Javier Pastore’s strong start to life at Paris Saint-Germain continued on Sunday night as he proved the difference between the hosts and a stuffy Brest side in a Ligue 1 encounter that ended 1-0 at the Parc des Princes.
With PSG having been impressively stifled by the Bretons for over an hour, France’s most expensive ever player made the difference with a clever finish following a strong break down the left hand flank from fellow new addition Jeremy Menez.
Despite being deprived once again of a host of long-term injury problems in their defence, the visitors gave an impressive account of themselves, setting up to frustrate their hosts and achieving that for long periods of the game. Steve Elana’s goal was rarely troubled seriously in the first half, though the goalkeeper did well to block efforts from Pastore and Kevin Gameiro.
On the counter, meanwhile, Brest created arguably the better openings of the first half. Nolan Roux was a handful for Diego Lugano on his Ligue 1 debut, and the young striker fashioned an opening for Romain Poyet midway through the first half, stretching Salvatore Sirigu into making a fine low block.
Poyet was active as a creative force too, crossing for Eden Ben Bassat to head over. The Israeli striker would be guilty of the worst miss of the first period just before the break, as he tugged a low cross from Roux wide after the young forward had cut a big hole in the left hand side of PSG’s rearguard.
The second half brought fewer opportunities at either end, though it did mean that the hosts were exerting more sustained pressure on the Brest defence. However, before Pastore’s clever movement off the ball allowed him the yard he required to score the game’s only goal, there had appeared a very real possibility of a scoreless draw.
While this was not the explosive performance PSG may have wanted, it was another workmanlike showing for the home side, who remain very much in touch at the top of the Championnat table. There is still a good margin of improvement clearly to come from Antoine Kombouare’s men, who must be pleased with their 10 point tally from five games.
Brest, it must be remembered, are no pushovers, and this was the first time Alex Dupont’s men had tasted defeat all season.