Putting money on Zlatan Ibrahimovic to finish 2012-2013 as the top scorer and player of the season in France is an easy decision to make. He began his Ligue 1 career by scoring twice to save PSG from an opening day defeat at home against Lorient, which might show that PSG won’t have it as easy, at least in the early goings, as most have predicted.
No Lucas Moura or Thiago Silva because of Brazil’s losing effort in the Olympic final, but still, from a team that has spent over €150 million over the last couple of summers, already through the growing pains of the first season and finishing behind Montpellier in the title race, we expected more.
It’s funny to say, but Paris did have more than a few players missing. Not that it stopped them from having a front three based on Lavezzi, Ibrahimovic and Menez, while Nene, Matuidi and Gameiro got to strengthen the team from the bench. Not Thiago Motta, no Javier Pastore, the engine and creative force of this team, did have its effect.
Was it a great game from Zlatan? Not really. Like everyone on PSG, he didn’t really show up in the first half. But he got a goal back for PSG, already 2-0 down at that point, 64 minutes into the match. They were lucky that the visitors conceded a foolish penalty, and Ibrahimovic converted from the spot.
The excitement from the fans before the match for Zlatan’s debut got repaid by his production, good game or not. For Carlo Ancelotti’s second season? Not as much, but he did have quite a few pieces of him mega-club project missing.
It may not be worthy of an excuse, but he did have at least five integral players missing. On opening day you’re still allowed to make mistakes and not play your best. That kind of forgiveness, from media and fans, won’t be easily won by the Italian manager if this season fails to take off, full lineup or not.