Toulouse is a team that brings back good memories for Javier Pastore and his teammates. It was back in the searing heat late August at Le Stadium that PSG prevailed 3-1 - a result that veritably launched the campaign. Five months and 16 matches on, and the return encounter in the capital loomed large. This time Paris are leading the league, and new coach Carlo Ancelotti prepares for his first home game in charge. PSG, with new signing Maxwell, started 2012 with one thing on their mind: maintain their three point buffer at the top.
The start of the match was very even as both sides defended stoutly and neither Ménez, up front in the striking role ahead of Nene and Pastore, nor Umut, at the other end, could create any real danger. The first chance came when Pastore, well set up by a Ménez backheel, sent a missile goalwards, only to see it boxed clear by Ahamada (20')!
13 minutes elapsed before the tricolore international 'keeper was called into action again to deny Ménez (33'). The breakthrough was coming...
After a courageous run down the right flank, Bisevac found Nene six yards out and the Brazilian, with the help of TFC defender Ninkov, opened the scoring for the home side (1-0, 38')! PSG went in front at the best possible time, just before half time...
After the break, TFC's Sissoko - not PSG's - forced a strong save from Sirigu. It was a let off for the capital club and seemed to spur Carlo Ancelotti's men back into action.
The lively Maxwell, in his first game for Les Rouge et Bleu, charged down the left wing and crossed for Ménez but the number 7 was beaten , in extremis, by Toulouse captain Congré (54').
But there was no let off for the visitors. Just two minutes later, Ménez released Pastore through the heart of the PSG defence and he side-footed past Ahamada and into the side netting (2-0, 56')!
Les Rouge et Bleu were celebrating and the fans in the packed Parc des Princes were being treated to an attacking master class. As so often at home, Nene was at the heart of everything. On the counterattack, Pastore found Nene in space down the right and the Brazilian cut inside before Ahamada for a second time (3-0, 68')!
Paris were in irresistible form and it wouldn't have taken much for Gameiro, one-on-one (71'), and then Chantôme, with his first touch (86), to add a fourth. In the end, it was Braaten, unmarked three metres out who took full advantage of a rare chance to net a consolation goal for the visitors (3-1, 88').
Pastore still had time to hit the woodwork (90'), and Gameiro to sting Ahamada's palms (90+1') without any further change to the scoreboard. At the end of a stunning second-half display, the final whistle confirmed PSG's winning start to 2012 - a win that keeps the capital club three points clear atop the Ligue 1 standings and put a smile on the faces of the 44,669 in the Parc... and a certain Carlo Ancelotti!