Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Dynamo Kiev 0-2 PSG: El Poccho pockets pair as PSG progress to the Champions League last-16

Crisis? What crisis.

Paris Saint-Germain booked their place in the last-16 of the Champions League with a comfortable 2-0 win over Dynamo Kiev, Ezequiel Lavezzi netting both goals.

"You would probably describe PSG as dangerous floaters in the draw" noted the commentator on my stream, seemingly without any hint of irony. In fairness, anyone who has seen us at times this season would confirm we're more than capable of serving up some right old shit.

Opponents Dynamo Kiev were pretty merde themselves, but at least gave it a better go than when we whooped them 4-1 at the Parc-des-Princes back in September. In fact they probably had the upper hand in a fairly low-key first half: Salvatore Sirigu had to be alert to save twice to deny Oleh Husyev, and on the second occasion Denys Garmash really should have netted the rebound but blazed over from close range.

At the other end Alex was guilty of a similarly terrible miss when he headed Nene's inviting cross over the bar, but PSG's superior attacking quality told just before the break. Lavezzi played a sweet little give-and-go with Ibra, and sprinted into the area before lifting a classy finish over the onrushing Koval.

Lavezzi doubled our lead just after the break after some Kiev defending of Lugano-esque ineptitude. A short backpass let in the tireless Blaise Matuidi (or, as the commentator referred to him, Matoody), who nudged the ball back for El Poccho to sweep into the empty net.

Not much happened after that, with Kiev lacking the craft to trouble Sirigu, even after the introduction of the dangerous Andriy Yarmolenko. The Italian keeper did have to make one tremendous save, adjusting brilliantly to beat away Dudu's deflected shot which appeared to be looping into the corner.

So PSG march on. Sort of. Next up we face Porto at the Parc-des-Princes on December 4 in a match which will decide who wins the group.

It's great to be in the last-16 but I don't think we should kid ourselves: Kiev and Dinamo Zagreb are both deeply average football teams, and though tonight we looked good going forward, with Lavezzi and Nene particularly impressive, there were plenty of shaky moments at the back, with Thiago Silva looking uncharacteristically uncertain.

Much greater challenges lie ahead in the knock-out stages, and a convincing performance is required in the Porto match if we are to prove we can truly live with Europe's top sides.

Man of the Match: Ezequiel Lavezzi - El Poccho opened his account for the club with a brace, and perhaps gave us a taste of what's to come now he's put his injury and suspension problems behind him.


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