PSG beat Montpellier 1-0 to maintain perfect start
Paris Saint-Germain ground out a 1-0 win Friday at Montpellier to maintain its 100 percent start to the French league as it seeks a fourth successive title.
Blaise Matuidi scored the only goal just after the hour mark to make it three wins out of three for PSG, which moved provisionally three points ahead of Reims and Caen.
PSG also had two goals disallowed for offside.
“It was the most difficult of our three league wins,” PSG coach Laurent Blanc said. “There are a lot of things to look at, but like many teams at the beginning of the season we’re still looking for our form, especially physically.”
Montpellier had its own chances but could not find its first goal of the season and remained bottom of the Ligue 1 table with no points.
“It’s encouraging after our two previous matches, but it’s hard to concede a goal on a half chance,” Montpellier midfielder Bryan Dabo said. “We had quite a lot of counterattacks and chances, but we struggled with the final ball. That’s been our problem since the start of the season.
“We posed problems for PSG, that’s true. But we still have zero points, that’s true too.”
The only sour note of the night for PSG involved Javier Pastore limping off with a calf injury after less than 10 minutes.
The capital club was already without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Angel Di Maria and Marco Verratti.
PSG thought it had broken the deadlock 10 minutes from halftime but Serge Aurier was clearly offside when he headed in Thiago Motta’s free kick — as were two of his teammates.
Montpellier almost gifted PSG the lead when Jonas Martin attempted to control a ball on his chest in the penalty area and it fell to Ezequiel Lavezzi, whose effort flew narrowly past the right post.
Montpellier improved after the break and should have taken the lead at the start of the second half.
First, Ramy Bensebaini forced a great save from PSG goalkeeper Kevin Trapp with a powerful header. Moments later, Aurier had to clear Djamel Baker’s low shot from almost off the line.
Montpellier left itself exposed at the back and was almost caught out when Edinson Cavani raced ahead from midfield but his goal was ruled out for a tight offside decision.
PSG did break the deadlock when Lavezzi did well to turn his marker and find Maxwell just inside the area. The Brazilian threaded the ball through for Matuidi to fire in at the near post for his second goal in as many matches.