PSG win as Pastore makes sub appearance
By D. Crossan
French record signing Javier Pastore came on for the last 35 minutes of Paris Saint-Germain’s 2-1 home win over Valenciennes. Nene scored the winning goal from the penalty spot after a David Ducourtioux handball.
PSG began proceedings on a single point, standing 17th in the table and under pressure to produce, especially with the club’s new Qatari owners in the stands. A 4-0 midweek Europa League victory over Luxembourg club Differdange had been good for confidence but PSG kicked off against coach Antoine Kombouaré’s former club having failed to win in seven Ligue 1 matches.
Pastore played the full 90 minutes in Luxembourg but Kombouaré elected to give the 42 million euro signing his league debut off the bench on a scorchingly hot early evening in the French capital.
Kevin Gameiro, a scorer in the 1-1 draw at Rennes in Week 2 and against Differdange, carried that lively form over into the start of this game as the former Lorient man volleyed wide early on with an audacious first-time effort.
Jérémy Ménez threatened with a slaloming run but the first clearcut chance fell to VAFC left-back Gaëtan Bong, who played a one-two with Gaël Danic and almost managed to slide a shot under Salvatore Sirigu.
That Bong effort came just five minutes before Gameiro opened the scoring in the 39th minute, finishing off a length-of-the-pitch move which began when Zoumana Camara dispossessed Matthieu Dossevi. Camara shifted the ball to Ménez who had the freedom of the Parc des Princes to glide forward and then pick out Gameiro’s trademark arcing run. The French international forward controlled with his right foot and then clipped a left-footed shot inside Nicolas Penneteau’s near post for his first strike for his new club at home.
There had been a drinks break midway through the opening period to help the players cope with the stifling heat and maybe PSG’s players were looking forward to getting into the relative cool of the dressing room as they switched off in the first minute of added time when Renaud Cohade crossed from the right and Rémi Gomis powered into the box to head past Sirigu. It meant VAFC became the 20th and final Ligue 1 club to score a goal this season.
Pastore entrance, Nene winner
Danic shot wide a couple of times on the resumption before Pastore made his 57th-minute entrance to replace Blaise Matuidi. The Argentinean international’s every touch was cheered but it was to be another South American, Nene of Brazil, who would win the game for PSG.
Nene won the 64th-minute penalty when his cross from the left was handled by Ducourtioux – standing a couple of metres away - right on the edge of the box. Nene, top scorer last season with 14 in the league, notched his first of the new campaign as he sent Penneteau the wrong way from the spot.
Three minutes later Gameiro could have made the game safe after an astute Nene pass but uncharacteristically blazed over with the goal at his mercy. With a one-goal advantage PSG continued to live on their nerves and Cohade could have snatched a point for VAFC when he was left all alone in the area. Sadly for coach Daniel Sanchez, who has yet to taste victory at his new club, the midfielder fired wide.