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UEFA Champions League
October 2, 2013
• Parc des Princes, Paris
Referee: N. Rizzoli
• Attendance: 44732
Z. Ibrahimovic 5', 30'
90' + 3'
FULL-TIME: Paris Saint-Germain 3-0 Benfica - the damage done in the first 30 minutes as PSG overpower their Portuguese opponents.
90' + 2'
Benfica running down the clock, staying in their own half, gently knocking it around the defence. Andre Gomes forward, towards Sulejmani, but it ends with Cardozo firing a low shot narrowly wide.
Into the first of three minutes of additional time at the Parc des Princes. PSG set to remain top of Group C, a 100% win record, and seven goals in two Champions League group games so far.
Adrien Rabiot, the young France Under 19 midfielder, strikes a shot on goal, blocked by veteran Benfica defender Luisao. He's been the better of the defenders tonight.
Cavani and Ibrahimovic combine with some slick one-two passing, but it's thwarted by Ezequiel Garay. Five minutes to go.
Sulejmani's corner dealt with easily by PSG, as Cavani leads the break, but Matic is on hand to dispossess the striker, and PSG are forced to start from the back.
Lazar Markovic wins a corner for Benfica. Seven minutes to go, can they gain some sort of consolation?
ANDRE GOMES! Tame once more. Easy take for Salvatore Sirigu, who hasn't really been offered a credible threat in front of goal.
Alex, substituted just moments ago, completed his 60th UEFA Champions League appearance. He's also turned out for PSV and Chelsea in this competition.
In truth, this encounter really looked over inside 30 minutes, and that hasn't changed in the second period. PSG, except from brief moments, have been pedestrian, and Benfica have offered very little.
SUBSTITUTION - PSG: Final change of the game - Zoumana Camara replaces Alex.
Both Ibrahimovic and Cavani have had golden chances in the last few moments, but it remains 3-0 still. Over in Brussels, it's Anderlecht 0-2 Olympiakos.
CAVANI!! It's just not going in for him this evening. A fabulous chance presented to the Uruguayan. Van der Wiel races forward, and his cross into the box is saved by Artur, spilled again, and Cavani attempts a low shot, blocked away by the goalkeeper.
RABIOT!! IBRAHIMOVIC!! There was the chance to make it 4-0, and for Ibrahimovic to notch his hat-trick! Rabiot with a superb turn, bamboozling his opponent. Cannot get an opportunity, but turns with a strike, saved well by Artur. Spilled by the goalkeeper, and Ibrahimovic, losing a bit of composure, fires over the bar.
SUBSTITUTION: Lucas Moura on for Ezequiel Lavezzi. A decent evening from the Argentine, who contriuted well to the attack.
SUBSTITUTION - PSG: Adrien Rabiot on for Marco Verratti. The dimunitive Italian goes off to a roar of applause after his stellar evening tonight. Rabiot on for the final 20 minutes.
Guillerme Siqueira has had a mixed night this evening, especially on the defensive front. Concedes a free-kick for a foul on Gregory van der Wiel.
SULEJMANI!! Good effort, with his first touch of the ball! Fed through on the edge of the box. and his initial shot is spilled by Sirigu, before PSG control the loose ball.
SUBSTITUTION - Benfica: Third and final change from the Eagles, as Miralem Sulejmani comes on for the ineffective Nico Gaitan.
Cavani again latching onto a brilliant pass from the midfield on the right hand side. First time cross into the danger zone, and it's well dealt with by captain Luisao.
Cavani making good progress on the right, but he's under pressure from the defender Siqueira. The Uruguayan hasn't really excelled this evening. It seems to be either he or Ibrahimovic who performs. Neither can complement each other.
Salvatore Sirigu has had precious little to do this evening, as Oscar Cardozo strikes his effort well over the bar. Poor effort.
Past the hour mark as Enzo Perez powers through the midfield, dispossessed by Verratti. Cavani forward, towards Ibrahimovic with a deft pass, but the move breaks down.
GAITAN! Another half-chance for Jorge Jesus' side, and les Parisiens deal with it accordingly. The creative Argentine hasn't really made an impact this evening, making his first start in over a month.
Free-kick Benfica after a late lunge from Verratti on Guillerme Siqiueira. The young Italian is trying his best not to get a booking.
Perez with the corner headed away, but Gaitan resurrects the move, attempting to dribble past his marker. Towards Perez, though the Argentine can only fire the wayward shot over the bar.
Benfica with the half-chance at the other end, as Markovic's progress is kept in check by Thiago Motta's well timed slide tackle. Corner to the Eagles, and Luisao is up for this.
And so it continues. The chants of 'Ole' have begun around the stadium as Verratti and Matuidi continue to sap the energy of the Portuguese side. The fun ends when Almeida concedes a free-kick after challenging Ibrahimovic.
Lovely passing moves from Paris Saint-Germain, who are knocking the ball around so nonchalantly around their own half. Bit of a mockery if you're a Benfica can!
Thiago Motta with a fine pass forward, attempting to connect with Cavani, but Luisao on hand to deflect the ball away.
PSG have started the second half at a slower pace compared to the first. Laurent Blanc likely to start resting his players ahead of the Ligue 1 Classique against Olympique de Marseille on Sunday.
GARAY! Brilliant free-kick, well struck, and it's palmed away by Sirigu. Great save it was too, not sure how much of the ball he saw, or how late he saw it, but stunning save.
Yellow Card Alex
YELLOW CARD - Alex: The Brazilian is booked for a late challenge on the edge of the area on Nicolas Gaitan. What can Benfica conjure up here?
SUBSTITUTION - Benfica: Lazar Markovic on for Filip Djuricic.
UNDERWAY IN PARIS! PSG get us started, attacking from right to left in this half. One change to report at half-time for Benfica.
The teams are out for the second half in Paris.
HT stats: Passing - PSG 454 Benfica 171 - Shots (on target) PSG 5 (4) Benfica 5 (1) - possession counts PSG 70% Benfica 30%
HT: Stunning first half performance from PSG, arguably their best under Laurent Blanc. They've taken advantage of Benfica's defensive frailties, and deservedly lead by a sizeable margin at the break. Join me again in 15 minutes for the second half.
45' + 1'
HALF-TIME: Paris Saint-Germain 3-0 Benfica (Marquinhos, Ibrahimovic x2)
Benfica continuing to chase the ball to no avail, with the French champions easily retaining possession. That'll be the end of the first half.
A minute towards half-time, and we'll likely be having just one minute of stoppage time.
LAVEZZI! Denied by Luisao. Great bit of play from the Argentine who cleverly takes the ball away from Perez, races down the left, but the ball is swiped away at the death after Lavezzi delivered in a dangerous pass into the box.
GARAY! Hit and hope from the Argentine. Corner delivered in by Nico Gaitan, headed away, towards the defender who hoofs one well over the bar. Not good at all.
Siqueira with a fine run forward, providing some skill with a heel-chop as the ball flies towards Perez, but the shot is blocked by Matuidi.
Motta brings the ball forward in the middle, towards Verratti, but the Italy international is dispossessed by Andre Gomes. Towards Gaitan, whose cross into the box is headed on by Enzo Perez. Nevertheless, Alex gets the ball away.
Edging towards half-time, eight minutes left at the Parc des Princes in what has been an intriguing first half. PSG haven't even moved out of second gear, but have taken full control of tonight's encounter.
Yellow Card Gregory van der Wiel
YELLOW CARD - Van der Wiel (PSG): The Dutch international is booked for a late lunge on Guillerme Siqueira.
An excited looking Paolo Maldini is watching in the director's box at the Parc des Princes. I'm sure he won't be enjoying the defending on show from Benfica!
Yellow Card N. Gaitán
PSG scored three goals from set-pieces against Olympiakos, and have two from set-pieces tonight. A huge threat.
The Parc des Princes is rocking with excitement after a wondrous first half performance from the French champions. Benfica have been blown apart in 30 minutes, and you have to say, it's from their own undoing.
Assist Thiago Motta
Goal Zlatan Ibrahimovic
GOAL!! PSG 3-0 BENFICA!! IBRAHIMOVIC!! Wow, wow, wow. PSG's opponents cannot defend set-pieces in the Champions League. Another corner, drifted in deep from Motta, met by Ibrahimovic. It's an easy jump for him, and Artur is nowhere!
Corner to PSG, and again it's the product of some shocking defending. The ball in from Motta is deep, but no one is trying to get it away, but in the end, PSG win another setpiece.
SUBSTITUTION - Benfica: It appears that Lubomir Fejsa cannot continue in this first half, and will depart. On comes Andre Gomes.
Lubomir Fejsa appears hurt here, and requires some medical attention. Break in play here at the Parc des Princes.
Great assist across the face of goal by Blaise Matuidi, but what about Marquinhos? The 19-year-old defender has two goals in two games - scored against Toulouse at the weekend. Also notched on matchday one!
GOAL! PSG 2-0 BENFICA - MARQUINHOS!!!!!!! The young Brazilian confirms what I've been saying a few moments ago. Fantastic goal from les Parisiens. The corner is not dealt with at all, as Verratti slides a fine pass forward on the edge of the box, towards the face of goal and tapped in by Marquinhos!
Corner to PSG, conceded after a good run out on the flanks. Edging towards the midway point of the first half, what can PSG fathom?
Marquinhos continuing to show his great potential and promise, producing a well-timed interception. Managed the same a few moments ago, blocking off Djuricic when it appeared that Benfica were open.
Opening up, this one. The ball is played into Oscar Cardozo, who hasn't really earned any service from his midfielders tonight. The Paraguayan strikes a ball onto Alex, before ploughing forward and edging towards Filip Djuricic. Djuricic is offside, nonetheless.
IBRAHIMOVIC! Well wide. Poor effort from the Swede, who already has one tonight. Holds off a Benfica defender, and drives a low shot towards goal, but that's no problem for Artur.
Free-kick to PSG after Nemanja Matic is adjudged to have gone in late on Marco Verratti.
Siqiueira! Wasted effort from the full-back. Benfica break at pace, and the loose ball is laid into the path of Siqiueira, who fires well over the bar.
In tonight's other game in Group C - Olympiakos have travelled to Brussels to face RSC Anderlecht, the score there is 1-0 to the Greeks, courtesy of a strike from Kostas Mitroglou.
Tense moment for Benfica as Lavezzi attempts to gain possession inside their own box, with Artur having to hurry away a clearance.
Fantastic movement from PSG, as Ibrahimovic and Lavezzi change positions, with each alternating on the wing for periods of time. Cavani up front, for now.
Filip Djuricic ventures forward, connecting with Perez on the outside, but he's forced back by an efficient Parisien defence at the minute.
Good effort from Gregory van der Wiel, after he's fed through by Cavani. Under pressure from Siquiera, he diverts a ball goalwards. Tame as it is, saved easily by Artur.
PSG break at will on the counter attack, with Lavezzi providing the orward run, aiming to link up with Ibrahimovic. Great block from Luisao to deny the hosts, as Benfica recover.
Free-kick to Benfica afer Matuidi was adjudged to have fouled Oscar Cardozo. The Paraguayan forward is a threat up front for les Parisiens this evening. Ten minutes gone.
Comfortable so far for les Parisiens as Lavezzi ventures out on the right, he attempts to get past Gaitan, who dispossesses him accordingly. Lavezzi was calling for Van der Wiel to make a run on the overlap.
Alex cleans up at the back with a well timed tackle to stop Gaitan from delivering in a cross. Already tonight he's struggled with the pace of the forwards, might be a problem in the remaining time.
Benfica aiming to address that setback with a venture forward of their own. Luisao up at the other end as a cross from the right is flapped at by Salvatore Sirigu. The loose ball is delivered back into the box, but Djuricic cannot get the touch on, as Sirigu claims.
A delightful goal, and one that would seriously disappoint Benfica, who had at this point enjoyed much of the ball, and seeking out chances at the other end. PSG's first foray into the opposition box ends in a goal!
Assist Gregory van der Wiel
Goal Zlatan Ibrahimovic
GOAL! PSG 1-0 BENFICA - A fantastically worked goal from PSG, and it was their first attack of the evening. Verratti with a delicate pass outside for Van der Wiel to give chase, crossed to the far post, simple tap-in for Ibrahimovic.
Good feet shown by Nicolas Gaitan who holds off Alex, and proceeds with a delicate through ball for Guillerme Siqiueira to run onto from the overlap. The left-back just can't keep it in.
Early foul from Andre Almeida on Lavezzi, as both sides begin to settle into a rhythm. Djuricic makes a neat run down the left, but the ball goes out of play.
KICK-OFF - Underway in Paris, Benfica attacking from left to right, in their famous red strip.
Fantastic atmopshere in Paris, as the noise level builds. Kick-off imminent.
Tonight's referee is from Italy. Nicola Rizzoli, who took charge of the 2013 UEFA Champions League final between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich. The sides are out, and the anthem will be played.
TEAM NEWS: Blaise Matuidi passes a late fitness test to feature against the Portuguese outfit, having limped out of training yesterday.It's as you were, for les Parisiens with Alex replacing Zoumana Camara. For Benfica, Guillerme Siquiera and Andre Almeida return, as do Filip Djuricic and Nico Gaitan - the latter making his first start for a month.
SL BENFICA: Artur, Luisão, Siqueira, Garay, Almeida, Fejsa, Djuričić, Gaitán, Matić, Pérez, Cardozo SUBS: Lopes, Pereira, Jardel, Sulejmani, Gomes, Lima, Marković
PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN: Sirigu, Marquinhos, Alex, Maxwell, van der Wiel, Motta, Matuidi, Verratti, Cavani, Ibrahimović, Lavezzi SUBS: Douchez, Camara, Digne, Jallet, Ménez, Rabiot, Lucas
CONFIRMED TEAM NEWS:
Tonight also provides the perfect opportunity for either side to represent their nation in the race for UEFA coefficient points. France and Portugal are both locked in a battle for fifth place - with it, comes a place in the play-off round rather than the 3rd qualifying round of the Champions League.
Benfica are more experienced than their French counterparts in the Champions League - this being their ninth appearance. PSG have been involved in six campaigns. Benfica reached the Europa League final last season, with PSG bowing out in the last eight of the Champions League on away goals against FC Barcelona.
Both these sides featured against each other just two years ago in the Europa League - at a time when PSG, under Antoine Kombouare, were starting to get to grips with their newly acquired riches. Only Christophe Jallet remains from that starting line-up, which included Claude Makelele - now assistant coach.
PSG recorded a 2-0 win over Toulouse FC at the weekend thanks to goals from Marquinhos and Edinson Cavani. In the Primeira Liga, Benfica stuttered to a draw against Belensenses.
Tonight sees the two strongest teams in Group C of the 2013-14 UEFA Champions League go head to head in the French capital. Both sides recorded a win on matchday one as PSG battered Olympiakos in Greece, with Benfica winning at home against Anderlecht.
Good evening, and welcome to live commentary of the Champions League Group C clash between Paris Saint-Germain and SL Benfica at the Parc des Princes. I'm Mohammed Ali, and I'll be guiding you through tonight's encounter.
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