Benfica show Paris the door

UEFA Europa League

After Marseille and Lyon, PSG became the third French side to crash out of Europe in as many days, their 1-1 draw with Benfica handing the Portuguese side a 3-2 aggregate win to progress to the Europa League quarter-finals.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

UEFA Europa League Round of 16, second leg

Paris Saint-Germain Logo Paris Saint-Germain 1 - 1  SL Benfica (2-3 on aggregate)

PSG knew coming into the match that they needed to win on the night in order to go through to the quarters, but despite a dramatic finish that saw substitute Jean-Eûdes Maurice slip as he shot from a dangerous position with the last kick of the match, Antoine Kombouaré’s men couldn’t find a way past the visitors for a crucial second goal.

Bodmer rallies the troops

While the goal would have meant extra time and possibly penalties for PSG just days ahead of their Clasico in Marseille, the near-full strength went all out to build on the superb volley from Mathieu Bodmer that had got them back into the tie (35’) after Nico Gaitan had opened the scoring with a deflected shot (27’).

With a 1-1 scoreline booking them a place in the quarters, Benfica didn’t need to push, but still their superior technique and poise frustrated PSG’s attacks while creating some danger of their own, notably through Portugal World Cup star Fabio Coentrao.

Missed chances

Mevlut Erding will perhaps have the most to regret after the match, having a rough night as Paris looked to get back to winning ways for the first time in three matches in all competitions. After firing directly at ’keeper Roberto (28’) the Turkey international missed one of PSG’s best chances when he failed to direct Nene’s dangerous bouncing cross into the back of the net from close range (63’).

So too Guillaume Hoarau couldn’t sneak the ball past the wary Roberto in an epic goalmouth scramble (78’) and it seemed that it just wasn’t PSG’s night for glory, a feeling confirmed when the final whistle blew just seconds after Maurice’s glaring last-gasp misfire.


>> All the Europa League Round-of-16 fixtures/results

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