Zlatan Ibrahimovic fires PSG to top spot in Ligue 1

Updated: Jan 21, 2013, 09:09 AM IST

Paris: Paris Saint-Germain were able to pay tribute to nutritionist Paul Broad, who died in a car crash on Friday, by becoming the first visiting side in nearly a year to win at Girondins de Bordeaux’s Stade Chaban-Delmas, coming out on top 1-0 in their Ligue 1 fixture to reclaim top spot in France.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic struck just before the interval to give an uninspired PSG side the advantage by latching onto a pass from Lucas Moura before sending a low shot into the net. This was a flat performance from the visitors overall, and if the game had finished level, they could not have quibbled.

Bordeaux have been specialists at stifling their opponents this season, and for much of the opening period it seemed that they were asphyxiating PSG. There were few meaningful efforts on goal from either side during a rather drab opening 45 minutes in which the locals had the better moments.

Both Jaroslav Plasil and Ludovic Obraniak would test visiting goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu with long-range efforts, but the Italian dealt with these with confidence. In the aftermath of the Pole’s effort, the ball was not adequately cleared, and Henri Saivet would steer a header just wide of the target.

Ending the opening period scoreless would have been fully justified, but Ibrahimovic, who was a peripheral and out-of-sorts figure in the main, finally managed to escape the clutches of the home defence to move onto a Lucas pass. His finish was firm, yet there can be little doubt that Cedric Carrasso should have done more to keep the strike out.

The boost of a goal did not inspire Carlo Ancelotti’s side to a significantly better second-half showing. Once again it was Bordeaux who looked the likelier to score, with Zoumana Camara forced into a last-ditch challenge to prevent Yoan Gouffran getting an effort away at goal while a corner moments later bounced around dangerously in the box.

PSG were struggling to fashion openings, and when opportunities did arrive, the visitors had the frustrating habit of trying to over-complicate matters, which inevitably resulted in the well-organised home rearguard clearing their lines.

Left-back Maxwell had the guests’ best effort in the second half, but after being released by Ibrahimovic, his effort from a tight angle did not truly test Carrasso.

Sirigu had not seen the end of his action, either. Bordeaux offered a couple of high-quality long-range shots in the closing stages. Mariano had a fiercely-struck effort deflected just wide of the top corner, while the former Palermo goalkeeper had to be vigilant to send a crisp drive from Henri Saivet over the crossbar.

PSG’s performance was best described as functional, as this was a match that rarely captured the imagination, but ultimately the capital side had just enough to claim three fine points at an inhospitable venue. The Parisians, therefore, leapfrog Olympique Lyonnais on goal difference at the summit of the standings, and a night that started with Ancelotti in tears during the minute silence before the game at least finished on a happier note.