Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Blanc rules Verratti out of Malmo tie

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 21 Nov 2015

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Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc has revealed Marco Verratti is out of the Champions League tie against Malmo on Wednesday.

The Ligue 1 champions can guarantee their progression from Group A to the next round with a win in Sweden, but Verratti will be unavailable.

PSG beat Lorient 2-1 on Saturday to tighten their grip at the top of Ligue 1, recording an eighth straight league win and their fifth successive victory at Stade du Moustoir.

Angel di Maria, Ezequiel Lavezzi, David Luiz and Javier Pastore sat out the match along with Verratti, who is recovering from an ankle injury suffered earlier this month.

Hervin Ongenda netted his first league goal for PSG to open the scoring after 25 minutes and Blaise Matuidi doubled the lead soon afterwards, converting a low cross from Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Before the match there was an emotional rendition of French national anthem La Marseillaise, while PSG’s players wore special shirts to commemorate those who lost their lives in the terror attacks in Paris last Friday.

Blanc confirmed the last week had been tough, telling the media after the Lorient win that he has not wanted to talk about football.

“I really want to return to Paris and meet my family,” said the coach, who threatened to storm out of his pre-match news conference due to persistent questioning about the attacks.

Blanc praised his young players, with Ongenda handed a surprise and rare start in place of the out-of-form Edinson Cavani, while Presnel Kimpembe started in defence with Luiz rested.

“It’s very satisfying because [we] had some young players today who have had the opportunity to demonstrate their talent, potential and this is also interesting for the future,” Blanc said.

Ongenda added: “It’s very nice, it was a long time since I played in Ligue 1.”

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