European Football

Ligue 1: The door is only slightly ajar

louis21 (400x222)The problem with drawing at home to the league leaders is that the margin between top and second doesn’t get eroded. But at least Monaco squared up to the French capital’s finest and made it clear that they won’t give up in the title race. But with five points between them and 14 games to go, PSG look red hot favourities to win Ligue 1.

Claudio Rainieri called PSG’s squad “Extra Terrestrial”, which is a little over-elaborate given PSG probably won’t shape up that well to the really big guns in Europe, despite the presence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

It actually looked as though PSG would win comfortably in the early stages, thanks to an early goal from Javier Pastore, a far post header after Chelsea reject Alex headed on Thiago Motta’s cross. Pastore was only in the side because Edinson Cavani is currently inured.

Ibrahimovic was denied twice by Monaco’s in-form goalkeeper Danijel Subasic, but in the second half, the home side started to get on top. They finally levelled in the 74th minute when Fabinho’s cross was deflected home by the hapless Thiago Silva.

Dimitar Berbatov made a late appearance as substitute for Monaco, it will be interesting to see how his languid – often misunderstood – style is received at a club desperate for success. Fulham have shipped him out of Craven Cottage as he’s not the man for a relegation battle. Very good player, though, but he’s no Rademal Falcao when it comes to scoring goals.

Late in the game, the sublime Ibrahimovic almost snatched victory for PSG when he cleverly controlled the ball and brought an excellent save out of Subasic. Interesting comment this week that good old Zlatan is making French football look “too easy”. Perhaps that’s because he’s a cut above the majority of Ligue 1? What a pity he won’t be lining up in this summer’s World Cup!

A repeat, then, of the meeting in Paris. A better result for PSG than Monaco. PSG are on course for the championship – indeed, they could win a French double – but Champions League football for Monaco will be a good start to their “project”.

Game of the People will be at Paris St Germain v Valenciennes this coming Friday.

Categories: European Football

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