PSG go top thanks to Pastore artistry


PARIS: A standout performance by Argentinian Javier Pastore inspired Paris Saint Germain to a 3-1 win over relegation-threatened Metz on Tuesday and saw the winners open a three point lead at the top of Ligue 1.

Pastore, one of three players pin-pointed as not going anywhere in the close season by club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi in an interview in Tuesday’s Le Parisien, was in devastating form, setting up all three PSG goals for Marco Verratti, Edinson Cavani and Gregory van der Wiel.

The win gives the two-time defending champions a three point cushion over Lyon, who have a slightly better goal difference with four matches remaining.

Metz by contrast saw a four match unbeaten run come to an end and are still without an away win since September — they lie second bottom, eight points from safety and just 12 still in play.

Verratti struck with a sweetly-taken right-footed effort, after being set up by Pastore.

The 25-year-old was at the heart of the second goal as well, finding Cavani, who had started the move, with a deft pass and the Uruguayan, along with Zlatan Ibrahimovic who was serving the last match of his suspension the other two players named as not for sale, made no mistake.

Metz, though, refused to lay down and got back into the game seven minutes into the second-half as Bouna Sarr outstripped David Luiz down the right flank and the 23-year-old’s cross beat Thiago Silva and was met with full force by on-loan striker Modibo Maiga’s head giving goalkeeper Nicolas Douchez no chance.

However, the hosts wrapped up the points 13 minutes from time as the dynamic Pastore picked out van der Wiel’s run down the right hand side and the Dutch international defender’s shot crept under Metz goalkeeper Anthony Mfa Mezui. (AFP)