When I covered a PSG game exactly one week ago I launched into a polemic of how awful the game was. This evening I watched another PSG game and was delighted by how it enthralled me and was a genuinely enjoyable experience. In the end the better team lost from two corners and will prove to be an invaluable lesson to PSG on the importance of defending set-pieces.
This is the second time that I have now watched PSG for this blog and they interest me greatly. Again, like last week, they were an impressive defensive unit at the back when they were called into action. In front of them were Makelele and Bodmer who are hard to describe as a central midfield pairing as they sit so deep. This role, on many occasions was taken up by the two wingers who often came in to fill the gap. This in turn allowed Cesara and Jallet to come forward from the wing-back positions. Up front, Erding plays so far in front of Horau it is hard to place the latter. I would put him down as a trequartista but am interested to hear others opinions. Bordeaux meanwhile played a very tight shape with Wendel and Plasil rarely venturing out to the wings as might have been expected.
In the past five meetings between these two teams, PSG had won three and Bordeaux two with no draws so the form showed that this was going to be a tightly contested match with goals. In the opening part of the game it was PSG who really dominated and constantly looked a threat to the Bordeaux defence. Their first clear cut chance was on ten minutes when a PSG attacker was presented with a one-on-one situation but Carrasso saved brilliantly. PSG continued to push and Sessegnon came close to put his team one up when he stretched for the ball from a free kick. His effort was wide though. The final chance of the half, and for PSG to take what would have been a deserving lead, fell to Erding who powered a header towards goal. The effort was once again saved by Carrasso though and the teams went in level at half-time.
PSG continued to press with the same force as the first half as soon as we entered the second half as a cross flew across goal only a few minutes in. Bordeaux's first real chance then fell in the 50th minute as a long range strike from Wendel flew over the bar. The game then started to open up a bit more and after Erding had yet another one-on-one saved, Josue up the other end managed to bustle his way through the home sides tight defence and went down. The referee judged that the player dived and the Brazilian got a yellow card for his troubles.
The first goal came 10 minutes later and against the run of play. Bordeaux won a corner, Diarra lost his man and the captain headed his team in front past a despairing Coupet. PSG could only respond with what they were doing all along and attacking the Bordeaux goal. They were eventually rewarded 76 minutes into the game as Horau was played in and slotted home. There followed a passage of play where Bordeaux could have scored twice more with good chances and Horau had a chance for a second up the other end. All these were squandered and the game looked to be heading towards a draw. That is until Ciani popped up with a header from another corner which somehow squeezed past the diving Coupet and the post to go in. An undeserved victory no doubt and PSG will be kicking themselves wondering how they managed to lose. This though will become abundantly clear this next week as manager Kombouare makes the team practice defending corners until they can do it in their sleep.
Man of the Match: Cedric Carrasso
The former OM and Toulousse goalkeeper kept his team in the game so many times with vital saves. In the end he had made six stops from the PSG attack and is the man Bordeaux fans will be singing the praises of all week.