Friendly fire: Paris blast Vannes
Paris Saint-Germain, Nice and Boulogne were involved in friendly matches ahead of French Cup round of 64 action this weekend, the men from the capital doing their coach proud with four unanswered goals against Ligue 2 side Vannes.
Vannes 0-4 Paris Saint-Germain
Paris followed on from their league win over Grenoble just before Christmas with another 4-0 scoreline, this time over Ligue 2 side Vannes in a friendly match on Tuesday at La Baule, where the men from the capital are on a training camp.
Paris roundly dominated their lower-league opposition, getting 2010 off to the best possible start despite the absence of midfield whiz Stéphane Sessegnon, in Angola on Africa Cup of Nations duty with Benin.
"It’s an important win," Paris coach Antoine Kombouaré told psg.fr. "We’re on a training camp to improve our physical condition and get back into some good habits. The conditions were tough, but you just have to play and take the victories where you find them.
Ludovic Giuly broke the deadlock as early as the second minute, and Paris’s relentless pressure paid off as Jean-Eudes Maurice forced Vannes’s Gérard Gnanhouan into an own goal (29’) before making it 3-0 himself nine minutes later. Mevlut Erding rounded out the scoring in the 41st minute.
Kombouaré made ten changes at the break but the second half yielded no goals as the state of the pitch and the searing cold all but shut the game down. Nonetheless, the Paris coach was a happy man.
"It was a chance to see everyone and review the squad. I liked what I saw, because in January and February we’ll be playing on difficult pitches and we’ll have to adapt. I appreciate how my players carried themselves tonight."
Guillaume Hoarau remained on the sidelines, still two weeks off match fitness, while Mateja Kezman made a comeback appearance in the second half.
Fréjus Saint-Raphaël 1-1 Nice
In his first match without his eight African internationals, all of whom have departed to take part in the Africa Cup of Nations, Nice coach Didier Ollé-Nicolle had a chance to get a feel for the depth in his squad as his men drew 1-1 away National outfit Fréjus Saint-Raphaël on Monday.
Ghanaian youngster Abeiku Quansah did a creditable job in the playmaker’s role, opening the scoring somewhat luckily in the 36th minute, and Nice could have killed it off in the second half when first Anthony Mounier (68’) and then Loïc Rémy (69') went close.
Then the Ligue 1 side paid the price for their inaccuracy as Fréjus Saint-Raphaël’s Sébastien Malfleury equalised with a long-range shot with six minutes to go, and Nice could even have lost the match when Yohan Di Tommaso went close with a header in the dying seconds.
Olivier Echouafni was absent with a knee injury while David Hellebuyck (thigh) and Larrys Mabiala (knee) were both rested ahead of Sunday’s French Cup tie away to National club Plabennec.
Boulogne 2-1 Pacy-sur-Eure
Second-half goals from Laurent Agouazi and Lakdar Boussaha were enough to clinch the win when Boulogne took on National team Pacy-sur-Eure at the Stade de la Libération on Tuesday.
As is customary in friendlies, Boulogne coach Laurent Guyot made a raft of changes at half time and it was his new-look line-up that did the business.
While Boulogne seemed on top from the start, in the end it was the Ligue 1 side’s superior physical conditioning that won the day as they ran rampant in the final 20 minutes.
Agouazi cancelled out the visitors’ first-half strike (scored with their only chance of the match following a defensive error) in the 75th minute before Bouhassa headed his side to the win with eight minutes to go.