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 dominant 3-1 winners at Parc des Princes on Saturday evening.
The veteran midfielder who left the parc des princes in tears after being made the captain for his final fixture, rose to the occasion with a corner that set up Blaise Matuidi for his goal, 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 limelight was reserved for David Beckham to take centre stage – and the captain’s armband for the night. Playing in what could be his final match as a professional, the former England international’s first touch was greeted with rapturous applause and he proceeded to delight the crowd with some stunning long passing, struck with precision across the pitch.
Of course, there was one man who was never likely to let the ex-Manchester United and Real Madrid star hog the attention. With just a handful of minutes played, a slick passing move executed from deep culminated with Clement Chantome laying off to Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swede’s first touch took him effortlessly past his marker, and Alexis Thebaux was beaten with an emphatic finish.
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 spoilt, however. A Beckham corner directed to the penalty spot found the unmarked Blaise Matuidi, who 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 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 champions 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 when through one-on-one before substitute Lucas also went close.
Charlison Benschop netted a late consolation, but there was little threat of a comeback, and the Parc des Princes rose to its feet en masse once more as Beckham was substituted shortly after the goal. Visibly emotional, the former LA Galaxy star was embraced by the whole PSG side before departing the pitch for Ezequiel Lavezzi, and he was thrown in the air by the squad after the final whistle as les Parisiens finally got their hands on the Ligue 1 trophy.
The victory moves PSG onto 80 points with one game still to play in Ligue 1, while Brest remain rooted to the bottom of the table.