Winning start for Jese as PSG beats Bastia to open Ligue 1

Associated Press

BASTIA, Corsica (AP) — Striker Jese helped set up a goal in his first game for Paris Saint-Germain as the defending French champion started its bid for a fifth straight league title with a 1-0 win Friday at Bastia.

Defender Layvin Kurzawa struck in the 74th minute after winger Angel Di Maria put Jese through. The Spaniard’s shot was blocked by Bastia goalkeeper Jean-Louis Leca before Kurzawa scored from close range.

PSG, which secured the domestic treble in the last two seasons, is expected to dominate the league again this year after recruiting five new players this summer including Hatem Ben Arfa and Jese.

Unai Emery, PSG’s new coach, stayed faithful to the 4-2-3-1 system he used last weekend in the 4-1 win over Lyon in the Champions Trophy, the traditional curtain raiser to the French season.

Ben Arfa played up front, with Lucas and Angel Di Maria deployed on the wings while Javier Pastore operated in a No. 10 position.

Ben Arfa, who joined from Nice during the offseason, made little impact as PSG dominated the first half but struggled to create dangerous attacking moves. The first half’s best chance fell to Bastia forward Enzo Crivelli, who fired a right-footed shot inches wide in the 20th minute after a cross from Allan Saint-Maximin.

In the absence of out-of-form Edinson Cavani, Jese came off the bench as a replacement for Ben Arfa. The former Real Madrid striker left a good impression in his maiden game for PSG, creating a chance that Serge Aurier could not convert before being involved in the decisive move.

Without the injured Radamel Falcao, Monaco had a stuttering start before rallying from a two-goal deficit to secure a 2-2 home draw against Guingamp in the other game played Friday.

After Moustapha Diallo and Sloan Privat gave Guingamp a 2-0 lead with first-half goals at Louis-II stadium, Fabinho pulled one back from the penalty spot in the 70th minute after Bernardo Silva was fouled.

Silva, who missed Portugal’s European Championship victory due to injury, scored with six minutes left when he connected with a back pass from Nabil Dirar to salvage a point.