Sochaux beat PSG in Bonal thriller
By D. Crossan
Sochaux were 3-2 home winners over leaders Paris Saint-Germain at the Stade Bonal as the capital club saw their lead at the top cut to three points after Week 25.
FC Sochaux Montbéliard 3 - 2 Paris Saint-Germain
Sochaux were good value for the three points after an energetic display full of attacking intent and panache. PSG conceded three goals in the league for the first time all season and their unbeaten league run came to an end after a sequence of eight wins and one draw. By the time PSG take to the field at the Parc des Princes next Sunday evening - a match in which David Beckham might make his PSG debut – Olympique Lyonnais could have drawn alongside the capital club on 51 points.
Sochaux start brightly
If many in the capacity crowd had hoped to see Beckham's first appearance in PSG colours, only the travelling fans would have left the stadium disappointed after a pulsating encounter in which Sochaux tore into PSG from the off, belying their recent poor run of a single point gleaned from their previous three league games.
Giovani Sio, the Franco-Ivorian on loan from Bundesliga club Wolfsburg, was denied a goal six minutes into his debut by a correct but marginal offside call, while soon afterwards the influential Sébastien Roudet had a goalbound shot blocked by his own team-mate Ryad Boudebouz. Clément Chantôme, selected on the right of PSG's midfield as Lucas Moura was out with an ankle injury sustained in the midweek Champions League win over Valencia, survived a strong shout for handball in the 20th minute.
Alex opens scoring, Roudet levels
Nine minutes later Alex soared to greet Javier Pastore's right-wing corner and powered a header over Simon Pouplin, the Sochaux goalkeeper, and into the corner of the goal. It was the Brazilian's first league goal of the season and brought back memories of his headed winner against Marseille last campaign.
In the 36th minute Sochaux were level after a blistering counter-attack, Ryad Boudebouz with a delightful first-time ball over the top for Roudet to chase. He outstripped Alex and then fired across Salvatore Sirigu - who had chosen to stay on his line - and into the side-netting.
Sio nets on debut
Sio, a Nantes academy product, showed the ability that persuaded Wolfsburg to pay 5.8 million euros for him from Sion last January as he put Les Lionceaux in front in the 54th minute. Sirigu was at fault as the 23-year-old's shot went through him, although there was plenty to admire in the build-up play as Sio played a sumptuous one-two with Roudet.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ligue 1's top scorer, had netted in all nine previous away games he'd played in Ligue 1 this season. The Swedish international endured an unhappy night, losing out in a one-on-one with Pouplin in the 56th minute and later booked for dissent.
PSG scramble equaliser
Sochaux right-back Sébastien Corchia hit the inside of the post with a free-kick, while Sio and Nogueira also peppered Sirigu's goal as Eric Hély's side chased a third goal. Pastore's dipping volley was narrowly over in the 72nd minute, and four minutes later another corner from the Argentinean led to PSG's equaliser. Alex headed it down, it bounced off Lavezzi and Mamadou Sakho stabbed goalwards, the ball diverting off Sochaux left-back Jérôme Roussillon on its way in.
Bakambu scores sensational winner
Sochaux weren't finished yet and went on to add another impressive scalp to their 2013 tally, having seen off Marseille in the snow here in Week 20. In the 83rd minute Boudebouz used his weaker right foot to clip a cross to the far post and Sloan Privat cushioned it back across the face for his fellow sub Cédric Bakambu to finish off.
Carlo Ancelotti threw on 16-year-old Kingsley Coman for his Ligue 1 debut and he went the closest to pulling one back three minutes from time. Privat could even have added a fourth for Sochaux, who started the weekend in the bottom three but finished it in 14th position and as the talk of Ligue 1, as well as the toast of OL and OM as the three-way title race is well and truly back on.