Hoarau late show downs Wolfsburg
Giant striker Guillaume Hoarau marked his return to Paris Saint-Germain's starting XI by scoring two late goals as the side from the French capital finished over the top of German outfit Wolfsburg in Wednesday's UEFA Cup, round-of-32 first leg clash.
Paris coach Paul Le Guen made a host of changes from the team that has won four games in a row in Ligue 1 with Cameroon-born Armenian goalkeeper Apoula Edel replacing Mickaël Landreau between the posts while Sammy Traoré stood in for Brazilian Marcos Cearà at right-back.
Pancrate and Hoarau go close
Meanwhile Fabrice Pancrate and debutante Tripy Makonda were given the wide midfield roles with Jérôme Rothen partnering Clément Chantôme in a new-look midfield. But most importantly, club top scorer Hoarau, with 13 goals in L1 this season, was back leading the attack after shaking off a knee ligament problem that saw him sidelined for two weeks.
It was Wolfsburg, currently sixth in the German Bundesliga, that started the game brightly, but it was the home side that finished the half on top and could easily gone ahead when first Hoarau (36') and then Pancrate (40') both went close.
Centimetres from hat-trick!
With time slipping away Le Guen introduced Benin international Stéphane Sessegnon and exciting youth product Maxime Partouche off his bench. After a first Sessegnon incursion was repelled by Diego Benaglio in the German goal, Hoarau finally broke the deadlock with 11 minutes left to play. The former Le Havre striker beat Benaglio to Rothen's free-kick to register the opening goal and then, five minutes later, he added a second, meeting Chantôme's corner with a powerful finish.
In what was an incredible finish to proceedings, Hoarau then went within centimetres of completing his hat-trick when he latched onto Larrys Mabiala's pass and lobbed Benaglio, only for the ball to bounce out of the post.
PSG now take their two-goal lead to Wolfsburg's Volkswagen Arena next Thursday, knowing that even a one-goal defeat will see them qualified for the last-16 of the competition.