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UEFA Champions League
February 18, 2014
• BayArena, Leverkusen
Referee: V. Kassai
• Attendance: 29412
B. Matuidi 3'
Z. Ibrahimovic 39', 42'
Y. Cabaye 88'
That is it from me, Tom Webber, for this evening. Have a great night.
Hyypia will undoubtedly be hugely disappointed with the performance of his team. They looked extremely short of confidence and were put to the sword by the clinical Ligue 1 leaders. Their task in the second leg looks insurmountable.
FULL TIME - Leverkusen 0-4 PSG: After Matuidi's opener a double from Ibrahimovic put the result beyond doubt by half time. The triumph was capped by Cabaye's first goal for les Parisiens, who now have an immense four-goal advantage ahead of the second leg. Surely a place in the quarter-final is already assured.
90' + 3'
The final whistle goes!
90' + 2'
CABAYE! He could have had a second as he attacks a cross from Van der Wiel but sends his header straight at Leno.
90' + 1'
Bender pushes up and releases a shot at goal but he sends it harmlessly wide of Sirigu's near post.
There will be two minutes of added time played.
No side has ever come back from a four-goal deficit to qualify in the European Cup. Could this be the end of Leverkusen's journey already?
Goal Yohan Cabaye
GOOOOOOAL!! PSG HAVE FOUR! Ibrahimovic sends Maxwell away, who shows great determination to attack, and the Brazilian picks out Lucas at the back post. He rolls the ball back for Cabaye who guides a placed finish into the top corner for his first PSG goal.
GREAT SAVE!! Ibrahimovic threads a delightful diagonal pass in behind the defence which Pastore beats Leno to, but the keeper deflects the effort away from goal with his trailing leg.
Blanc's men attempt to push forward down the left but Maxwell's pass is cut out and Leverkusen bring it under control and slow the play again. They just want to get through this without conceding another goal.
Although Leverkusen are just sitting back at the moment, the slower tempo of les Parisiens' game means they are finding it difficult to find a route through to goal. This is turning into a simple game of keep ball for them.
This evening's other game has also seen a red card, with Martin Demichelis dismissed for Manchester City who currently trail to Barcelona through a Lionel Messi penalty.
The enthusiasm in Leverkusen's pressing has curtailed, with PSG being allowed plenty of time on the ball. If they are given too much space they could punish the hosts and add to their tally tonight.
CHANCE! Reinartz sends a pass out to Kiessling on the right and the striker clips a ball back into the centre of the box. The midfielder makes a late run and gets his head to it, but directs his attempt straight at the feet of Sirigu who collects.
Lucas drifts into the centre and picks up the ball. He shifts it out of his feet and releases a shot towards the bottom corner of Leno's goal, but a slight defelection saps the pace from the effort and the keeper can hold it with the utmost ease.
Bender and Ibrahimovic have a coming together inside the box, with the Swede pushing the former to ground following some contact just moments before. The referee awards a free kick to the hosts, but you have to wonder why he doesn't show a yellow card to the PSG man given the similar nature to the challenge for which Spahic received his second booking.
The tempo of the game has really dropped off since Spahic's dismissal. Les Parisiens know that they are in complete control of this match and they will be confident of finishing the job in the return leg should they just hold this three-goal lead.
PSG win a free kick out on the left, 25 yards from goal. Maxwell decides to take it short to Lucas but his compatriot is unable to make anything of it. The winger has struggled to make a positive impact on this match tonight.
STAT: Leverkusen have only previously lost once in six games at home to French opposition. That came in the 2001-02 Champions League group stage as Olympique Lyonnais left the BayArena with a 4-2 victory. They may be coming in for their second tonight, though.
GOOOOOAL... no it isn't! Matuidi is fed in behind the defence and his shot finds the back of the net as Leno's save ricochets off of Wollscheid. Lavezzi was in the mix there too, though, and the assistant referee raised his flag to give an offside decision even though the Argentine did not appear to have touched the ball.
Brandt deserves some credit for his impact since coming on at the break. He was linked the play well on his Champions League debut, at just 17 years of age.
Ibrahimovic attempts to dance his way inside the box but Reinartz and Toprak do a good job of standing him up and forcing him down a dead end.
Castro picked up a booking for dissent at that decision and Leverkusen are growing increasingy frustrated now. It is going to be a case of damage limitation for the home side now, as PSG will surely look to put this tie well beyond their reach.
Yellow/Red Emir Spahic
RED CARD! Leverkusen are reduced to 10 men as Spahic receives a yellow card as his flailing arm catches Lucas in the face. The Brazilian goes down clutching his face, in perhaps an unwarranted manner, and the referee subsequently gives the centre-back his marching orders following a conversation with his assistant on the near side.
Yellow Card G. Castro
Lucas attempts to initiate a one-two with Ibrahimovic as he drifts inside from the right but his pass to the Swede is cut out.
Leverkusen are looking to reach their first Champions League quarter-final in 12 seasons. They have not reached the last eight since 2002, when that Zinedine Zidane goal sunk them in the final at Hampden Park. It is looking unlikley they will make it this time around either.
