MARRAKECH, Morocco (AFP) – French champions Paris Saint-Germain finished 2014 with a victory as a second half goal from Yohan Cabaye handed them a narrow 1-0 victory over Serie A side Inter Milan on Tuesday in Morocco.
In a prestige friendly, held in the North African country recently stripped of the right to host the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations, PSG coach Laurent Blanc made numerous changes at the Grand Stade in front of some 30,000 supporters.
Former Newcastle favourite Cabaye grabbed the only goal of the match on 57 minutes when he converted following sustained pressure from the capital club.
Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani was a notable absentee along with Argentinian Ezequiel Lavezzi, while talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic was given a chance to prove his return to fitness and lasted the full 90 minutes.
“It was a good match,” said Swede Ibrahimovic. “We’ve had a super three days here with very intensive training sessions. Winning is good for the confidence but the most important thing is to work well to prepare the second part of the season.”
Meanwhile, Blanc said he would be awaiting “some explications” from both Cavani and Lavezzi, who missed the training camp in Morocco.
“They’ll arrive on (January) 2 in the morning in Paris,” explained Blanc, who refused to be drawn on a possible transfer of either of the two players when the window opens on Saturday.
“We can’t say that today. We’re going to wait until they arrive,” he said. “We’ll expect some explanations, and then we’ll make sporting decisions as a club.”
Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini, meanwhile, said that the Italian club had not been in contact with Lavezzi. “Lavezzi is a great player, but he’s a PSG player. There is no contact and it’s not for me to contact him,” said Mancini.
PSG are currently third in Ligue 1, but only three points behind leaders and arch rivals Marseille, while they also have a key Champions League last-16 tie against Chelsea looming large in February.
Their next competitive match is against 2012 Ligue 1 champions Montpellier in the French Cup on January 5.