Piraeaus - An
utterly commanding second-half performance has helped Paris Saint-Germain
begin their Champions League campaign with a 4-1 win against Olympiakos
in Greece on Tuesday.
WRAP: Champions League
Edinson Cavani had put the French champions
ahead at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium with 19 minutes on the clock,
but Olympiakos deservedly drew level six minutes later courtesy of a
fine individual effort by Vladimir Weiss.
However, PSG upped their
game after the restart and were rewarded for their efforts when Thiago
Motta twice headed home from corners.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic saw a
82nd-minute penalty saved before Marquinhos marked his debut with a late
headed effort to wrap up an excellent win.
The Ligue 1 club are
hoping to improve on last season's run to the quarter-finals, where they
were a little unlucky to lose on away goals to Barcelona, and their new
coach Laurent Blanc was desperate to get off to a positive start in
Blanc, who led Bordeaux to victory against Olympiakos in
the last 16 in 2009-10, handed Brazilian summer signing Marquinhos his
long-awaited debut in central defence with Alex missing due to injury,
while Maxwell and Cavani were also restored to the starting line-up.
such an expensively assembled away side, Olympiakos were relying on the
notoriously hostile atmosphere of their ground in the Athens port of
Piraeus to tip the scales in their favour, and Michel's side came flying
out of the blocks.
Slovakia winger Weiss crashed an effort off
the bar inside the opening minute before David Fuster rattled the post
from the edge of the area after PSG had failed to deal with a corner.
it was the visitors who took the lead against the run of play thanks to
a goal from their record 64 million-euro ($85.5 million) summer recruit
The Uruguayan just stayed onside to connect with
Maxwell's square pass and slide the ball into an empty net after a
superb Ibrahimovic pass had cut open the home defence.
did not last long, however, with Weiss restoring parity in remarkable
fashion, nutmegging Marquinhos and sidestepping Thiago Silva before
finishing past Salvatore Sirigu in goal with the help of a deflection
off Gregory Van der Wiel.
Olympiakos spent much of the opening
period in the PSG half but it was the visitors who enjoyed most of the
possession and the introduction of Ezequiel Lavezzi at the interval in
place of Lucas helped swing the game definitively their way.
turned a powerful Cavani shot around the post as PSG pressed, and
Blanc's side retook the lead in the 68th minute when Lavezzi's corner
from the left was headed in by Motta, who had escaped the attentions of
Andreas Samaris inside the area.
Five minutes later, Motta scored again with a near-identical goal, getting away from Samaris to head in Lavezzi's corner.
Italy international midfielder Motta has never been a prolific scorer
but his goals ended Olympiakos's hopes, and they crumbled towards the
Ibrahimovic missed from 12 yards after being upended inside
the box by the hapless Samaris, but Marquinhos capped his first
appearance for PSG with a goal as he headed home in the 86th minute, the
home defence again going missing at a corner.
Fresh from this
result, PSG will next face Benfica at the Parc des Princes early next
month in a game which is likely to be pivotal, especially after the
Portuguese club won their opening Group C game 2-0 against Anderlecht.