David Beckham proves he can do more at PSG than sell replica shirts
David Beckham made his first start for Paris Saint-Germain last night in a 2-0 victory over Marseille in the Coupe de France.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic grabbed both goals for the homeside, and with Beckham providing stability and guile in the middle of the park, PSG were good value for their victory.
It was an eventful game for Beckham, who was booked late on for squaring up to Jordan Ayew. As well as displaying his array of sweeping passes and trademark crosses, the former England captain found himself embroiled in midfield clashes with Joey Barton – who incidentally gestured to Zlatan Ibrahimovic about the size of the Swede’s nose – and in the thick of scuffles and midfield combat.
PSG manager Carlo Ancelotti – who worked with Beckham at AC Milan – gave the 37-year-old a deep centre midfield berth, occupying the space infront of the back four and the former LA Galaxy man impressed.
Although known for his crossing ability above anything else, Beckham looked equally comfortable and effective in this centre midfield position. He used his role to ping balls over the top for Ibrahimovic and Kevin Gameiro to latch onto.
Despite being his first competitive start for nearly three months, Beckham lasted 86 minutes, until he was substituted by Ancelotti. By the time Beckham departed, the game was already won for PSG, and the league and cup double is still very much on, as is the Uefa Champions League.
Despite being without the likes of Lucas Moura and Javier Pastore in the starting line up, the homeside created a lot of chances in the first half, and could have easily been more than 1-0 ahead at the break, with Ibrahimovic failing to connect with the ball from only a few yards out.
In the second Le Classique in four days, Marseille midfielder Barton – who impressed in the Ligue 1 game on Sunday – was keen to eclipse the influence of Beckham, but despite his industry, he was mainly outclassed by his fellow Englishman.
In the second half, PSG continued to enjoy the majority of possession, and when Ibrahimovic converted from the spot, the tie was over.
Prior to the game, all eyes were on Beckham and how he would perform in his first start for the Parisian club. All in all, it is fair to say the former Manchester United player impressed. He looked in good physical condition, and he still possesses that quality of pinging a pass 50-plus yards and still finding his man.
To begin with, many thought Beckham would be more use off the pitch rather than on it, in terms of raising the already high profile of PSG and selling shirts, but last night’s performance showed that the midfielder still has a lot to offer.
PSG’s reward for beating Marseille in the last-16, is a tie with Evian.Tagged in: David Beckham, football
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