Paris Saint-Germain’s belief in this season’s Champions League was as blatant as ever last night after thrashing Shakhtar Donetsk 3-0 away from home thanks to goals by Serge Aurier, David Luiz and own goal by Darijo Srna.
Les Parisiens absolutely coasted the first-half, racking up a two goal lead within the opening quarter of the game. Bar a flurry from the hosts in the opening five minutes in which the Brazilian Taison down the left was giving us problems, we controlled the manner of the first-half. Quick, incisive football. We kept the ball, working it from right to left. It was a real top quality display away from home in a hostile environment in the L’Viv Arena.
The team pretty much picked itself beforehand. Luiz was deemed fit enough to start despite that knee complaint and just as well he did. Not only for the goal, but he alongside his compatriot Thiago Silva were commanding at the back. We had a few hairy moments in defence as the second-half wore on but apart from that we were always in the ascendency.
The opener came in just the 7th minute and that was the perfect start. Maxwell produced one of his trademark crosses that leered towards the back post and there was Aurier of all people to head home. That is now two in two for the Ivorian but he will cherish this as it’s his first Champions League goal.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic missed a golden opportunity soon after to equal Pauleta’s goalscoring record but he put his header wide after Andriy Pyatov flapped at an Aurier delivery.
It was not to matter as Luiz made it 2-0 in the 24th minute with a comical goal. He aimed the ball past Pyatov with his thigh from a corner to the bemusement of the Shakhtar players. He has scored better goals that’s for sure but he won’t care!
Angel di Maria should have made it 3-0 after getting in behind the defence. He tried to chip the keeper which ended up going wide when perhaps he should have put his foot through the ball. He did the same thing with a similar chance in the second-half but still, he is proving to be invaluable for us at the moment. He has been outstanding.
Ibra thought he equalled the record in stoppage time. Substitute Javier Pastore played a through ball to the Swede whose shot was diverted into the net via Srna. We all thought at the time it was that landmark moment but UEFA marked it down as an OG. It is a shame as it would have been the icing on the cake.
Two wins from two in Group A now. Vital really as we now gear up to face Real Madrid back to back. First things first though, the classique on Sunday!