Motta clips an absolutely exquisite pass over the centre of the defence which Lavezzi looks to run onto with a diagonal run from the left flank. Toprak keeps his eyes on the ball, though, and manages to deal with it for an important interception.
Important clearance from Matuidi! A cross from the left is brought down inside the box by Sam but as he waits for the ball to drop on the spin, Matuidi steals in and hoofs it behind for a corner kick.
A long ball is sent up to Kiessling and the striker attempts to move Thiago Silva out of the way and bring it down. The centre-back gives as good as he gets, but the referee awards the free kick the way of the visitors.
Yellow Card A. Guardado
Guardado and Castro get spun by Lucas and the Mexican wraps both arms around the Brazilian to stop him from racing in behind. The referee can do nothing else but award a free kick for that. It was almost worthy of a rugby field.
We are back underway at the BayArena! Son and Rolfes have been withdrawn at half time with Brandt and Reinartz entering the fray.
Welcome back! The second half will be underway in a moment.
It is difficult to see a way back for Leverkusen in this tie, let alone tonight's game. Join me for the second half in 15 minutes to see if they can salvage their Champions League campaign.
HALF TIME - Leverkusen 0-3 PSG: Matuidi gave les Parisiens the perfect start with a goal after three minutes but they soon took their foot off the gas and allowed the Germans more time on the ball. They did not capitalise though, and a quickfire double from Ibrahimovic has put the visitors into an unassailable lead.
45' + 1'
After just a few seconds of stoppage time the referee blows for half time.
You have to feel for the Leverkusen fans here. Their side have crumbled against the prestigious opposition and they have never looked convinced of their own ability. Hyypia will be immensely disappointed.
Assist Blaise Matuidi
Goal Zlatan Ibrahimovic
GOOOOOOOAAAL! STUNNING FROM IBRAHIMOVIC! An absolutely monstrous finish from the imposing striker as he slams Matuidi's pass into the far corner of the net from 20 yards out. A beautiful goal, and doesn't he know it! It arrowed into the top corner.
Leverkusen's front three have been far from convincing this evening. Sam tries to spark some life into his side as he goes on a mazy run through the middle, but he is tracked all the way by Verratti who soon dispossesses him.
Penalty Goal Zlatan Ibrahimovic
GOOOOOOAAL! That was never in doubt! Ibrahimovic steps up and fires the spot-kick powerfully into the bottom corner, putting it out of the reach of Leno.
Yellow Card Emir Spahic
PENALTY TO PSG!! Spahic tugs the shirt of Lavezzi off the ball inside the area and the Argentine goes to ground. The referee spots it and points to the penalty spot!
Spahic tries his luck with an effort from distance but Sirigu has a view of it the whole way and comfortably welcomes it into his arms despite a potentially tricky bounce.
Things are not quite going Ibrahimovic's way at the moment, but they weren't doing so in the Ligue 1 match with Valenciennes last Friday and he still found the net. You cannot count the big man out.
After a shaky start Hilbert has improved as the game has gone on. He attempted to slip a pass through to Son but the South Korean could not get around Thiago Silva as he guarded the ball out for a goal kick.
PSG have taken their foot off the gas now and seem to be inviting more pressure from Leverkusen. It is a dangerous game with just a one-goal lead, but perhaps they are hoping to draw the Germans out and strike on the counterattack.
Bender and Son combine well at the edge of the area, with the former almost played through one-on-one. Verratti picks up the loose ball and once more shows a cool head as he spins away from the nearest opponent and releases a crisp pass.
Hilbert does superbly to work some space from which to flight a cross into the box. His delivery finds Kiessling inside the box but he is unable to get an effort away as an unfortunate bounce sends the ball into the arms of the awaiting Sirigu.
Verratti just about manages to hang onto the ball at the top of his own box as he is set on by two Leverkusen players, and he then sends it out wide to Lucas. The Brazilian lacks subtlety to his play, simply aiming to pass the ball between three opponents and run onto it at the other end. He fails to do so.
STAT: Before tonight, PSG had attempted 4548 passes in this season’s tournament, completing 3843. That puts them second only to Barcelona on both counts.
Leverkusen are being far too sloppy in possession still. Rolfes narrowly avoided a red face as Matuidi got to one of his passes inside his own half, but he was unable to bring it under control. Hyypia's men work the ball up the pitch before Sam sends a pass to Hilbert straight out of play. The crowd audibly groan.
The hosts have a good spell in possession inside the PSG half with Rolfes looking to direct their play down both flanks in turn. He is unable to find the killer pass and eventually Matuidi makes another interception to halt the attack.
A good save, but the flag went up. Kiessling nodded Castro's delivery into the ground and as it bounced up, Sirigu was forced to palm it over the top as it looped above him. Leverkusen think they have a corner, but the assistant referee signals that the German striker was in an offside position.
Maxwell goes on a run into the Leverkusen half before laying the ball off to Matuidi. He, in turn, attempts to thread a pass up to Lavezzi but he puts too much on it and Hilbert is able to shepherd it back into the arms of Leno.
