PSG dig deep in Slovakia
After being reduced to nine men Paris Saint-Germain hung on to secure a potentially vital point thanks to a 0-0 draw against Slovan Bratislava.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Slovan Bratislava 0-0 Paris Saint-Germain
Two red cards, a grandstand finale and freezing weather this was a match that had everything except goals but Paris Saint-Germain will be the happier after a backs to the wall performance saw them nick a point to keep their European hopes alive.
PSG have struggled of late in Europe having won just one of their last six Europa League matches away from the Parc des Princes. That coupled with a lengthy list of absentees (Momo Sissoko, Blaise Matuidi, Mathieu Bodmer and striker Guillaume Hoarau) meant that coach Antoine Kombouaré wasn’t taken anything for granted ahead of the meeting with Group F’s basement team.
Cagey first half
The temperature hovered around the freezing point prompting a number of the PSG side to don gloves for the occasion. Meanwhile those required to wear hand protection, the goalkeepers, were largely untroubled in a cagey opening period. The best chances fell to Javier Pastore and Mevlut Erding but the Parisians were unable to get the better of Lukas Hrosso in the Slovan goal.
The visitors continued to press in the second half and Jérémy Ménez tested Hrosso from distance in the 63rd minute.
A minute later PSG’s night went from promising to problematic: midfielder Clément Chantôme, who had been booked earlier in the half, was sent off after receiving a second yellow card for a body-check on opposite number Erik Grendel. Things soon went from bad to worse as Ivory Coast defender Siaka Tiéné followed Chantôme for an early bath after he too got himself booked twice within just seven minutes.
Douchez holds firm
That meant that the Ligue 1 pacesetters had to play the last ten minutes with a mere nine men. Uruguayan defender Diego Lugano soon gave the travelling support a fright by also going into referee Probert’s book but PSG defended tenaciously and despite having some good chances Slovan couldn’t get past goalkeeper Nicolas Douchez as it finished 0-0.
Elsewhere in the group Athletic Bilbao came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 against Salzburg a result which means that PSG slip behind the Austrians on goal difference with three games to play. But with two of those at home Kombouaré can still realistically target the knockout phase.