PSG win 3-0 against Basel, close in on last 16

Strikes from Di Maria, Lucas and Cavani send French champions to second in their group

Reuters October 20, 2016
Angel Di Maria (C) celebrates with Edinson Cavani (R) and Adrien Rabiot (L) at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on October 19, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS: Paris St Germain edged closer to the Champions League’s last 16 as goals by Angel Di Maria, Lucas and Edinson Cavani secured a flattering 3-0 home win over Basel in Group A on Wednesday.

Di Maria put the hosts ahead five minutes before the break, Lucas made it 2-0 in the second half and Cavani’s last-gasp penalty rounded it off to put PSG on seven points after three games, second in the group on goal difference behind Arsenal, who hammered Ludogorets 6-0.

Basel, who struck the woodwork three times at the Parc des Princes, are third on one point ahead of Ludogorets on goal difference.

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The reverse games will be played on November 1 when PSG, who were under-par for much of Wednesday’s encounter, will need to raise their performance-level if they want to stay in contention for top spot.

PSG midfielder Adrien Rabiot stood out for the hosts but most of his teammates failed to impress and things could have turned sour for Unai Emery’s side had Basel been more clinical.

The French side got off to a shaky start and the visitors came close to opening the scoring in the fifth minute when Michael Lang’s header struck the bar.

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Basel hit the woodwork again in the 36th minute, this time through Seydou Doumbia, whose header crashed against Alphonse Areola’s left-hand post.

PSG did improve, however, and five minutes before the interval, Blaise Matuidi’s low cross was poked by Cavani into the path of Di Maria, who fired a right-footed shot into the net from close range.

It was then PSG’s turn to hit the woodwork as Cavani’s header struck the post three minutes into the second half.

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The Uruguay striker had a huge opportunity to double the advantage shortly after the hour but he was denied by Tomas Vaclik.

The Basel keeper, however, could do nothing to prevent Lucas pouncing on a poor clearance to find the back of the net in the 62nd minute.

Marek Suchy’s header then struck Areola’s right-hand post as the Swiss side continued to be plagued by bad luck and their misery was completed when Cavani was brought down by Lang and converted the resulting penalty three minutes into stoppage time.


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