Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


PSG burst kills of Benfica

03 October 2013, 12:33

Paris - Paris Saint-Germain indicated that they are genuine contenders to win this season's Champions League with a stunning first-half display in a 3-0 win against Benfica in their Group C match on Wednesday.

Superbly-worked goals scored by Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marquinhos and another effort by the Swede had PSG 3-0 up within half an hour, and a shell-shocked Benfica never looked capable of recovering.

Laurent Blanc's side are now in command of the section with a maximum six points and seven goals scored in two games, and a double-header of fixtures against Belgian title-holders Anderlecht offers them a glorious chance to seal their last-16 place with something to spare.

The French capital club were without injured captain Thiago Silva, but his fellow Brazilian Alex recovered from a thigh knock in time to take his place in the heart of the defence, while Blaise Matuidi shook off a foot problem to start in midfield and Edinson Cavani returned in attack after being rested at the weekend.

Sitting five points behind leaders and bitter rivals Porto in their domestic top flight just now, this was always likely to be a massive test for Benfica, even if the huge Portuguese immigrant population in Paris guaranteed them a sizeable and noisy following inside the Parc des Princes.

PSG have not been entirely convincing domestically this season, but they came into this fixture still unbeaten and their expensively-assembled squad played with an insatiable appetite early on, carving apart a Benfica side who dream of reaching a final that is scheduled to be played in their own stadium next May.

The hosts were ahead inside five minutes as a magnificent move, involving Marco Verratti and Matuidi, ended with Gregory Van der Wiel crossing low from the right for Ibrahimovic to roll the ball into the net.

Any hopes that Benfica had of ending PSG's unbeaten home record in European competitions, which stood at 24 games at the start of the evening, already appeared forlorn and their coach Jorge Jesus would have feared a hiding when they fell further behind on 25 minutes.

It was another wonderful goal, and the precocious Italian international midfielder Verratti was at its origin, his brilliantly improvised pass inside the box releasing Matuidi to cross low for Marquinhos to stab into an empty net.

It was a second goal in as many Champions League games for the young Brazilian defender, who is only now getting a run in the side following his summer acquisition from Roma.

The visitors then lost Serbian midfielder Ljubomir Fejsa to injury before conceding again when Thiago Motta's corner was nodded in by Ibrahimovic, who scored his 33rd Champions League goal on the eve of his 32nd birthday.

The tempo dropped after that and Benfica finally tested Salvatore Sirigu in the home goal two minutes into the second period, the Italian fisting away a well-struck Ezequiel Garay free-kick.

However, the outcome of the game was never in doubt in the second half, and Lucas might even have made it 4-0 shortly after coming on with 20 minutes to go, his shot from range stinging the palms of Artur in goal.

The sole concern for Blanc would have been the limited impact made by Cavani, the record summer signing from Napoli who does not yet fit into the PSG system.

The Uruguayan saw little of the ball from his position on the right of the attack and was outshone by Ibrahimovic, although he fared a little better after moving inside for the closing stages, finally forcing a save from Artur after 74 minutes.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...