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UEFA Champions League
25 October 2012
• Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb
Referee: F. Aydinus
• Attendance: 9326
Z. Ibrahimovic 33'
J. Ménez 43'
And there it is, the full-time whistle a fairly comfortable game for Les Parisiens who have strengthened their position in the group with this victory. Ibrahimovic could have scored four on a night where the hosts simply couldn't handle the power, skill and aerial threat of the Swede, complimented by the skill of Menez. Zagreb are staring elimination in the face with no points and no goals after three games, thanks for being with us tonight, I'm Craig Turnbull have a good evening.
90' + 3'
CHANCE! Well Zagreb trying their best to at least get a consolation, Sammir fizzes a shot towards goal it is punched by Sirigu and Rukavina also comes close with a flurry of chances towards the end.
90' + 2'
GREAT CHANCE! Hoarau again with the opportunity, lovely ball in from the left-hand side and Hoarau, who has scored a lot of goals in France, can't find the net on this occasion.
90' + 1'
Well Halilovic - the 16-year-old who they have high hopes for in Croatia, comes on for the final few minutes of the match. One to watch out for in the future.
GOAAAALLL, well almost. Substitute Hoarau jumps powerfully in the air to meet the cross at the back post. He rises above Vrsaljko but is adjudged to have fouled him. Looked like a fair jump to me!
PSG have had the lions share of possession in this game with over 60% it has been a thoroughly professional performance and they should have scored more.
PSG now just looking to see the game out, Zagreb really havn't troubled the visitors' defence, and it looks as if the Ligue 1 leaders will be strengthening their position in Group A.
CHANCE!! And it's that man Ibrahimovic well he is not content with trying to score normal goals, instead the ball comes in and he tries a speculative scissor kick, when really a header would have been satisfactory, and he blazes over the bar.
CHANCE!!! Brozovic, ensures the damage is limited as PSG should be three up. The ball comes in from the corner by Pastore and it is a free header but the midfielder on the line, heads it onto the bar.
Simunic prevents an almost certain goal there, Ibrahimovic plays in Menez and he tries to nonchalantly run into the box with the ball but the defender gets back to thwart the danger.
Another attack comes from Sammir, he really has gave everything for Zagreb, but he just hasn't had the support when driving forward and eventually gets outmuscled and outnumbered.
Lovely play for PSG there! The game finally comes to life in the second half as Menez sprays the ball out wide on the right with a lovely diagonal pass, the ball is met by Jallet, who dinks into Sissoko and his first-time effort is marginally wide of the goal.
Yellow CardBlaise Matuidi
Sammir tries a long range effort but it goes harmlessly over the bar, it was ability to create the chance and get away from his man but the finish didn't match the build up.
The game at times is pedestrian which won't bother PSG too much but Zagreb really need to find another gear here.
CHANCE! Well Ibrahimovic really should have made it three, right through on goal, and instead of drilling the ball past the keeper, he tries an audacious chip which he gets wrong.
The free-kick comes to nothing as Sammir slams the ball off substitute Camara, a wasted opportunity they need to do better from that sort of position.
Mohamed Lamine Sissoko
And Zagreb win a free-kick in a very dangerous position, Sammir would surely fancy his chances from this sort of range.
PSG controlling possession, they look very comfortable here.
Zagreb need to find a goal in this match from somewhere but it's not for their lack of effort of trying that they havn't, they've yet to really trouble Sirigu in the visitors' goal.
Menez again stamping his authority on the match uses full-back Maxwell's run to create space for himself, but he blasts over the bar.
Sammir has one of the few chances in this match for the hosts' Vrsaljko found space down the right hand side he's fired a cross into the Brazilian-born attacker but he cannot connect with the ball properly.
Zagreb trying to find a way back into this match, Kovacic and Sammir look their most threatening players, but so far no cutting edge upfront for the Croatians.
And early chance for PSG, Pastore is fed the ball out wide, he controls it and hits it on the half volley, but the shot goes wide. The angle perhaps against the Argentine.
We're underway here in the second half, can Zagreb salvage anything from this match?
@chrisfils has tweeted: @CTTurnbull sorry to dinamo but its fair to say zlatan is uncontrollable :-) Dis no one would Lik to face PSG !!!!!!!!! He's not wrong there, the Swede could have had a hat-trick in the first half and few would bet against him adding to his tally in the second.
Well that about rounds-up the first half action as the referee blows his whistle. Zagreb without a win in eight games in the Champions League before this match and barring a miracle here it is going to be nine. PSG have been head and shoulders above their opponents. Ibrahimovic has missed two sitters but still it has been a stroll. Menez has been lively and Dinamo simply have been unable to contain the three-pronged attack. If you want to get in touch and share your thoughts, tweet me @CTTurnbull and I'll post the best comments.
STRIKE! Into injury time of the first half and PSG earn a free-kick about 25 yards out, Ibrahimovic, lashes the shot towards goal and Keleva just about gets put into the net along with the ball, though, he stays firm and punches clear.
Dinamo simply can't cope with the attacking flair of the PSG frontline, so quick and skilful which the hosts just havn't had an answer for.
GOOOOAALLLL! PSG double their lead, Pastore feeds Menez who has the option to play it into Ibrahimovic who is standing in acres of space, however, he opts to go himself and smashes the ball hard and low through Keleva. 2-0!
