Auxerre brought back down to earth
Auxerre's winning run was ended at seven after a Jérémy Clément goal midway through the second-half gave Paris Saint-Germain all three points at the Parc des Princes. Jean Fernandez's side could lose top spot on Sunday.
Samedi 28 novembre 2009
Paris Saint-Germain / AJ Auxerre : 1 - 0
After winning last week to go top of Ligue 1 for the first time in seven years, Auxerre arrived in the capital looking to keep their fine run going and heap more misery on Antoine Kombouaré's struggling side.
Contout causes chaos
However, Jean Fernandez was unable to call on top scorer Ireneusz Jelen through injury. Roy Contout was therefore brought in for his first start since week 5, and he was paired in attack with Daniel Niculae.
The duo linked up to create an early moment of panic for the home defence. Contout played in Niculae, who beat Armand for pace before his shot was turned behind for a corner by Grégory Coupet.
Contout then burst forward just after the half-hour mark, beating Zoumana Camara before setting up Niculae once more, but this time Armand did enough to put off the Romanian.
Paris, in contrast, toiled for much of the opening period, although they did come close when a Stéphane Sessegnon shot was deflected behind by Adama Coulibaly.
Paris take the initiative
Paris continued to find the going tough after the restart, but they got the breakthough midway through the second period. Sessegnon fed Ceara on the right, and the Brazilian full-back crossed for an unmarked Clément to head past Olivier Sorin.
Auxerre denied penalty
Auxerre could have got back on level terms straight away when the referee appeared to point to the spot following a heavy challenge on Contout by Mamadou Sakho. However, after consulting with his assistant, Monsieur Ennjimi changed his mind, awarding a free-kick on the edge of the area.
After that let-off, Paris were dealt a huge blow late on when goalkeeper Coupet went off injured. The former France international was stretchered off after going over his ankle trying to stop the ball going behind for a corner. Apoula Edel was brought in as the hosts clung on to their lead.
Edel was forced into action to deny Maxile Bourgeouis as the game moved into injury time, before a huge roar greeted the final whistle. In a game of few clear chances, Paris claimed only their second league win since August.
Kombouaré's side remain in the bottom-half, but they are looking up the way once more. For Auxerre, meanwhile, their stay at the top may only last a week after all.