Paris Saint-Germain marked what could be the last game in a glorious career for David Beckham with a convincing win over Brest, running out a dominant 3-1 winnersin a result that never looked in doubt.
The veteran midfielder rose to the occasion with a corner that set up Blaise Matuidi for one of the goals, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic made his mark by scoring two stunning efforts as the champions cruised to three more points.
With the Ligue 1 title sewn up and Brest already condemned to relegation, the path was clear for David Beckham to take center stage at the Parc des Princes. Playing in what most likely would be his final professional match, the former England international's first touch was greeted with rapturous applause and he proceeded to delight the crowd with his long passing, struck with precision across the pitch.
Of course, there was one man who was never likely to let the ex-Manchester United star take all the spotlight. With just a handful of minutes played, a slick passing move executed from deep culminated with Clement Chantome laying off to Ibrahimovic. The Swede's first touch took him effortlessly past his marker, and Alexis Thebaux was beaten with an emphatic finish to give PSG the lead.
Brest did not give up, and went close on a number of occasions from deep. The pick of the visitors' chances came from Kamel Chafni, who forced a good save from Salvatore Sirigu, as well as Adama Ba whose vicious effort from outside the box was tipped wide by the keeper.
There was no way Paris' party would be spoiled, however. A Beckham corner directed to the penalty spot found Blaise Matuidi, who was criminally unmarked. The midfielder somehow made contact with a left-footed volley that bounced wickedly out of Thebaux's grasp and into the net. The advantage was widened further with a stunning free kick from Ibrahimovic, who smashed in from 30 yards out to put the match already out of Brest's reach.
After that frenetic, action-packed first 45 minutes the tempo dropped somewhat after the break, with PSG taking the opportunity to change things around and seemingly settling for the three-goal margin. The newly-crowned champion dominated possession across the field, stroking the ball around without pushing too hard for another strike.
There were still opportunities, however. A wonderful lofted pass from Beckham found Kevin Gameiro in the area, and the forward's diving header narrowly missed out on marking the fourth goal of the evening. Gameiro was later thwarted again on a one-on-one before substitute Lucas went close. Despite a late consolation from Charlison Benschop there was no threat of an upset, and the hosts cruised to a convincing victory on a very special evening.
Beckham was taken off with 10 minutes to play, and the former England international was clearly emotional as he left the pitch, exchanging embraces with all of his teammates both on the field and on the sideline.
The victory moves PSG onto 80 points with one game still to play in Ligue 1, while Brest remains rooted to the bottom of the table.
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- Sports & Recreation
- David Beckham
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic
- Blaise Matuidi