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Ligue 1

Ligue 1: PSG Powers Through Caen With Profuse Professionalism

PSG
Paris Saint-Germain's team players celebrate after winning the match at the end of the French L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain and Caen on August 12, 2018 at the Parc des Princes, in Paris. (Photo by GERARD JULIEN / AFP) (Photo credit should read GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images)

The 2018-19 Ligue 1 season has officially started and all of the title contenders have won their opening games. Thomas Tuchel’s PSG were without Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe but they had their ace, Neymar Santos Jr., who scored in the 10th minute of a professional 3-0 win over Fabian Mercadal’s SM Caen at Le Parc des Princes.

Other goalscorers for Paris include Adrien Rabiot (35′) and Tim Weah (89′), who came off the bench and pickpocketed Brice Samba for his first-ever Ligue 1 goal…and subsequent yellow card. Samba was pickpocketed as well on the Neymar goal and Caen came close to scoring themselves, if it weren’t for the woodwork denying them.

The match also marked the 48th anniversary of PSG’s founding as the club honored its World Cup heroes in Kylian Mbappe, Presnel Kimpembe and Alphonse Areola, while honoring the legacy of Javier Pastore, a club legend who spent seven seasons with PSG before moving on to Serie A and AS Roma. Due to superior goal difference, PSG are not at the top of the ladder and will have a race on their hands early with Olympique de Marseille and AS Monaco until they meet later this year.

Despite SM Caen’s admirable defending, it was one way traffic in favor of the defending champions, the best team in French club football. Paris dominated shots (11 to five), shots on target (eight to one), possession (66 percent to 34 percent), passes (781 to 399) and pass accuracy (92 percent to 83 percent). Caen, who barely escaped relegation last season on the final match day of the 2017-18 campaign, were backed into a corner and forced into a defensive clinic as PSG elected to impose their will and remind their rivals that the Parisians are a formidable challenge on their day.

Embed from Getty Images

 

Neymar made his Ligue 1 debut away to Antoine Kombouare’s En Avant de Guingamp one year ago, on Week 2 of the 2017-18 Ligue 1 season. Guess what? Guingamp away at the Stade de Roudourou are next for PSG. One can only wonder if the hosts have learned their lesson from last year, lest the King of Paris make it deja vu all over again. Paris and Guingamp clash on Aug. 18 at 8 a.m. PT/11 a.m. ET.

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