Champions League

UCL: Paris Saint-Germain Hit Stride, Dismiss FC Basel 3-0

PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 19: The players of PSG celebrate after victory in the Group A, UEFA Champions League match between Paris Saint-Germain Football Club and Fussball Club Basel 1893 at Parc des Princes on October 19, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
UCL: Paris Saint-Germain Hit Stride, Dismiss FC Basel 3-0

Unai Emery’s Paris Saint Germain could do no wrong against Urs Fischer’s FC Basel at the Parc des Princes, coasting to a straightforward 3-0 win in UEFA Champions League Group A play. Angel Di Maria opened up the scoring in the 40th minute and in the second half, it was all Paris Saint-Germain with Lucas Moura (62′) and the talisman, Edinson Cavani (90′ + 3′) on a penalty, slamming the door shut on the visitors. The match was Paris Saint-Germain’s 100th European victory across all competitions.

 

“I have seen that the squad is working hard, always looking to improve. The players are listening and they’re motivated,” said Emery. “For sure we could have played better in our last match, but the lads did play as a team, as a unit. The players have worked hard and helped each other. To get a win, you need to be committed, and that’s exactly what the players were. That’s the main thing. Our team has a lot of quality, and our players will do even better when they have more confidence.

“There’s a lot of communication between Patrick Kluivert and me, the same as I have with the president, Olivier Létang and everyone else who works at the club. Patrick is a former player, with a lot of experience. He knows football very well. He is doing important work with us.”

The scoreline was flattering, to say the least, as the match statistics illustrated how very one-sided the contest turned out to be. Paris dominated Basel in possession (64.9% to 35.1%), shots (13 to nine), shots on target (six to one), successful passes (89.9% to 75.6%) and total passes (701 to 365). The one stat that PSG did not dominate in was corner kicks (Basel won that five to three), but that was offset by a strong, professional performance defensively, highlighting the gulf in class between the Swiss Super Ligue and Ligue 1.

 

“I think that we can still get even stronger,” said Blaise Matuidi, who assisted on the Di Maria goal on Wednesday. “I’m working hard every day to make sure that that’s the case. The coach and the staff are doing everything they can to keep us at 100% all the time. After the summer break, I came back late, so I had to do a lot of work to get to the same level as the others. Now I feel great and I hope it continues. I’ll keep working hard to make sure it remains the case.”

Paris Saint-Germain’s next contest is on Oct. 23 against Franck Passi’s Olympique de Marseille. Kickoff is scheduled for 11:45 a.m. PT/2:45 p.m. ET. Here are 10 Bold Predictions for the match between PSG and OM at Le Parc.

  • Edinson Cavani will score for Paris Saint-Germain.
  • Lucas Moura will score for Paris Saint-Germain.
  • Bafetimbi Gomis will score for Olympique de Marseille.
  • At least 45 fouls will be whistled.
  • At least five cards will be issued.
  • A penalty will be issued.
  • Alphonse Areola will make at least five saves.
  • Yohann Pele will make under five saves.
  • A goal will be scored in the first 20 minutes.
  • A goal will be scored in the last 15 minutes and stoppage time.

Paris Saint-Germain 2, Olympique de Marseille 1

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Champions League
@joryansalazar

Jo-Ryan Salazar is a writer for The Stoppage Time, a soccer blog powered by Azteca Soccer. A supporter of the Los Angeles Galaxy since 1996 and a committed supporter since 2002, Jo-Ryan also follows Chelsea FC, Melbourne Victory, FC Tokyo and Paris Saint-Germain. Apart from soccer, Jo-Ryan is an administrative assistant for a local nonprofit in Long Beach, California and also does photography, photo-editing and fictional writing.

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