Nantes vs. PSG: Winners and Losers from Ligue 1 Game
On Saturday afternoon, Paris Saint-Germain came from a goal behind to beat FC Nantes 4-1 at the Stade de la Beaujoire.
Nantes hadn’t beaten PSG at home for 11 years going into the game. Although they home side took the lead in the first half through Yacine Bammou, the Parisians were much stronger in the second half, and an early goal from Zlatan Ibrahimovic got Laurent Blanc’s side back on track.
The run will continue to 12 years, but Nantes can hold their heads up after what they showed in the first 45 minutes.
PSG, after drawing against Bordeaux and Stade de Reims got back to winning ways with a 3-0 win over Guingamp at the Parc des Princes—and were able to rest players with the Champions League on Wednesday.
Blanc would have been relieved to see substitute Edinson Cavani’s header flash past Remy Riou in the Nantes net to make it 2-1. Angel Di Maria and Serge Aurier made it four, and it was comfortable in the end.
Angel di Maria for PSG: 6 games, 3 goals, 3 assists.— Get French Football (@GFN_France) September 26, 2015
There are lessons still to learn for the Ligue 1 champions. They will not be able to start as sluggishly when they face Shakhtar Donetsk in Lviv midweek, or in any Champions League game.
However, goals from Cavani and Di Maria will take the shine off another less-than-convincing performance. The away side deserved the three points for the way they came back after the break.
Here are the winners and losers from PSG’s 4-1 win over Nantes.
Winner: Laurent Blanc
Able to rest players before PSG's second Champions League game against Shakhtar Donetsk, Blanc has come under some criticism for the way he has rotated his side, but a 4-1 victory will give him the justification he would have been looking for.
Blaise Matuidi was able to remain on the bench for the whole game. He did have to call upon Cavani and Thiago Motta in the second half, but he also got more game time for Benjamin Stambouli, Layvin Kurzawa and Marquinhos.
Winner: Yacine Bammou
Just 13 months ago, Yacine Bammou made his Nantes debut and scored after just 32 seconds in a 1-0 win over RC Lens.
The story came out that the forward had spent time working in the PSG shop while he played for Evry in the fifth division, so of course it was the centre-forward who gave Les Canaris the lead on Saturday afternoon.
1 Vs 5 pic.twitter.com/yWSBlju90U— philippe (@philousports) September 26, 2015
Heading in Valentin Rongier’s cross, the 24-year-old notched his first goal in four starts. He nearly made it 2-0 in the first half, when he headed Alejandro Bedoya’s cross against the near post.
Loser: Lucas Moura
In Friday’s pre-match press conference, via PSG’s official website, Blanc spoke about the potential of Lucas Moura:
We expect a lot of him, and rightly so because he has a lot of great qualities. He's still a young lad, who definitely needs to do more, because he has a lot of talent.
He's important for the future of Paris Saint-Germain and it's up to him to live up to that expectation.
It’s fair to say the Brazilian dropped way short of that expectation on Saturday. In the first half, the winger only touched the ball 19 times, compared to the 33 by Nantes winger Jules Iloki.
He was then removed after 65 minutes for Edinson Cavani with the score still 1-1. It is not the first poor performance from Lucas this season, and Blanc will hope his young talent can find some form soon.
Winner: Thiago Silva
Sometimes PSG fans must wonder where they would be without the leadership of Thiago Silva.
Nantes came flying out the blocks on Saturday afternoon, and after going 1-0 up they had a few chances to take a two-goal lead.
On a number of occasions it was the club’s captain who stood up to the Nantes threat. Showing great positional awareness, making timely tackles and just keeping things together in general.
They will hope their skipper can keep this form going into the Champions League and beyond.
Winner: Michel Der Zakarian
Despite his side giving up the lead on Saturday, the Michel Der Zakarian will be happy with so much of his team’s performance.
They showed they can take the game to any side in this league. If you can create chances against the champions, there’s no reason they can’t do it against the other 18 teams in Ligue 1.
Now, Les Canaris need to take the same attitude and willingness to run, work and play as a team into their next fixture against Lille at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy.