Slovan Bratislava 0-0 PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN
Two men sent-off, chances squandered, all in all a disappointing night in Bratislava for Paris Saint-Germain who will see this as an opportunity missed.
Both Clement Chantome and Siaka Tiene were given their marching orders, leaving the Parisians to play a fair chunk of the second period with a numerical disadvantage.
The opening quarter was fairly tentative from both teams as they were happy to sit back and allow each other to have possession. Diego Lugano had the first real opportunity in the third minute for the visitors as he headed over Nene’s diligent set-piece.
Javier Pastore produced one of his trademark buccaneering runs through the middle before slipping in Jeremy Menez who ultimately scuffed his shot at the pivotal moment allowing goalkeeper Lukas Hrosso to guide it out for a corner.
PSG were domineering in retaining the ball, having much the better of it but Slovan nearly took the lead on 22 minutes only to be denied by the finger tips of a lunging Nicolas Douchez who showed astonishing agility to prevent a long range curler.
Mevlut Erding, who was given the responsibility as the lone man up top, showed an apparent lack of confidence after squandering a superb opportunity one on one with the keeper as he tamely struck his shot straight at him. He was then unable to make the most of a defensive mistake on the byline and failed to pick out a red shirt lurking in the penalty area.
Menez excelled throughout and produced a surging run through the heart of the Slovan defence in the 33rd minute, before coming onto his left foot only to see his shot denied by the keeper. On reflection he could have perhaps squared to Erding who made a forward run beside him.
He was again involved with Pastore, who both demonstrated some super link-up play. The Argentine was this time on the receiving end of a delicate through ball from the Frenchman inside the dee but his subsequent shot drifted into the grateful arms of Hrosso.
The home side came out with more of an attacking threat after the interval. They dug in throughout and continuously worked their socks off, showing great endeavour but failed to really offer anything in the final third.
PSG had one or two half chances but were left to rue them, especially after Clement Chantome was given his marching orders for a second yellow card after a clumsy tackle on one of his adversaries. His first booking showed naivety as he recklessly went through the back of the man and ultimately paid the price with a dismissal.
Nevertheless, despite the numerical disadvantage, the Parisians still looked threatening on the counter and went agonisingly close as Erding’s sweetly struck effort from the inside right crept inches past the post.
Karim Guede failed to profit from a cleverly worked free-kick by Igor Zofcak on 67 minutes. The Slovak played swept the ball into the penalty area but Guede could not find his feet and get a shot away.
With the game still evenly poised, PSG were dealt yet another blow. Siaka Tiene who has been exemplary all season, was surprisingly sucked in by a quick counter attack by Peter Stepanovsky and erratically took him out leading to his second booking with ten minutes to go. That left Coach Antoine Kombouare with nine men to hold on for the draw.
Amazingly, they could have nicked it with minutes to go had it not been for the fingertips of Hrosso to deny Nene after Menez conducted the move via the counter attack.
PSG held on for the point but they will be left to ponder what might have been. They created a variety of chances in the first-half but failed to capitalise on any of them. However, the good news is Athletic Bilbao and Red Bull Salzburg played out a 2-2 draw in Spain, leaving the group wide open.
Slovan will make the visit to the French capital in two weeks for the reverse fixture.