PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN 4-1 Dynamo Kiev
1970 PSG Man Of The Match: Javier Pastore
Paris Saint-Germain ended a eight year hiatus from the UEFA Champions League with a magnificent 4-1 victory over Dynamo Kiev at the Parc des Princes.
The big news beforehand was Thiago Silva making his debut at long last in the centre of defence alongside Alex. Thiago Motta picked up an injury during Monday’s training session and was ruled out, allowing Clement Chantome to slot into midfield with Blaise Matuidi and Marco Verratti. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was up top supported by Javier Pastore and Jeremy Menez. Pretty much the same team as the last two outings with a couple of exceptions.
The first-half consisted of the best football played under Carlo Ancelotti’s tenure so far. It was absolutely mesmeric. Pastore, Menez and Ibrahimovic were frightening the Kiev defence and they could not handle their link-up play. Ibra was coming deep, picking the ball up as Menez and El Flaco bombarded forward, causing all sorts of confusion to the men in white.
Les Parsiens had the first chance of the game as Menez conjured up an acute reverse pass for Pastore in the box whose effort at the near post was well blocked by a Dynamo leg.
Young Marco Verratti was AGAIN pulling the strings in the centre of midfield. His precise passing was opening the game up and his composure on the ball is frightening for a lad of his tender age. Even playing in the biggest club competition in the world did not faze him. It was another marvellous performance once again.
Menez really was giving our opponents a torrid time and he won a penalty in the 18th minute, bamboozling two defenders with Taras Mykhalyk clipping his shin resulting in the award. Who else but brahimovic stepped up and coolly converted, sending Maksym Koval the wrong way to the jubilation of the Parc. He stood with his arms aloft on the penalty spot, drinking it all in. He is the new darling of Paris, no two ways about it. That was his sixth goal already this season.
After that, it was all PSG. Kiev were dumbstruck and they could not deal with the interchanging and constant flurry of attacks. Pastore played a lovely ball over the top for Ibra who bore in on goal and his diligent chip was tipped out for a corner by Koval.
Inevitably, we doubled our lead but no one could have predicted who it was going to be. Thiago Silva, the club record signing, on his debut, made it a dream one as he got the second on the half-hour mark. The Ukrainians failed to deal with a corner, allowing it to be played back in with Alex flicked it on for his compatriot who was lurking at the far-post and he slotted it in off the post. He played a pretty solid game overall and his class definitely showed at the back alongside Alex.
Three minutes after, it was Alex this time who made it 3-0. As simple a goal you will see all season. The corner was played in by Chantome low on the ground and there was the big centre-half to smash it home on the half-volley.
The half ended with goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu not making a single save. Underlining how dominant Ancelott’s team were for the 45 minutes.
It was much of the same after the interval. Although there were not as many chances, the possession, the movement and the general play was as good as it has been for a long, long time.
The visitors did get on the scoresheet rather fortunately. Portuguese international Miguel Veloso played a ball into the box and it deceived everyone, including Sirigu and he will agree that it was a soft goal to concede.
In stoppage time however, Les Parisiens restored the three goal lead. Nene came off the bench and orchestrated the attack by drawing in three Kiev defenders before finding Pastore in space whose shot bundled in under the goalkeeper.
I have said for the past few weeks that the team is getting better with each game. We saw it against Lille, then an improvement against Toulouse and now what looks like a near finished product with this victory. Kiev are not an average team either by any means but we made them look so. Our superiority was there for all to see and it is a real statement of intent. The game in Portugal against FC Porto in two weeks will be a massive challenge but on the basis of the performance tonight, we have every chance to lay down yet another marker.
It is an unbelievable way to end an eight year absence from the best competition in the world, it was as if we had never left.
Allez PSG – a wonderful night for all affiliated with the club.