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Areola rises to the challenge

Publish on 25/04/2018 at 00h00 - S. WILLIS

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Alphonse Areola was immense in goals for Paris Saint-Germain in the narrow 1-0 win over Bordeaux on Sunday, pulling out a string of world-class saves to deny the Girondins. Check out some of his best work…

It has been tough to take the limelight as a 'keeper at Paris Saint-Germain over recent seasons. Always in the shadow of more illustrious attacking teammates, it takes something special to command attention but that's exactly what Alphonse Areola did on Sunday night as his side were put under the pump by Bordeaux. 

13 saves!

Indeed, the 25-year-old pulled out no fewer than 13 saves as his goal was besieged by the host side, allowing his side to avoid falling behind - and then keeping them in the lead after Giovani Lo Celso scored the only goal of the game with one of just two on-target shots from Paris.

In his 30 Ligue 1 Conforama appearances before Sunday night's match, Areola was averaging 4.8 saves per match, which shows the extent to which he was put under unusually high pressure in the Week 34 clash. In fact, he was the most solicited 'keeper of all ten matches in the round.

His most impressive save faced with Gustavo Poyet's side came in the 75th minute (two minutes before Lo Celso struck the winner) as Pablo got a header on Malcom's in-swinging free-kick (see video below).

World-class?

The 1-0 scoreline meant that Areola claimed a 17th clean sheet of the Ligue 1 Conforama season, an impressive performance in his first full season as first-choice 'keeper at Paris Saint-Germain that will do his chances of claiming a place in Didier Deschamps France squad for the World Cup in Russia this summer.