Hilbert scythes down Lavezzi and the referee shows him a yellow card. He will be walking a tightrope up against the rapid Argentine for the rest of the evening.
Yellow Card Roberto Hilbert
Verratti really is a lovely player to watch. The young Italian has already shown his ability to shake a player and beat them with just his first touch already tonight. He is so composed and is pulling all the strings in midfield at the moment.
Les Parisiens are in complete control of this match at the moment. They have dominated possession and their defence looks far more solid than that of the Germans, who look vulnerable from crosses.
WHAT A CHANCE!! Matuidi challenges Leno to a deflected cross inside the area and the keeper is unable to claim. He spills the ball and it falls to Ibrahimovic with the whole goal to shoot at, but his effort is blocked on the line by Toprak.
OVER THE TOP! Leverkusen again give possession away but Matuidi's pass to Lavezzi isn't the best and the hosts are let off the hook. They then probe down the left but once Sam is picked out in the box, he blazes well high of the target.
Of course Ibrahimovic is the man to take the free kick, but he fires his attempt straight into the Leverkusen wall. A bit of an anti-climax there.
The BayArena was stunned when that goal in, and Sami Hyypia certainly could not have imagined a worse start. Leverkusen have it all to do to try and turn this around, but it could get worse as Spahic lunges in on Lucas and fells the Brazilian 25 yards from goal in a central area.
STAT: Matuidi's strike is PSG's 100th goal in the European Cup. One for the history books from the midfielder.
Yellow Card Blaise Matuidi
Assist Marco Verratti
Goal Blaise Matuidi
GOOOOOOOAAL! Leverkusen surrender possession inside their own half with Matuidi pouncing. He lays the ball off to Ibrahimovic, who finds Verratti as the Frenchman continues his run inside the box. Rolfes fails to track his opponent who receives the ball and slots it past Leno and into the bottom corner. What a start for PSG!
Rolfes battles well in midfield, first intercepting Ibrahimovic's pass and then chasing the loose ball. Matuidi gets between him and his target to draw a foul, though, which the referee duly awards. Lucas flights it into the box but the Leverkusen defence nod away the danger.
PSG get the ball rolling at the BayArena!
The pre-match formalities are all but over. Kick off is just seconds away.
The teams make their way out onto the pitch at the BayArena and line up as the iconic Champions League anthem rings around the ground. Never fails to stand your hairs on end.
PSG have averaged 60% possession so far in the tournament, with 52 attempts on target in that time. However, Leverkusen, whose mean possession stands at 40%, have sent 53 shots on target. Still, les Parisiens have proved more clinical with 16 goals so far compared to the German side's nine.
No doubt that all eyes will be on Zlatan Ibrahimovic tonight. PSG need him on form to boost their hopes of going through, while Leverkusen need to keep him quiet. The Swede already has eight Champions League goals this season.
Sami Hyypia's side may be second in the Bundesliga, but they have lost five of their last seven games in all competitions so they do not come into this game in the best of form. Following their DFB-Pokal elimination against second-tier Kaiserslautern, tonight's match takes on even more importance.
PSG have had an extra day of rest compared to their opponents as they defeated Valenciennes 3-0 in their previous outing last Friday. Furthermore, Laurent Blanc has made five changes to that side, with Lucas Moura, Marco Verratti, Blaise Matuidi, Alex and Maxwell all returning to the starting line-up. Edinson Cavani is still unfit for action after picking up an injury last month.
Emre Can is suspended for Leverkusen while Robbie Kruse also misses out due to a knee injury. Eren Derdiyok is not fit enough for the bench so Julian Brandt could make his Champions League debut from the bench. Lars Bender, meanwhile, will need to be careful as he is one booking away from a ban that would rule him out of the return leg.
PSG substitutes: Douchez, Marquinhos, Digne, Rabiot, Cabaye, Pastore, Menez.
PSG (4-3-3): Sirigu; Van der Wiel, Alex, Thiago Silva, Maxwell; Verratti, Motta, Matuidi; Lucas, Ibrahimovic, Lavezzi.
Leverkusen substitutes: Yelldell, Reinartz, Wollscheid, Hegeler, Oztunali, Boenisch, Brandt.
Leverkusen (4-3-3): Leno; Hilbert, Spahic, Toprak, Guardado; Bender, Rolfes, Castro; Sam, Kiessling, Son.
My name is Tom Webber and I will be guiding you through this Round of 16 first leg at the BayArena. This is what it is all about isn't it? I'm sure you are all looking forward to hearing that famous Champions League anthem just as much as I, so lets find out which players will be lining up on the field as it rings around the stadium.
The wait is over! The Champions League is back! Tonight sees Bayer Leverkusen host a Paris Saint-Germain side looking to prove their credentials as challengers for Europe's most prized club competition. Sami Hyypia's men will be no walkovers, though. They are second only to the indomitable Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga and have never lost a two-legged European tie to French opposition.
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