PSG pinch a point, all three for Lille

UEFA Europa League

PSG drew 1-1 with Dortmund thanks to substitute Clément Chantôme's 87th-minute strike while Aurélien Chedjou handed Lille a crucial 1-0 win over Levski Sofia in the Europa League on Thursday night.

Thursday 21 October, 2010

UEFA Europa League Matchday 3


Group J

Borussia Dortmund v Paris Saint-Germain: 1 - 1

PSG’s immaculate record in the Europa league was under threat for long stretches as Bundesliga leaders Dortmund led for most of the second half after Nuri Sahin had made the break from the spot (51’, pen), but a late strike from Clément Chantôme (87’) kept the men from the capital unbeaten and in atop Group J with a 1-1 draw.

German dominance

Dortmund lead the Bundesliga, where they have won their last seven match in a row, and their confidence showed as they dominated their visitors and went ahead when Sahin converted a penalty after Mamadou Sakho was adjudged to have fouled Mario Götze in the area. However, a huge team effort from the Parisians, as well as some astute changes from coach Antoine Kombouaré, saw Paris come back late on in the piece.

Astute changes

 Without defensive stalwart Sylvain Armand and France striker Guillaume Hoarau in the starting line-up, Paris lacked punch in the early stages. However, halfway through the second half, Kombouaré brought Hoarau on for Mevlut Erding and then later Clément Chantôme on for Nene, and the moves paid dividends.

Chantôme continues strong form

As Paris pushed Dortmund back in the dying stages, Hoarau latched onto Christophe Jallet’s throw to produce a tenacious mazing run in the area before cutting back for Chantôme, unmarked in the area, who blasted a near-post finish past Roman Weidenfeller (87’) to secure a point.


Group C

Lille v Levski Sofia: 1 - 0

Lille swung back into contention to progress to the knockout rounds of the Europa League after clinching a 1-0 win at home to Levski Sofia on Thursday night.

The win is Lille’s first in the Europa League this season and takes them to second place in Group C on four points, five behind leaders Sporting Portugal, vastly improving their chances of making it to the next phase of the competition.

Reshuffled deck

With an eye on Lille’s Ligue clash with Marseille on Sunday, coach Rudi Garcia rotated his squad considerably, leaving out first-team regulars Yohan Cabaye, Adil Rami, Mathieu Debuchy and Gervinho from his starting line-up, but his gamble paid off.

The French side were dominant but unable to make the break in the first half even though Poland international Ludovic Obraniak smashed a shot onto the cross-bar (18’) and Belgian wunderkind Eden Hazard drew a strong save from Bozhidar Mitrev with a fierce shot (23’).

Chedjou flies highest

However, Garcia’s men came out of the half-time break swinging, and took just four minutes to open the scoring as central defender Aurélien Chedjou outjumped the Sofia defence to head Stéphane Dumont’s flick-on header past a helpless Mitrev (49’).

Despite having some half-chances in the opening fifteen minutes, Sofia posed few problems for Lille’s changed-up rearguard, and Obraniak went close to widening the gap (59’) as Lille held out for the important win.

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