Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Paris Saint-Germain 2 Malmo 0: Di Maria shines in comfortable win

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 15 Sep 2015


Angel di Maria scored on his Champions League debut for Paris Saint-Germain in a 2-0 victory over Malmo on Tuesday.

The former Manchester United man opened his account for the Ligue 1 champions just four minutes into the Group A clash in the French capital, while the in-form Edinson Cavani headed home his fifth of the season just after the hour mark.

PSG would have enjoyed a far greater margin of victory had it not been for Malmo goalkeeper Johan Wiland, though the visitors did have a goal chalked off just before the break when the score was still only 1-0.

The result means PSG – who next travel to Shakhtar Donetsk in the group before hosting Real Madrid – remain unbeaten against Swedish opposition in the competition.

Di Maria opened the scoring early on for his new employers, finding the net after being put clear down the right wing by Marco Verratti.

The Italian’s well-weighted pass allowed the Argentina international to cut in and curl an effort with his favoured left foot beyond Wiland.

The goal, Di Maria’s first in club action since January when he found the net against Yeovil Town in the FA Cup, was all that split the teams at the end of the first half.

However, PSG would have been out of sight at the break had Zlatan Ibrahimovic been able to convert any of the three glorious chances that came his way.

Playing against his boyhood club, the Sweden striker headed over Gregory van der Wiel’s cross before fluffing his shot when a long ball had given him another sight of goal.

Wiland then denied his compatriot following a beautiful cross from Di Maria and PSG were given a reminder that they could not afford to be so wasteful when Markus Rosenberg had a goal disallowed for the visitors.

Russian referee Sergei Karasev ruled the forward had committed a foul before putting the ball beyond PSG goalkeeper Kevin Trapp.

PSG’s profligacy in front of goal seemed set to continue in the second half when Cavani blazed over the top less than a minute after play had resumed.

Wiland kept the gap at one by turning away long-range shots from Di Maria and Maxwell, but the goalkeeper could do nothing to stop Cavani doubling PSG’s lead after 61 minutes.

Maxwell’s cross from the left was acrobatically flicked on at the front post by Ibrahimovic, allowing his team-mate to nod the ball into the net from close range.

Ibrahimovic’s hopes of a goal against his countrymen came to an end when he was substituted after 75 minutes, while the excellent Di Maria was also taken off. The latter’s replacement, Ezequiel Lavezzi, had an injury-time goal ruled out when Cavani was caught in an offside position.


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