PARIS: Paris Saint-Germain gave 40 million-euro man Lucas Moura his Ligue 1 debut Friday but it was fellow Brazilian native Thiago Motta who stole the headlines by being red-carded in a lacklustre 0-0 draw against Ajaccio.
The result gave the big-spending Paris club a one-point lead at the top of the table having played one game more than title rivals Lyon and Marseille who play on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
On a miserable night for PSG, coach Carlo Ancelotti saw midfielder Motta sent-off just before half-time for a foul on Frederic Sammaratino.
Things got worse 10 minutes after the interval when defender and captain Thiago Silva went off with an injured thigh.
“In the first half, we didn’t play with a lot of intensity but we were in their half for most of the time,” said Ancelotti.
“We couldn’t score. It wasn’t a bad match and the secomd half was better even though we played with just 10 men.”
Lucas, 20, playing for the first time since his winter transfer window switch from Sao Paulo, was given little chance to shine in a team featuring four other Brazilians – Alex, Thiago Silva, Maxwell and Italian-Brazilian Motta.
Ajaccio, under new coach Albert Emon, played five across the back, a tactic which kept PSG’s top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic quiet.
The big Swede’s best chance was a difficult volley on the 32nd-minute mark.
Motta, Blaise Matuidi and Alex, with a header, represented PSG’s other chances in the first half while Ajaccio goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa twice pulled off fine saves in the second half to keep out Alex and Ibrahimovic. – AFP
French league results on Friday:
Saint-Etienne 2 (L. Perrin 26, Mollo 62) Toulouse 2 (Didot 27, Aurier 43)
Paris Saint-Germain 0 Ajaccio 0
Troyes v Lyon (1600), Evian v Brest (1900), Montpellier v Lorient (1900), Nancy v Lille (1900), Nancy v Lille (1900), Rennes v Bordeaux (1900)
Reims v Bastia (1300), Nice v Valenciennes (1600), Sochaux v Marseille (2000) – AFP
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