domingo, 28 de agosto de 2011

Pastore inspires PSG to victory at Toulouse

Record-signing Javier Pastore laid on two goals as big-spending Paris Saint-Germain came from behind to record a timely 3-1 victory at Toulouse on Sunday.

Toulouse's Cheik Mbengue (L) and Umut Bulut (R) vies with Paris Saint-Germain's Javier Pastore (C). (AFP Photo)

Having fallen behind to a first-half header from Etienne Capoue, PSG levelled in the 57th minute when record signing Pastore released Kevin Gameiro to lift the ball past Toulouse goalkeeper Ali Ahamada.

Pastore was then thwarted by Ahamada, but in the last minute the Argentine rolled a pass into the box for Mevlut Erding to prod home from 12 yards.

It could be Erding's last goal for the club, as he is reportedly poised to join Rennes, and the Turkey international also set up the visitors' third goal for Jeremy Menez in injury time.

Victory represented an important result for PSG coach Antoine Kombouare, amid media rumours he had been given two games to save his job by owners Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) prior to the 2-1 win over Valenciennes last weekend.

"In open play, (Toulouse) hadn't conceded a goal in nine matches. Tonight we scored three," said Kombouare.

"It was a huge performance from our players. I congratulate them because they went in search of a thoroughly deserved victory."

The win took PSG up to third in the table, two points behind leaders Montpellier and above Toulouse on goal difference.

Rennes got their league campaign back on track by beating Caen 3-2 to record their first home win of the campaign.

Beaten 4-0 at Montpellier last weekend but victors by the same scoreline against Red Star Belgrade in the Europa League, Rennes took the lead in the fifth minute when Razak Boukari headed in Julien Feret's deflected free-kick.

Further goals from Jires Kembo Ekoko and Kader Mangane put the hosts 3-0 up at the break but Caen reduced the arrears in the second half through Thomas Heurtaux and Frederic Bulot.

Sochaux reacted to their Europa League elimination at the hands of Metalist Kharkiv by beating Saint-Etienne 2-1 thanks to a double from Algerian international Ryad Boudebouz.

Paulao was sent off for the visitors in the second half and their mood was worsened further by the news that new signing Steed Malbranque is contemplating retirement over "personal problems".

"Steed came to see me to say that he was having personal problems and couldn't make the trip," explained Saint-Etienne coach Christophe Galtier.

"It's not impossible (that he retires). You'd have to ask him. In any case, I saw a troubled guy and I'm worried about him."

Sunday's late game sees last season's runners-up Marseille visit champions Lille, with both sides looking to kick-start their campaigns after recording just one win between them in the first three match-days.

Lyon climbed to second in Ligue 1 on Saturday as second-half goals from Miralem Pjanic and Jeremy Pied yielded a 2-1 win over Montpellier, who remain top by a point despite conceding their unbeaten record.

French league results:

Rennes 3 Caen 2

Sochaux 2 Saint-Etienne 1

Toulouse 1 Paris Saint-Germain 3

Lille 3 Marseille 2

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