PSG see off Dynamo to seal spot in knockout phase
KIEV (AFP) –
“Crisis” club Paris Saint-Germain clinched a place in the last 16 of the Champions League on Wednesday after beating Dynamo Kiev 2-0 in the Ukrainian capital.
The result moved PSG onto 12 points with Porto on 13 after their 3-0 win over lowly Dinamo Zagreb in Portugal, leaving the two sides to duel it out for top spot when they meet at the Parc des Princes in a fortnight.
PSG goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu, who produced made several fine saves, admitted to Canal+ afterwards: “It was a difficult match, we knew that. Fortunately, we scored two goals at important moments, particularly the second. But away from home it’s never easy.
“After the match against Rennes, we did some self-assessment, it was an attitude problem. We perhaps needed that shock to help us improve.”
Manager Carlo Ancelotti had conceded the club was “in a crisis” following a string of poor results including an embarrassing 2-1 home reverse to nine-man Rennes on Saturday, but the return of star man Zlatan Ibrahimovic from his domestic suspension was a welcome sight for the Parisians.
Alex spurned an excellent chance to give PSG the lead inside the opening 10 minutes as he powered a header wide, but the Brazilian defender quickly redeemed himself at the other end with an excellent sliding block to deny Ideye Brown.
Oleh Gusev’s long-range strike drew an unconvincing save out of Sirigu with Alex reacting quickly to clear the aftermath before Brown could pounce on the loose ball.
The Italian did considerably better to keep out Gusev’s header moments later although Dynamo should have gone in front as Denys Garmash inexplicably fired wide from the rebound with the goal at his mercy.
A cleverly-worked free-kick saw Kiev’s Maxym Koval dive low to his right to save from Ibrahimovic, while Miguel Veloso had Sirigu again sprawling across his line as his 25-yard set-piece drifted just wide.
Ibrahimovic was a peripheral figure for much of the first half, but having assisted all four goals in PSG’s 4-0 rout of Dinamo Zagreb last time out, there was no surprise as the talismanic Swede played an integral role in Lavezzi’s first goal just before the break.
Lavezzi laid the ball off to Ibrahimovic before continuing his run as the latter slipped in a perfectly-weighted pass to the Argentine, who lifted the ball over Koval with aplomb.
Lavezzi added to his tally seven minutes after the restart as Matuidi pounced on an under-hit backpass from Yevhen Khacheridi before squaring to the South American, who steered the ball into an unguarded net.
Sirigu then made a brilliant fingertip save to prevent Dudu from reducing the deficit after his shot looped up off the heel of Gregory van der Wiel before holding well from Lukman Haruna.
Dudu also found the PSG shot-stopper in top form, while Artem Milevsky headed wide in injury time as the the visitors put an end to their two-game winless run.