Champions League

Cavani, PSG fight past Olympiakos

Champions League: Paris Saint-Germain vs. Olympiakos
Champions League: Paris Saint-Germain vs. Olympiakos
Share This Story

   
 

Ten-man Paris St. Germain made sure of their place in the last 16 of the Champions League as winners of Group C after battling to a 2-1 win over Olympiacos on Wednesday night.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's eighth goal of the European campaign had the hosts in the driving seat but the dismissal of PSG midfielder Marco Verratti just moments into the second half gave hope to the Greek visitors.

PSG nevertheless were wasteful with a number of chances to extend their lead and Olympiacos made them pay when Kostas Manolas levelled from a corner 10 minutes from time.

But there was still time for a winner as Edinson Cavani beat the offside trap in the final minute to fire beyond the helpless Roberto.

The win sees PSG move six points clear at the summit with just one game remaining, while Olympiacos must win against Anderlecht in their final group outing to be sure of joining the Parisians in the knockout stage.

The hosts took the lead after seven minutes when PSG right-back Gregory Van Der Wiel galloped down the wing and sent in a low deflected cross that fell perfectly for Ibrahimovic, who finished high into the net.

Olympiacos were far from overawed against their expensively-assembled opposition, however, and Konstantinos Mitroglou went close with a volleyed effort that drew a smart stop down low from Salvatore Sirigu.

Mitroglou came close again in the 33rd minute when he worked space for a clear shot on goal from inside the box but rather scuffed his effort and Sirigu was able to make a routine stop.

ALL OUT AFFAIR

Relive the best action shots from the UEFA Champions League.

Five minutes before the break Cavani almost doubled the hosts' lead when he was played in behind the defense but his well-hit drive was well parried away by Roberto.

PSG appeared to be well in command when the match restarted but the second half was just 20 seconds old when they were reduced to 10 men as Verratti picked up a second booking for a needless pull-back on David Fuster, having already been cautioned for handball in the first period.

Verratti's lack of discipline was also bad news for PSG striker Ezequiel Lavezzi, who was sacrificed moments later with coach Laurent Blanc forced to bulk up his depleted midfield by bringing on Adrien Rabiot.

Despite the bother in the home ranks they very nearly doubled their lead in the 51st minute when Ibrahimovic's ferocious free-kick from 35 yards was kept out by Roberto's spectacular flying save.

With an hour gone PSG threatened again, Ibrahimovic again the danger man with a powerful strike from the edge of the area that was always rising too quickly.

Roberto had to be alert in the 72nd minute to keep the deficit to one as he got down quickly to parry away Rabiot's well-struck 20-yarder.

PSG appeared comfortable despite being a man down but a corner with 10 minutes remaining changed all that as Olympiacos forced a controversial equalizer.

Alejandro Dominguez appeared offside when his initial shot from Manolas' flick-on was saved by Sirigu, but Manolas was not about to stand around waiting for the assistant's flag and lashed the ball home.

PSG refused to let the game ebb away, however, and in the final minute Marquinhos sprung the offside trap to set Cavani on his way and the Uruguayan did the rest with an agricultural toe-poke beyond the wrong-footed Roberto.

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

SOCCER Videos

Alfredo Di Stefano 1926-2014 Posted: Jul 08, 2014
Mario Melchiot reacts to the passing of Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano an...

Recap of Real Madrid's tenth Champions League title Posted: Jul 08, 2014
The FOX Soccer crew breaks down everything from the UEFA Champions League Final ...

Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid UEFA Champions League Final Highlights 05/24/14 Posted: May 24, 2014
Relive all of the action between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid in the 2014 UEF...

Real Madrid lifts Champions League trophy Posted: May 24, 2014
Watch Real Madrid lift the 2014 UEFA Champions League trophy.

Ronaldo goal seals Real Madrid’s Champions League title Posted: May 24, 2014
Check out the Cristiano Ronaldo goal that sealed Real Madrid's 4-1 victory again...