CHANCE! Well, PSG really should have made more of that chance the ball breaks and the French have three against two at the back as Zagreb push forward but the final ball from Menez is not good enough.
It's not quite a chance but Sammir again at the heart of everything good for the Croatians, he attempts a shot of sorts from 25-yards out, but it fizzes wide of Sirigu's goal more promising though from the hosts.
Ibrahimovic, Menez and Bodmer again linking-up to cause havoc but Zagreb defence remain solid and get the ball away this time.
Well the last time Zagreb played a French side was in December last year and it was an ignominious 7-1 defeat to the hands of Lyon, while it doesn't look like it's going to be a score like that, Zagreb have some work to do to salvage not just this match but their Champions League campaign.
GOOOAALLLL! Well he has missed a couple of great chances but he made no mistake with that one, him and Menez have been linking-up superbly, and Menez cuts the ball back for the Swede and he fires home to give the French side the lead.
GREAT PLAY! Ibrahimovic demonstrates why PSG paid so much for him, strong holds off his man and fires a shot towards goal.
However, Zagreb look dangerous on the counter, Sammir has been good but it;'s just the final ball which has so far eluded the Croatian champions.
PSG have looked very relaxed and confident in this match and really Ibrahimovic could have the French at least two goals up, composure has so far not been there for him tonight.
Perhaps the most disappointing aspect for Zagreb is that when they do get into dangerous positions they final pass just isn't there. Ibanez bombs forward and play in a great ball put the pass he receives is too heavy and the ball goes harmlessly out of play,
GREAT OPPORTUNITY: Well it's Ibrahimovic again, Verratti has played some lovely defence-splitting passes, and this time he finds the former Milan striker in the clear, another glaring opportunity goes a begging as the Swede rifles the ball over the top.
Menez is providing plenty of width and looks a real danger, Ibrahimovic is causing a nuisance at the back for the Croatians.
CHANCE! Just as I say that, Cop hits a fierce drive just wide of the Sirigu;s right-hand post,
The 14-time Croatian champions really look devoid of any confidence when going forward, they seem unsure what to do when they get into the final third. No goals this season and so far in this match, that stat doesn't really look like changing.
Well Menez is providing a real threat down the right-hand side creates a great opportunity for the talismanic Swede but he can't take advantage. PSG though really could be ahead by now.
A great counter from Ante Cacic's men, exploiting the space afforded to them. Vida played a lovely ball down the left wing , where Cop gathered, Sammir offered support but Les Parisiens got men back in time.
It's been a really positive start from the hosts, they look very lively but were let off the hook so early in the match when Ibrahimovic missed a glaring chance.
Sammir, looks a really talented player slides in a lovely through ball, as he creates some space for himself in PSG's final third but Zagreb can't make the most of the opportunity.
Bodmer test Keleva in goal from twenty yards out, it was a good strike but straight at the shot-stopper who will be happy to see these kind of efforts all night.
Yellow CardMarco Verratti
A reckless challenge from Verratti sees himself go early into the book, though to be honest, he won't be too bothered as it was great opening through the middle which he prevented from going any further.
Zagreb reply through Brazilian born Sammir, who recently got a call-up for the Croatian national team, his confidence clearly shining through early in this match.
And PSG already putting pressure on the hosts' defence as Ibrahimovic, who has scored 10 goals this season creates an opportunity to have a shot which tests Keleva in goals, still 0-0 though.
PSG displaying their confidence as French Ligue 1 leaders, comfortably retaining possession early on in the match.
And the match is underway here can Zagreb get their first points of the season in Europe or will PSG strengthen their position in Group A.
Dinamo Zagreb starting XI: Kelava; Puljic, Ibanez, Simunic, Vrsaljko, Vida; Kovacic, Sammir, Pivaric, Brozovic; Čop SUBS: Mitrovic, Tonel, Adrian, Calello, Alispahic, Beqiraj, Rukavina, Halilovic.
Meanwhile, Les Parisiens have the opportunity to strengthen their position in Group A, having taken three points against Dinamo Kiev with an emphatic 4-1 victory but the Ligue 1 leaders were defeated by Porto on matchday two. It's the first time they meet opponents from Croatia, while Zagreb will be haunted by their 7-1 mauling at the hands of Lyon – the last time they faced French opposition. Team news for tonight's match will be coming up shortly.
Well Dinamo Zagreb leave teen sensation Alen Halilovic, who has been dubbed as the 'Balkan Messi', and recently became the youngest player to score in Croatia at 16 years of age, but will have to be content with a place on the bench.
PSG: Sirigu; Silva, Alex, Maxwell, Jallet; Bodmer, Matuidi, Verratti; Ménez, Pastore, Ibrahimović SUBS: Douchez, Camara, Armand, Van der Wiel, Sissoko, Hoarau, Gameiro
Well it really is a must-win game for the hosts, who are currently on an eight-match losing streak in the Champions League and have yet to score a goal this campaign. Coach Ante Cacic is under no illusions of the task infront of him tonight suggesting that opposition front man Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of the top four strikers in the world.
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's Champions League LIVE! coverage with me Craig Turnbull (@CTTurnbull). Over the next couple of hours we'll have commentary of the match between Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb against Carlo Ancelotti's star-studded Paris Saint-Germain.
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