Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • Austerity row overshadows French Socialist’s annual rally

    Read more

  • UN peacekeepers battle jihadists in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • Egypt sentences Brotherhood leader Badie to life

    Read more

  • EU leaders meet in Brussels to seek a response to Russia

    Read more

  • Ceasfire allows Gaza families to relax on the beach

    Read more

  • S. Africa condemns 'military coup' in Lesotho

    Read more

  • Kerry calls for 'coalition of nations' to battle IS militants

    Read more

  • Ukrainian plane with seven on board crashes in Algeria

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns Russia of more sanctions

    Read more

  • IMF backs Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Suriname leader’s son pleads guilty to courting Hezbollah

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

Sport

PSG edge Valencia to reach Champions League quarters

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-03-07

Paris Saint-Germain qualified Wednesday for their first Champions League quarter-final tie since 1995 after completing a 3-2 aggregate win over Valencia with a 1-1 draw on home turf.

Paris Saint-Germain advanced to the quarter-finals of the Champions League on Wednesday after a 1-1 draw with Valencia at the Parc des Princes allowed them to progress 3-2 on aggregate.

They had to survive something of a scare, however, with Jonas putting the visitors in front on the night 10 minutes into the second half.

Valencia had looked very much out of this last-16 tie when they were 2-0 down going into the final minute of the first leg last month, but after pulling a late goal back there, Jonas' strike left them needing just one more to complete a remarkable turnaround.

Alas, it was not to be for the Spaniards, as Ezequiel Lavezzi -- who had also scored at the Mestalla -- levelled on the night in the 66th minute and PSG held out to secure their place in the last eight for the first time since 1995.

Given the ambitions of the French capital side's mega-rich Qatari owners, failing to make it through would have been nothing short of a disaster, especially given the way they played for most of the first leg.

"We deserved our qualification over the two legs," said PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti.

"We didn't play in a relaxed manner in the first half, but paradoxically it was after Valencia scored that we started to play and cause them problems."

Valencia coach Ernesto Valverde was visibly disappointed with the result but admitted that he could not criticise his players for their performance.

"It was a hard-fought game," he said. "We wanted to score the first goal and make them nervous, but in the end it wasn't to be.

"I am satisfied with the way the team played, even if I'm not happy to be out."

Just as in the first leg, Ancelotti's side seemed happy for Valencia to have most of the possession, but they lacked the same punch on the breakaway this time and almost paid dearly for inviting Valencia on to them.

Despite being deprived of Zlatan Ibrahimovic due to suspension following his sending-off at the Mestalla, Ancelotti opted not to hand a first Champions League start of the season to Kevin Gameiro, and PSG lacked any kind of reference point in attack as a result.

David Beckham, meanwhile, started on the bench and that was where he stayed for the night.

The first real chance of the game fell the Spanish side's way, with Roberto Soldado testing goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu quarter of an hour in.

PSG were struggling to find any rhythm, and were disrupted even more when Christophe Jallet was forced off before the half-hour mark, seemingly due to an injury, with Gregory Van der Wiel taking his place.

But for all their dominance of possession, Valencia could not seriously trouble Sirigu, with Jonas and Tino Costa both missing the target before the Brazilian had a powerful shot beaten away by the 'keeper just before the interval.

For PSG, that served as a warning of what was to come, with Valverde signalling his intent by throwing on creator Ever Banega for midfield destroyer David Albelda at half-time.

He was rewarded for his positivity when Jonas struck soon after the restart, his powerful effort from 20 yards surprising Sirigu at his near post.

Suddenly a tie that had appeared to be limping towards a tame stalemate had come to life, and Ancelotti finally turned to Gameiro.

The striker, who Valencia had wanted to sign in 2011 when PSG lured him from Lorient, looked lively as soon as he was thrown on for midfielder Thiago Motta in the 58th minute, and he made PSG's equaliser on the night just before the midway point in the second half.

After driving through the middle of the Valencia defence, he got the break of the ball, but it was Lavezzi who shot, and then converted at the second attempt after 'keeper Vicente Guaita had blocked his initial effort.

It was Lavezzi's fifth goal in the Champions League this season, confirming that PSG do not rely solely on Ibrahimovic to score when it really matters.

 

(AFP)

Date created : 2013-03-06

  • Football

    Real Madrid beats Man U 2-1 to head to Champions League quarter finals

    Read more

  • FOOTBALL

    PSG ruin Marseille's French Cup dreams with 2-0 win

    Read more

  • FRENCH FOOTBALL

    Qataris want Wayne Rooney to join Beckham at PSG

    Read more

COMMENT(S)