Ligue 1

PSG Takes First Step Towards A Domestic Treble

Ibra-PSGFrench Ligue 1 champions Paris St Germain strolled to a 2-0 victory over Guingamp in the Trophee des Champions in Beijing on Saturday. Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored both goals inside the first 20 minutes, one of them a penalty, and after Guingamp had missed a spot-kick of their own, there was little more to trouble the Parisiens in France’s traditional pre-season curtain-raiser.

Guingamp, who won the Coupe de France but finished only 16th in Ligue 1 last season, were not expected to pose too much of a problem for the champions and so it proved as PSG scored with their first serious attack in the ninth minute, Ibrahimovic showing his usual skill in controlling Javier Pastore’s pass with his heel before firing a volley high into the net.

Ten minutes later, it was 2-0 when Lars Jacobsen fouled Hervin Ongenda and Ibrahimovic slotted the penalty inside the right-hand post.

Guingamp goalkeeper Mamadou Samassa did well to deny Jean-Christophe Baheback what would have been a fine solo goal seven minutes later, beating away his powerful shot after the young winger had beaten Lionel Mathis and Jeremy Sorbon on his way to goal.

Guingamp’s penalty was awarded in the 32nd minute when Marquinhos impeded Claudio Beauvue, but Salvatore Sirigu got low down to his left to keep out Mustapha Yatabare’s shot. The first half ended with Bahebeck going close once more after finding his way past Christophe Kerbat, but Samassa denied him again.

Ongenda sent a shot narrowly wide early in the first half while, at the other end, Yatabare was likewise off-target when trying to punish a mistake from Zoumana Camara. Samassa then denied Ibrahimovic while substitute Edinson Cavani sent a volley narrowly over, but with PSG clearly in control, the contest petered out as it moved into the closing stages.

With financial reality hitting Monaco this summer the distance between PSG and the other French sides is wider than at any other top league in Europe. It will be a major upset if they do not win the Ligue 1 title again as well as the French cup. But that is not how success will be measured in Paris. They want to progress further in the Champions League which probably means reaching the semi-final at least.