PSG qualify in style!
Paris are through to the knockout rounds of the Europa League after notching a spectacular 4-2 win over Spanish giants Sevilla at the Parc des Princes on Thursday night.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
UEFA Europa League, Matchday 5
Paris Saint-Germain v Sevilla: 4 - 2
Mathieu Bodmer, Nene and Guillaume Hoarau did the damage for the capital club as they inflicted a second defeat on Sevilla in this Europa League campaign to give a hint that PSG’s glory days of Cup Winners Cup and Intertoto triumphs could be on the way back.
Last-16 berth secured
PSG shot to the top of Europa League Group J with the win, and now with just one match to play - Matchday 6’s clash with Karpaty Lviv, who are yet to register a point - Antoine Kombouaré’s men are guaranteed of a place in the last 16 of the competition.
A packed Parc des Princes was witness to a stylish yet solid and utterly determined performance from PSG, who held firm under the intense attacks of their Spanish rivals in the opening stages before blowing the game wide open with two headed goals from in the space of three minutes.
Bodmer off the mark
Bodmer was the man to break the deadlock, nodding home from point-blank range with his first goal for the club since joining from Lyon in the summer (17’) before Guillaume Hoarau - who seems to have well and truly traversed the form slump and self-doubt that plagued his game earlier in the season - added a second with an expertly angled finish (19’).
With the excellent Clément Chantôme back from suspension and starting swift attacking moves from midfield, PSG sought to hammer home their advantage but Sevilla edged back into the match.
Kanouté at the double
The Spaniards, although without key forwards Luis Fabiano and Jesus Navas, still had a cutting edge up front in the form of former Lyon star Frédéric Kanouté, who showed his class as he got the better of PSG’s Zoumana Camara-Mamadou Sakho central defensive pairing twice in quick succession (32’, 36’) to undo his hosts’ good work.
It was at this point that PSG showed that they have come a long way in terms of character and tenacity since last season, digging in and hitting back to turn the see-sawing game once again in their favour.
Unsurprisingly, it was Parisian man of the moment Nene who broke the deadlock on the stroke of half time, gratefully accepting a sweet pass from Stéphane Sessegnon before firing an unbeatable shot past an Andres Palop glued to his line (45’).
Hoarau confirms return to form
If anyone in the packed Parisian stadium still had any doubts about Hoarau’s form or confidence, they were thining again when, just two minutes after the break, the rangy striker made light work of Sevilla’s central defenders - who included France teammate Julien Escudé - before easily beating Palop with a deft toe-poke (47’) for the second of a deserved brace.
While Paris’ efforts to keep on scoring in the second half perhaps lacked the invention and conviction, they continued to press forward, confident in the abilities of ’keeper Apoula Edel, who proved imperious as he calmly dealt with everything that Sevilla could throw - or kick - at him to hold onto the French side's excellent result.