Pastore breaks Brest hearts
A moment of magic from Ligue 1 record signing Javier Pastore ended Brest's unbeaten start to the season at the Parc des Princes on Sunday and kept Paris Saint-Germain in touch with the early season pacesetters.
Purchased from Palermo for €42m, Pastore arrived in the French capital to much fanfare, but the Argentine international showed why PSG were willing to pay so much for him with a superb individual effort after 68 minutes to earn Antoine Kombouaré's men a third straight league win and leave them two points behind leaders Montpellier.
It was another South American, Uruguay captain Diego Lugano, who was the focus of the majority of the pre-match build-up though as he prepared to make his PSG debut, and the uncompromising defender could barely have expected to be as busy in his first 45 minutes in the capital club's colours as Brest pressed.
Nolan Roux led a swift counter-attack that led to Romain Poyet firing goalwards, and only Salvatore Sirigu's flying save prevented the Breton side silencing the Parc des Princes with the opening goal.
While Brest's collective work posed the hosts problems, PSG's individual brilliance threatened to make the difference, and a penetrating Pastore burst and shot saw Steeve Elana get down smartly to turn the ball behind. Sirigu was then called back into action to tip away a deep cross from the waiting Eden ben Basat with Benoît Lesoimier wastefully firing the loose ball over.
Like Evian, PSG have yet to lead at the break so far this season, and Ben Basat should have even given the visitors a deserved half-time advantage but spurned the best opportunity of the opening half. Roux's pace was too much for Zoumana Camara, and the Brest forward then skipped over Lugano's lunge before cutting the ball back, but Ben Basat screwed his shot wide of Sirigu's goal with the Italian 'keeper flat-footed.
Having more than matched their hosts in the first half, Brest paid for their efforts after the break as PSG took a stranglehold. The visitors' defence, marshalled by the excellent Paris-born Jonathan Zebina, did manage to keep the eye-catching array of home talent at bay, though, until Pastore ended their proud run of not having conceded a goal away from home at 347 minutes.
Another new signing, Jérémy Ménez, played a central role as he zipped down the left leaving a trail of defenders flailing before centring for Pastore. The gifted attacking midfielder's first touch allowed him to size up the Brest goal in front of him, his second saw the ball delicately ease up and over Elana and into the net to send the Parc des Princes into raptures.