Champions League

Di Maria dissapoints for PSG

2015-10-21 22:53
Angel Di Maria (AFP)

Paris - Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid played out an anti-climactic 0-0 draw in the Champions League on Wednesday despite both teams being able to call upon their all-time leading scorers.

Cristiano Ronaldo, who overtook Raul as Madrid's top scorer in history last weekend, came as close as anyone to breaking the deadlock in the French capital with a second-half volley that whistled wide.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and PSG, meanwhile, were stifled by Real's defensive organisation and never seriously tested Keylor Navas in the visitors' goal.

But while the game failed to live up to expectations as a spectacle, the result is not a bad one for either team, particularly the visitors.

Both sides remain unbeaten this season and are yet to concede after three games in Group A as they sit locked together on seven points at the top of the section.

Malmo won 1-0 at home to Shakhtar Donetsk in the night's other game but Paris and Madrid are each four points clear of the Swedes and will have an opportunity to clinch qualification for the last 16 when they meet again in Spain in a fortnight.

Perhaps that will be a more open contest, but under the Parisian drizzle it was Rafael Benitez's tactical nous that frustrated the hosts and enabled Real to secure a result that is not to be sniffed at given their current injury problems.

Deprived of Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and James Rodriguez, Benitez handed starts to Jese and Lucas Vazquez on the flanks in a 4-4-2 formation but his main objective appeared to be to stifle a PSG side obsessed with dominating possession.

It was a tactic that proved very effective in the first half, with Paris unable to trouble Navas other than from a low Blaise Matuidi shot from the edge of the box in the 11th minute that was stopped comfortably enough by the Costa Rican.The French champions were too slow and predictable on the ball and Angel Di Maria, who had said ahead of the game that he would not celebrate if he scored against the club with whom he won the Champions League in 2014, looked like he would rather not be playing at all.

It was Real who were the more likely side, and Toni Kroos slipped a pass through to Jese, who was denied by Kevin Trapp racing from his line.

A brief spell of applied Madrid pressure followed after Di Maria lost the ball cheaply in the opposition half and Trapp tipped over a Ronaldo header following a Kroos corner.

Ronaldo tried his luck from two long-range free-kicks either side of half-time but they only served to show why, for all his immense talent, he has scored from just two of his last 89 direct free-kicks.

But it was Ronaldo who might have won the game in the 72nd minute. When a Paris corner came to nothing, Real broke quickly and Marcelo teed up the Portuguese superstar for a volley from a tight angle to the left of the box that fizzed just past the far post.

He was also the target of the affection of a pitch invader who ran on to the field for a hug with the Ballon d'Or winner before being dragged away to the biggest cheer of the evening.


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

01 November 2016
Besiktas v Napoli, Vodafone Arena 19:45
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Celtic, Borussia-Park 21:45
Benfica v Dynamo Kyiv, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Manchester City v Barcelona, Etihad Stadium 21:45
PSV v FC Bayern München, Philips Stadion 21:45
FC Basel v Paris Saint-Germain, St Jakob-Park 21:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v Arsenal, Vasil Levski National Stadium 21:45
Atlético de Madrid v FC Rostov, Vicente Calderon 21:45
02 November 2016
FC Porto v Club Brugge, Estadio do Dragao 21:45
Juventus v Lyon, Juventus Stadium 21:45
FC København v Leicester City, Parken Stadion 21:45
Legia Warsaw v Real Madrid, Pepsi Arena 21:45
Sevilla v Dinamo Zagreb, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Sporting Lisbon, Signal Iduna Park 21:45
Monaco v CSKA Moscow, Stade Louis II 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Wembley 21:45
22 November 2016
CSKA Moscow v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Arena CSKA 19:00
Sporting Lisbon v Real Madrid, Estadio Jose Alvalade 21:45
Leicester City v Club Brugge, King Power Stadium 21:45
Dinamo Zagreb v Lyon, Maksimir 21:45
FC København v FC Porto, Parken Stadion 21:45
Sevilla v Juventus, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Legia Warsaw, Signal Iduna Park 21:45
Monaco v Tottenham Hotspur, Stade Louis II 21:45
23 November 2016
FC Rostov v FC Bayern München, Olimp-2 Stadium 19:00
Besiktas v Benfica, Vodafone Arena 19:45
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Manchester City, Borussia-Park 21:45
Celtic v Barcelona, Celtic Park 21:45
Arsenal v Paris Saint-Germain, Emirates Stadium 21:45
Napoli v Dynamo Kyiv, San Paolo 21:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v FC Basel, Vasil Levski National Stadium 21:45
Atlético de Madrid v PSV, Vicente Calderon 21:45
06 December 2016
FC Bayern München v Atlético de Madrid, Allianz Arena 21:45
Barcelona v Borussia Mönchengladbach, Camp Nou 21:45
Benfica v Napoli, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Manchester City v Celtic, Etihad Stadium 21:45
Dynamo Kyiv v Besiktas, Kiev Olympic Stadium 21:45
Paris Saint-Germain v Ludogorets Razgrad, Parc des Princes 21:45
PSV v FC Rostov, Philips Stadion 21:45
FC Basel v Arsenal, St Jakob-Park 21:45
07 December 2016
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Monaco, BayArena 21:45
FC Porto v Leicester City, Estadio do Dragao 21:45
Club Brugge v FC København, Jan Breydelstadion 21:45
Juventus v Dinamo Zagreb, Juventus Stadium 21:45
Lyon v Sevilla, Parc OL 21:45
Legia Warsaw v Sporting Lisbon, Pepsi Arena 21:45
Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund, Santiago Bernabeu 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v CSKA Moscow, Wembley 21:45
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will be the 2015/16 Champions League top scorer?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.