Cavani scores and gets injured in PSG’s win
Striker Edinson Cavani got injured moments after he scored Paris SaintGermain’s second goal with a brilliant instinctive lob in a 4-0 win against Rennes on Sunday in the French league.
The win moved PSG three points behind leader Nice, which earlier lost 1-0 at Caen for its first league defeat of the season. Monaco is second, level on 26 points with third-placed PSG after 12 rounds.
PSG’s other goals came from Marco Verratti’s volley and fellow midfielder Adrien Rabiot’s firm strike in the second half, with an own-goal from Rennes midfielder Gelson Fernandes putting PSG ahead in the 31st minute.
The defeat could have been worse for an insipid Rennes side mustering just one shot on target. PSG right back Serge Aurier hit the crossbar twice and midfielder Thiago Motta headed against the post.
Although the score was comfortable, Rennes gifted PSG the first two goals. The first came when Fernandes put the ball into his own net, after Cavani’s powerful glancing header from a corner bounced off the crossbar and landed near Fernandes.
Earlier in the first half, Fernandes had done remarkably well to head Thiago Silva’s point-blank header off the line. His own goal was followed by a ghastly error from captain Pedro Mendes in the 42nd.
Mendes tried to pass out from the back but gave it straight to Cavani, some 25 meters (yards) out. Cavani had very little time to react and showed great awareness as he turned to lob goalkeeper Benoit Costil with a curling shot. Moments after netting his league-leading 11th goal of the season, the Uruguay striker clutched the back of his right thigh and was replaced by Spanish forward Jese. Costil was beaten again, this time from nearly 30 meters out when Rabiot’s low shot skidded in off his arm in the 67th. Substitute Hatem Ben Arfa set up the fourth, cleverly picking out Verratti near the penalty spot in the 79th.
CAEN 1, NICE O
It seems Mario Balotelli’s luck ran out. Croatian striker Ivan Santini’s penalty put Normandy side Caen ahead near halftime, and Balotelli - who had six goals in five league games before the match - hit the post with a first-time shot in the 63rd.
Moments earlier, he set up strike partner Alassane Plea, whose curling effort went just over. “There weren’t many chances but sometimes two chances is enough, and we had them,” Nice coach Lucien Favre said. “Caen was very tight at the back, with five defenders. It was very hard to get past them.” Favre refused to blame fatigue, despite his team playing in the Europa League on Thursday night. He said it was more a case of impatience. “It’s nothing to do with fatigue,” he said. “You have to stay patient in games, otherwise you forget certain things, you become disorganized and that’s not great.”