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September 23, 2017

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Jese strike carries Real to victory over PSG

DOHA, Qatar -- Real Madrid defeated Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 in a prestige friendly played under pouring rain in Doha, Qatar on Thursday.

The only goal of the match was scored by 20-year-old Jese after 19 minutes in front of an enthusiastic crowd who favored the Spanish giants despite the Qatari-ownership of Ligue 1 leaders PSG.

A lively first half produced plenty of open football and good scoring chances but it was Real who struck first.

A defense-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 percent 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.

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