PSG kept up their 100% start to the new season thanks to a double from Edinson Cavani and a rare goal from veteran midfielder Thiago Motta.
PSG came out on top in Friday night’s clash between PSG and Saint-Etienne. The two teams went into the game with umblemished records so far this season but it was the hosts who maintained theirs.
Despite PSG’s dominance it took nine minutes for either side to register a shot on goal and that came from the visitors, with Saido Janko firing over from wide on the right from 25 yards.
Edinson Cavani responded by getting into a good position down the right but his pull-back evaded everyone and the chance was wasted.
Truth be told, PSG had looked comfortable in possession without really threatening before they were given a gift on the 20 minute mark. Janko hauled Cavani down as he looked to latch onto Neymar’s ball over the top. The Uruguayan dusted himself down and fired the penalty low past Stephane Ruffier in the visitors’ goal to give the hosts the lead.
That was PSG’s first shot of the game and the hosts wanted another penalty shortly afterwards as Cavani once again went down in the box following good work from Neymar down the left. The referee was unmoved this time.
In the 15 minutes that followed the visitors were arguably the better side, PSG dropped back slightly and looked to counter more and they should have been pegged back after 26 minutes when Jonathan Bamba got in down the right.
The striker found himself one-on-one with Areola but the keeper’s outstretched right leg denied the Saint-Etienne man.
Habib Maiga then saw a speculative effort from range sail over the PSG crossbar before the hosts successfully dealt with a series of corners and free-kicks.
Saint-Etienne looked set to level just before half-time as Loic Perrin met Hamouma’s corner from the right with a thumping header, only to see it blocked away by one of his own players, meaning the two sides went in at the break level.
The hosts doubled their lead after 51 minutes, with veteran Thiago Motta pouncing on a loose ball after Marquinhos kept alive Neymar’s deep free-kick from the right. Kevin Theophile-Catherine was lucky not to be sent off in conceding the free kick as he raised a hand to Neymar’s face, albeit playfully.
The game was as good as over from that point as PSG set about slowing the game down and taking the sting out of the game.
Kurzawa headed over the bar for the hosts before a frustrated Bryan Dabo saw a scuffed effort find the side-netting at the other end.
From nowhere, Angel Di Maria almost made it three on 66 minutes as his long-range free kick cannoned back off Ruffier’s right hand post.
Both sides threatened as the game moved into the last 20 minutes. First, Jonathan Bamba was denied by a fine save from Areola as he looked to slide the ball into the far corner.
Almost immediately afterwards, Di Maria cut in from the right at the other end fired in a shot, his effort was going wide until Perrin tried to block it and deflected it towards goal. Ruffier was alert though and made a great save away to his right before Cavani blazed the rebound over.
PSG and in particular Neymar started to shgowboat before Cavani put the icing on the cake with just a minute of normal time to go.
The ball was worked out to Thomas Meunier on the right and his low cross was turned home by the Uruguayan with a nonchalant backheel from six yards.
PSG were by no means at their fluent best but the history books will simply read PSG 3-0 Saint-Etienne.