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UEFA Champions League

  • November 5, 2014
  • • 2:45 PM
  • • Parc des Princes, Paris
  • Referee: Olegário Manuel Benquerenca
  • • Attendance: 45816

Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 APOEL: Cavani helps Blanc's men reach last 16

PSG made its way to the round of 16 with a win.

Paris Saint-Germain sealed qualification to the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League with a 1-0 home victory over APOEL.

The Ligue 1 champion was missing striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic because of a heel injury, but still had too much for its Cypriot opponent at the Parc des Princes.

This was underlined as early as the first minute when Edinson Cavani collected a Gregory van der Wiel cross in the box before firing in a shot on the turn.

Cavani also planted a header against the base of the post as the home side wasted a host of good chances, but, in the end, one goal was all that was required.

The win extends PSG's unbeaten record in all competitions this season and takes the club to 10 points from four Champions League matches in Group F – a total that can only be overtaken by second-placed Barcelona, which beat Ajax 2-0 on Wednesday and hosts Laurent Blanc's men in the final round of group games on 10 Dec. 

PSG is also now unbeaten in 31 home European matches – a run that dates back to Nov. 2006 and includes 12 successive victories, of which Wednesday's win was the latest.

In contrast, APOEL is still seeking a first away victory in the Champions League proper, with this the fifth defeat in 10 matches.

This second successive loss to PSG leaves the club bottom of the group with just a single point to its name and braced for a battle with Dutch side Ajax for a consolation place in this season's UEFA Europa League.

The Cypriot side faced a major uphill battle from the moment goalkeeper Urko Pardo allowed Cavani's shot on the turn to beat him and find the corner of the net after just 54 seconds.

That said, APOEL should have been level 10 minutes later when Nuno Morais somehow contrived to fire over from point-blank range after Salvatore Sirigu had pushed out an initial header from a corner.

From then on it was largely one-way traffic, albeit with no end product.

A mixture of the woodwork, Pardo and PSG's profligacy prevented the scoreline being bigger at the break.

Cavani hit the post with a diving header inside the box – which Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Pastore made a mess of following up – before the keeper produced a superb save to tip Lucas' goal-bound shot just past the upright.

In the second half, Pardo was alert again to block a chipped effort from Pastore from an angle and Cavani curled a brace of efforts wide of the post as PSG tried for a game-killing second goal that was ultimately unnecessary.