede is hoping to set the record straight against the Ligue 1 leaders.
Ibra: 'It'll be an exciting game'
"They're first in the competition, we're third, so we are playing at home," said Ibrahimovic who, despite the missed spot-kick, proved crucial in Greece with a sublime through-pass for Maxwell to set up Edinson Cavani's opener. "I think it'll be an exciting game, two teams that invest a lot and believe in big projects. So let's see how it goes."
PSG have their former Monaco player Jeremy Ménez available again after four months out through injury, and the France winger gives Blanc yet another attacking option as the capital club look to unlock the Monaco defence and draw first blood in what promises to be an intense rivalry between the big-spending co-title favourites this season.