Just before football embarks on its enforced prolonged winter break, Paris FC hosted FC Metz in their final match at their home ground.
The match didn’t have much potential for entertainment on the paper: both teams are in mid-table no man’s land which usually equals little excitement. What a pleasant surprise to see an open and free flowing game of football in which either side took pleasure in going forward. It was Metz who benefited as they caught Paris unawares and gained a penalty which Mikautadze converted by sending the keeper the wrong way after only 12 minutes.
Paris responded well but were unable to score. With 22 minutes gone however, disaster struck for Paris. Not only did they concede another penalty but the originator, Chergui, was sent off for violent conduct: he touched the referee and that was a touch too much. Once more Mikautadze stepped up, chose the same corner, the keeper had a hunch and was correct in his guess but the shot was well placed – 2-0 Metz and it was game over.
Or was it? Within five minutes Guilavogui halved the deficit after a quickly taken free kick. Metz were caught napping discussing among themselves and Paris cooly took advantage.
That was that for the first half. Paris adapted – brought on Bernauer in defence who had a very good second half. Yet, one man could not make up for the foolishness of another. And thus, came what had to come: Metz made their advantage count and scored another couple of goals, taking it beyond Paris’ capabilities to launch a comeback.
Incisive and quick
Metz had what Paris lacked: pace. The attacks of the visitors were executed with a precision and pace that was too quick at times it seemed for the hosts. Time and again, a string of quick passes left Paris looking on while Metz suddenly had a chance created – though not all brought rewards, of course – but it was nonetheless bewildering for the onlooker.
On the other hand, Paris FC possessed not the same precision. Partly due to the lack of man power and partly due to the resulting fatigue. During the first half, they still had something to offer against Metz and duly scored, yet they were made to pay for the expenditure of energy during the second. It was too fiddly and not straight forward to unsettle Metz.
Metz deserved the win, no question. Paris gifted them the match in a moment of stupidity. Yet, they never looked threatening or convincing enough that more than a draw would have been within their reach. Here, they have come up against opposition that was much better on the day and will be in the long run of the season than Paris will be this time round.Good writing does not come by chance, so consider a little tip: