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Ligue 1

Ligue 1: Paris Saint-Germain Ease Past Toulouse FC

Paris Saint-Germain
Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar Jr (R) vies with Toulouse's French midfielder Alexis Blin during the French L1 football match Toulouse versus Paris on February 10, 2018 at the Municipal Stadium in Toulouse, southern France. / AFP PHOTO / PASCAL PAVANI (Photo credit should read PASCAL PAVANI/AFP/Getty Images)

It wasn’t the most convincing of results and the pitch itself looked worse for wear, but Unai Emery’s Paris Saint-Germain got the outcome they needed, a simple 1-0 bread-and-butter win over Mickaël Debève’s Toulouse FC at the Stadium Municipal on Saturday evening. Neymar scored in the 68th minute in a match that saw Paris hit the woodwork three times and Alban Lafont stand tall for the hosts with some rock-solid stops.

“I’m very happy and I think the team showed a very good attitude,” said Emery. “It’s good for our confidence. We won 1-0, but we controlled the game. We had chances to score more goals, but the opposition goalkeeper played really well and we hit the woodwork three times…But it’s good preparations, for the rhythm and the confidence. We played well and we’re going to be able to prepare for Real well.”

Paris dominated possession easily (78 percent to 22 percent) despite Toulouse outshooting the visitors (14 to 12, 13 shots on goal to two for PSG). Lafont’s five saves were critical to keeping the score close. It was a much improved performance compared to the meeting at Le Parc de Princes, where Paris Saint-Germain delivered a late-show clinic after being a man down.

“Mission accomplished this evening,” said Adrien Rabiot, who was booked by referee Ruddy Buquet on Saturday. “We’ve built up as much confidence as possible with a win away from home. We played well in the first half, we had a lot of chances, we hit the woodwork three times, and we could have scored earlier. The win is deserved, that’s the main thing, and we can focus fully and calmly on the Champions League.”

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Following the match with Real Madrid on Feb. 14, Paris will host RC Strasbourg Alsace on Feb. 17 at Le Parc. PSG will be hoping to make amends for an awful effort in their road trip to Strasbourg in league play despite making up for it in the Coupe de La Ligue fixture at the Stade de la Meinau.

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