Clinical PSG defeat Dijon to claim top spot in Ligue 1 standings
Paris Saint-Germain shrugged off their indifferent start to the season to usurp Monaco at the top of Ligue 1 with a routine 3-0 victory over toothless Dijon on Tuesday.football Updated: Sep 21, 2016 09:14 IST
Paris Saint-Germain shrugged off their indifferent start to the season to replace Monaco at the top of Ligue 1 with a routine 3-0 victory over toothless Dijon on Tuesday.
A 3-1 early season loss at Monaco had seen new boss Unai Emery’s honeymoon period cut short and PSG then conceded a late equaliser at home to Saint Etienne in their next match, before drawing with Arsenal in Europe.
But they smashed Caen 6-0 away last week and similarly made light work of struggling Dijon -- without ever hitting top gear or creating many chances -- thanks to an own goal, an Edinson Cavani penalty and a Lucas header.
PSG go top for the first time this season on goal difference after six games, but their stay will be a short one with Monaco and Nice -- both unbeaten -- going head to head on Wednesday.
“The victory is a progression, although today I saw a lot of things to improve on,” said Emery.
“Today we won 3-0 and for me it is very important not to have conceded. Against a team who defended deep, it took patience.”
For the third time in a row Emery left marquee summer signing Hatem Ben Arfa out of his squad for what the coach had called a “purely sporting decision”, but the fleet-footed playmaker was not missed in a comfortable evening’s work at the Parc des Princes for the reigning champions.
The Parisians took the game to the visitors and surged into a deserved lead on the quarter-hour when Brazilian Maxwell crossed and the ball took a big deflection off defender Adam Lang and looped into the net.
PSG went 2-0 up on 27 minutes through an emphatic Cavani penalty after Adrien Rabiot had his legs swept from under him in the box.
All hope of a Dijon comeback was extinguished midway through the second half when Maxwell was again heavily involved, his pin-point cross finding the head of unmarked fellow Brazilian Lucas.
In Tuesday’s other Ligue 1 fixture, Swede Ola Toivonen scored twice as Toulouse won 2-1 at Lille to continue their fine start to the season, moving above Nice into third.
First Published: Sep 21, 2016 09:14 IST