French champions Paris Saint-German picked up their first points of the season with a 2-1 win away to FC Nantes.
Laurent Blanc’s side had to grind out the three points having been under the cosh for long spells at the Stade de la Beaujoire.
Edinson Cavani added to his late equaliser last week against Ajaccio with the opener tonight, although, an own-goal from Alex brought the scores level midway through the second half.
Opening his scoring account with the winning goal, Argentine Ezequiel Lavezzi slammed home from close range on 73 minutes to silence the home fans.
Nantes were biting away at the PSG midfield in a bid to stop the talented attacking quartet, including a strike duo of Cavani and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, from thriving.
After six minutes, Ibrahimovic sparked into life, cushioning the ball over the top of the Nantes defence only to be denied by Riou.
The Parisians found the way to goal through the Ibrahimovic and Cavani partnership, with the Swede sending the Uruguayan in on goal and he made no mistake, tucking the ball under Riou with his right-foot.
But Nantes actually recovered strongly and played some of their best football towards the end of the half.
With five minutes to go until the break, Gregory Van der Wiel blocked from Alejando Bedoya who played a neat one-two with Bessat and the American was ready to pull the trigger.
On 43 minutes, Nantes had their closest sight of goal with Bedoya returning the favour, clipping the ball into Bessat’s path who was bundled over by Salvatore Sirigu, as the keeper made a fine block to deny the equaliser.
From the resulting corner-kick, Sirigu reacted superbly with his first proper save in three league matches, parrying from Cichero’s half-volley and the best efforts of Van der Wiel spared PSG’s blushes.
Filip Djordjevic tried another speculative effort at goal with his left-foot from near 30-yards and the home side – encouraged by a vociferous home crowd – were cursing their luck at the referee blowing for half-time.
But Nantes rediscovered their first-half momentum after the interval and were the better side for very sustained periods.
And they eventually levelled on 51 minutes thanks to an own-goal from Brazilian defender Alex after Papy Djilobodji got on the end of a set-piece.
The PSG defence was all over the place at times and could only be saved by the leadership of Thiago Silva.
After 58 minutes, Sirigu produced a stunning, one-handed stop to deny Bedoya from heading his first goal in French football.
Bedoya was a stand-out performer in yellow and has done himself no harm in his bid for a place in the US National Team.
Within 60 seconds, he was crucial at the other end, diving in to block Lavezzi from sliding a cross to Cavani on the counter-attack.
Nantes were even out-shooting their opponents, leading 9-3 in Shots on Goal with an hour gone.
But you couldn’t rule out a late PSG winner and Lavezzi slammed the ball into the top corner on 73 minutes after Lucas Moura’s finish was cleared off-the-line by Cichero.
That was the former Napoli forward’s first goal of the campaign and he came close moments later but Riou prevented him with a one-handed save.
Nantes kept plugging away and both Pancrate and Cichero missed decent chances inside the last three minutes.
Yet Blanc’s side walk away unscathed with their first victory of the campaign after three league matches.
- Sports & Recreation
- FC Nantes
- Edinson Cavani
- Ezequiel Lavezzi
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic