PSG edge Inter Milan 1-0 in Doha friendly
DOHA: A first half strike from Jean-Kevin Augustin helped Paris Saint-Germain beat Inter Milan 1-0 in a friendly tie at the Al Sadd Stadium.
Augustin netted the winner for PSG in front of a decent crowd in the 45th minute as the French champions ended 2015 on a winning note.
The 18-year-old, who had played only six times for PSG before yesterday’s match, scored from an acute angle following fine work from Marco Verratti.
The result was just reward for PSG’s dominant performance although they were made to work for their win by the Italian league leaders.
Despite being a friendly, both sides could have scored on several occasions and there was enough entertainment for the Doha crowd.
The Nerazzurri took on Laurent Blanc’s side, with Andrea Ranocchia given a start in central defense.
The French champions almost opened the scoring with just a minute on the clock, Verratti’s raking pass finding Augustin, but found his effort sailing over the bar.
Blaise Matuidi was next to try his luck, but his shot was comfortably saved by Samir Handanovic after Zlatan Ibrahimovic had sent him away with a sumptuous backheel. The Swede stung the fingers of Handanovic with 13 minutes played, but the Nerazzurri ‘keeper did well to tip his fierce left-footed shot over the bar.
Martin Montoya should have broken the deadlock at the other end. Jovetic played the full-back clear on goal, but his shot was a good height for Kevin Trapp, and the German parried it away.
Verratti came within inches of putting PSG ahead with half an hour played. Receiving a pass from Ibrahimovic, the Italian international danced away from Danilo D’Ambrosio, but his shot crashed off the underside of the bar.
With half-time looming, Verratti managed to squeeze the ball through to Augustin and the youngster raced clear and dispatched the it into the far corner.
Four minutes after the restart, Trapp pulled off a brilliant save to keep the scores level. Jovetic got free at the back post, but the German got across to beat his cushioned volley away.
With an hour on the clock, Augustin teed-up Adrien Rabiot, but the midfielder’s left-footed effort curled just over the crossbar.
Both sides made a raft of changes as the half wore on, with Nicolas Douchez rather than Salvatore Sirigu taking over in goal for the French side.
Layvin Kurzawa almost doubled his side’s lead with 20 minutes to play, but headed over the bar after getting onto the end of Serge Aurier’s whipped cross.
The amount of changes saw the game rather peter out, but Douchez had to be alert to tip Medel’s shot round the post with 10 minutes to play.
Inter, who started with just five players from the team which lost 2-1 at home to Lazio in their last league outing on December 20, made 10 substitutions in the second period.
PSG made five, with Ibrahimovic going off in the 64th minute.
Notably, PSG coach Laurent Blanc did not bring on almost all of his South American stars who had jetted into Qatar just over 24 hours before.
Inter: Handanovic (Carrizo, 45); Montoya (Nagatomo, 45), D’Ambrosio (Gravillon, 84), Ranocchia (Dimarco, 65), Santon (Baldini, 65); Brozovic (Gyamfi, 65), Kondogbia (Correia, 65); Perisic (Manaj, 60), Ljajic (Popa, 65), Biabiany (Medel, 45); Jovetic (Gnoukouri, 65)
Paris Saint-Germain: Trapp (Douchez, 65); Van der Wiel (Marquinhos, 45), Aurier (Maxwell, 76), Kimpembe, Kurzawa; Stambouli, Verratti (Nkunku, 65), Rabiot; Augustin, Ibrahimovic (Moura, 65), Matuidi (Ogenda, 65).