PSG takes down rival Marseille as Beckham debuts
By Trung Latieule ,APPARIS -- David Beckham celebrated his Paris Saint-Germain debut by helping to create the second goal as the French leaders beat bitter rival Marseille 2-0 on Sunday.
February 26, 2013, 12:15 am TWN
The 37-year-old former England captain came off the bench in the 76th minute of a tight match and, in stoppage time, his clever flick with the outside of his foot released fellow substitute Jeremy Menez down the left. The subsequent cross was turned in by striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic for his league-leading 22nd goal of the season.
“The manager just told me to go and take the ball. There was a little bit of pressure on tonight, I enjoyed coming on,” Beckham said. “I always knew that coming here and being a part of this team, I was never going to be in the starting 11 straight off, and that's the way I'll probably think for a while.”
After the second goal, Beckham rushed up to Ibrahimovic and jumped into the imposing Sweden striker's arms to the sound of cheers from relieved PSG fans because Marseille had forced eight saves from goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu.
“I needed a fresh player on the pitch. He brought us the quality of his passing, his experience, tactical understanding,” PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti said, praising Beckham's impact.
With midfielder Marco Verratti suspended for Wednesday's French Cup game against Marseille, Ancelotti said Beckham could start.
PSG took the lead in the 11th minute when Brazil winger Lucas' shot deflected off center back Nicolas N'Koulou and wrong-footed goalkeeper Steve Mandanda.
The win keeps PSG three points ahead of second-place Lyon and eight clear of third-place Marseille.
“It was a difficult match against an energetic team which put us under a lot of pressure,” Ancelotti said.
Earlier Sunday, Lyon beat Lorient 3-1 and Bordeaux lost 2-0 at home to Brest, dropping to 10th place.