Real Madrid stiker Jese (centre) scores past Paris Saint Germain (PSG) golkeeper, Sirgu Salvatore during their friendly match at the Khalifa Stadium in Doha, yesterday. Real Madrid won 1-0. BOTTOM: PSG defender Thiago Motto (left) vies with Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo. PICTURES BY: KAMMUTTY VP
DOHA: La Liga giants Real Madrid defeated Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 in a friendly to begin the New year on a winning note.
The only goal of the match was scored by 20-year-old Jese 19 minutes into the match in front of an enthusiastic crowd who braved a conistent drizzle which made its presence for a mjor part of the match.
A lively first half produced plenty of open football and good scoring chances but it was Real who struck first playing with out stiker Gareth Bale.
A defence-splitting pass from Alvaro Morata allowed Jese to get behind the PSG back four and the young striker made no mistake as he slotted the ball past Italian ‘keeper Salvatore Sirigu.
The under-21 international, who made his debut under former coach Jose Mourinho in 2011, has seen his first-team chances limited but took his opportunity with aplomb under the wet Doha conditions.
“For us, it was a preparation match so we don’t really consider it to be a defeat, it was more of a training excercise,” said PSG’s Brazilian left-back Maxwell.
“The most important thing for us is Sunday and our match in the French Cup (against second division side Brest).
“We’re not at 100 per cent and could still feel the effects of the holiday season in our legs,” he added.
The goal came slightly against the run of play as Laurent Blanc’s men conjured up the best of the first-half chances, notably a golden opportunity for Edinson Cavani, who botched his one-on-one duel with Real ‘keeper Diego Lopez. The Uruguayan’s shot from point-blank range, just two minutes before the opening goal, was superbly blocked by Lopez.
The French club again enjoyed most of the possession after the break and Zlatan Ibrahimovic almost scored with a close-range header minutes after the restart, although the offside flag was up.
Blanc and his Italian counterpart Carlo Ancelotti shook up their starting line-ups and there was no further scoring, as Jese’s lone goal separated the sides.
“It was a good game, not easy to play, (considering) we were playing after a gap (mid-season Christmas break for La Liga), and PSG also had a mid-season break, so it was not an easy match, but the end result was good for us,” Ancelotti said.
This was the second win for Ancelotti over his former club PSG within six months.
PSG coach Laurent Blanc was happy with his winter tour preparations in Qatar.
“Actually it was a nice game… We had our chances but unfortunately we couldn’t convert them into goals. I think it was a good preparation for upcoming Ligue 1 matches,” said Blanc.